Hoş Talk

Some Sundays, my jewelry class turns into an impromptu language class,  especially when my friend the calligraphy teacher is there. He drops by once in a while and has a deep and palpable love for language, which he is always ready to share. His English is impeccable and he always kindly translates some of the things from class that had remained a bit cloudy or that I could not communicate to my teacher.

It is endlessly interesting to me how people pick up language- which words stick and can be quickly recalled, while others slide right off the ledge of memory in one's mind. The verb "beğenmek", for example, which means "to like", never seems to stick, and I always fall back on the verb "sevmek", which means "to love" and can be a bit strong for most occasions (ie: "I LOVE apples"... is a little excessive, even in the context of American exaggerated enthusiasm). 

Selcuklu Motif Kupe

Mostly, I find that a particular situation or context will help me remember certain words, because their meaning will become lucid in this context and I recall the whole situation when I recall the word. Once a word and it's meaning becomes illuminated in my mind, I begin to hear it everywhere. This was the case with the verb "bulmak", which means "to find". I'd glimpsed it in a Turkish language book last week,  and for some reason, it stuck with me and I began to hear it here and there around the city. The watch vendor used it when talking about finding the missing part I needed, Selim used it when talking about finding a photograph he wanted to show us, and finally, I noticed it again in an expression pronounced by the calligraphy teacher when he came into our class that day- "Hoş bulduk!" It is an expression that I have used countless times and is as automatic as diving into the thick of traffic to cross the street here or putting a hearty sprinkle of pul biber and squeeze of lemon into every soup. It's the partner saying to "Hoş geldiniz!", which means "Welcome!" and one usually follows the other. Still, I'd never thought about its component parts and now I'd noticed that "bulduk", "to find" was sitting at the end of the phrase, which led me to wonder what "hoş" meant. I asked the calligrapher and he responded, "It means "sweet". I couldn't believe that I'd never thought to look into that before. He launched into all of the other words and sayings that had "hoş" as part of them, drawing a verbal word tree. Along with the familiar "hoş bulduk" and "hoş geldiniz" were the words "hoşaf", or "sweet water" and "sarhoş", which means "drunken", or literally "sweet head". He then branched off into other Turkish sayings and poems, such as the old poem "Su Kasidesi" by Fuzuli, and the meaning of the Turkish saying ""Anadan uryan, babadan, buryan". Speaking with him makes me realize how rich the Turkish language is and how much you miss from a culture if you don't know its idioms and poetry.

I listened, enjoying the new words and sayings while I worked on a few of the projects that were in progress. The first was the Selcuk motif earrings for the exhibition my teacher has planned. I decided to change what I was making for the show. The pieces will be sold at the show and the money will go to a children's charity. I also worked on the Hagia Sophia-inspired ring with a calcedony stone. Since stone setting is my focus for the year, my teacher had me set it on my own. I was able to fix the stone pretty snuggly, but as it turns out, the bezel was a bit short and my teacher used the electric "marteau" around the rim to set it more firmly. The third project I've been working on is another Selcuk-inspired ring that I had been planning on setting stones into, but couldn't because the wire I used was too thin. Instead, I domed the tips of the wires and will now need to make a band for it. After polishing, it was time to to go. Class had once again passed much too quickly and I headed home with new thoughts of sweetness in my head. 
Hagia Sophia Ring


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