Uzbek/Lesson Four

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A Uzbek lady in Samarkland selling non.

Cultural Notes[edit]

Because the Silk Road once passed through the territory of present-day Uzbekistan, Uzbek food reflects influences of the cuisines of Chinese, Indians, and other Asian and European peoples.

Uzbeks usually eat three meals a day. In the morning, along with their traditional bread called non, they drink tea and milk. Summer breakfasts also often include grapes. Uzbeks in rural areas almost never buy bread from a store, but rather bake their own bread daily in a special oven called a tandir. Most rural families also have their own cows which provide milk.

Uzbeks tend to eat lunch in the early afternoon. At this time they like to have such soups as shoʻrva (meat and potatoes), mastava (rice, meat, and vegetables), or lagʻmon (noodles, meat, and vegetables).

The main meal, usually a food other than soup, is eaten in the evening, around seven or eight o'clock. During the warm months, Uzbeks like to have qovun (melon) for dessert.

Tea by far is the most popular beverage. People in Tashkent and a few other cities tend to drink black tea, while in rural areas and cities in the south and in Ferghana Valley they prefer green tea. Tea is always served hot.

Cities and villages have many teahouses where people eat, relax, and socialize. Uzbeks believe that tea is the only thing that can quench thirst in their hot climate. Coffee is not very popular.

Uzbeks rarely eat their meals in restaurants. One reason for this is the high cost of dining out, but a more important reason is that home cooking almost always is better than that in restaurants. Men and women alike take part in food preparation, and it is popularly believed that men make the best chefs.


Pilav is a favourite food that is always served at major celebrations. On these occasions it is prepared in huge metal cooking pots over a fire.

An essential part of Uzbek hospitality is to offer food to visitors. Even when they themselves have very little, Uzbeks try to prepare elaborate meals for their guests. Guests may disappoint their hosts when they fail to eat or drink what they are offered.

While tables and chairs are used in many city homes, in rural areas Uzbeks sit on the floor around a large dasturxon (tablecloth) to take their meals. Utensils such as spoons are used for soups, but for other dishes, like pilav, fingers may be used.

Alcoholic beverages are served on special occasions and when guests are present. At such times, males are expected to join in the drinking.


Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio: uploadupload (131 + 142 kb • help)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Greetings
First Dialogue
Donald Bu qanday ovqat?
Oshpaz Bu goʻshtli somsa. Ana u qovoqli somsa. Uning ichida qovoq, piyoz, dumba yogʻi bor.
Donald Qovoqli somsa achchiqmi?
Oshpaz Yoq, yeb koʻring. Sizga yoqadi.
Donald Mazali-ku!
Second Dialogue
Donald Bugun siz qanday ovqatlarni tavsiya qilyapsiz?
Ofitsiant Biz oʻzbek ovqatlaridan shoʻrva, lagʻmon, manti, kabobni tavsiya qilyapmie.
Donald Manti sovuq emasmi?
Ofitsiant U issiq. Siz choy ichasizmi yoki mineral suv ichasizmi?
Donald Menga shakarsiz qora choy bering.
Third Dialogue
Donald Iltimos, menga kabob bering.
Ofitsiant Kechiring. Bugun qoʻy goʻshti yoʻq. Baliq va mol goʻshti bor.
Donald Unda, menga qovurligan baliq bering. Sizda sabzavotlardan nima bor?
Ofitsiant Bizda bodring bor. Nima ichishni xohlaysiz?
Donald Menga meva sharvati olib keling.
Fourth Dialogue

The rest of this lesson is not yet Lesson 4.


Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Vocabulary
Assalomu alaykum! Peace to You (A Muslim Greeting)
Vaalaykum Assalom! And Peace to You (The Response)
Xush well, good
kelibsiz you have come (after all) (past tense of inference)
Xush kelibsiz Welcome
Marhamat Please
kirmoq to enter (infinitive)
kiring come in (imperative, singular or plural polite)
Rahmat Thank you
men I
mening my
ismim my name (possessive)
Kalaforniyadan from California (ablative case)
keldim I came (definite past tense)
keling come (imperative, singular or plural)
Erkin Erkin (name, masculine)
oʻqituvchiman I am a teacher (noun predicate)
Oʻzbek Uzbek
oʻzbek tilini the Uzbek language (possessive, accusative case)
oʻrganyapman I am studying (continuous present)
Oʻzbekisonda in Uzbekistan (locative case)
ishlamoqchiman I plan to work, I want to work
yaxshi good, well
-mi question particle
yaxshimi? is it good?
yaxshimisiz? how are you?
ishlaringiz your affairs, your work
ishlaringiz yaxshimi? how are things?
ishlarim my affairs, my work
juda very
sizning your
ishlaringiz qanday? how are you
mening my
ishlarim ham yaxshi everything is fine with me, too
kechiring excuse me (imperative)
qaytaman* I have to go, I will go (present future)
xayr goodbye
boring go (imperative, singular or plural)
yaxshi boring go in peace
xoʻp fine, all right, O.K.
qoling stay, remain (imperative)
yaxshi qoling stay in peace

*(is Qaytaman "I will go", or "I will return")

Grammar and Vocabulary Explanations[edit]

For Dialogue 1[edit]

The greeting Assalomu Alaykum! is a very common expression throughout the Muslim world, among Uzbeks it is especially common in the more conservative rural areas. It is from an Arabic greeting meaning peace be upon you! The invariable response must be Vaalaykum Assalom! which is also from an Arabic greeting meaning I also wish you peace!

Uzbeks also have other greetings used for different times of day. The most appropriate response for any of these greetings is to repeat the greeting.

Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Forms of Greeting
Xayrli erta! Good Morning!
Xayrli kun! Good Afternoon!
Xayrli oqshom! Good Evening!
Xayrli kech! Good Night!
Yaxshimisiz! How are you?
Omonmisiz! How are you?
Esonmisiz! How are you?
Salom! Hello

Omonmisiz! is mostly used by woman.

For Dialogue 2[edit]

From Previoius Lessons:

Standard Uzbek has both singular and plural pronouns:

Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Pronouns
Singular Plural
men I biz we
sen you siz you
u he, she, it ular they

The second person pronoun sen is used to address one or more friends and equals or those who are younger or familiar. Siz must be used to address those who are older or unfamiliar, and also to address more than one person.

The third person pronoun у can refer to males, females, or things. Gender can be determined from context.

Mening ('my') is a possessive form of the personal pronoun men. The singular and plural possessive forms of the personal pronouns are:

Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Pronouns (Possessive)
Singular Plural
mening my bizning our
sening your sizning your
uning his, her, its ularning their

The possessive forms of the personal pronouns can be omitted when a noun already reflects possession.

Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Example
Mening ismim - Erkin. 'My name+my is Erkin'
Ismim - Erkin 'Name+my is Erkin'

The suffix -man 'I am', expresses person and is a noun predicate. The singular and plural noun suffixes in standard Uzbek are:

Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Noun Suffixes
Singular Plural
-man 'I am' -miz 'we are'
-san 'you are' -siz 'you are'
(no suffix) he, she, it is -lar they are

The subject pronoun may be omitted in a sentence where one of these predicate suffixes are used.

Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Example
Men oʻqituvchiman. Oʻqituvchiman.
'I (am a) teacher+I am' 'Teacher+I am'

For Dialogue 3[edit]

The plural suffix is -lar. It is added to the stem of the noun:

Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Plural suffix (-lar)
Singular Plural
talaba student talabalar students
ish work ishlar works

When the Uzbeks ask someone about his well-being they usually use expressions like Ishlaringiz qanday? (How are you?), Ishlaringiz yaxshimi? (How are things?). The response may be Yaxshi (Good), Ishlarim Yaxshi (Everything is fine), or Rahmat (Thanks).

The question particle is -mi. In order to form an interrogative sentence this particle is addded only to the predicate of a sentence:

Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Question Particle Example
U talabami? Is he a student?


Questions formed with the help of the particle -mi are pronounced with a rising intonation. In the sentence Ishlaringiz yaxshimi? (How are things?), the peak of intonation is on the second syllable of yaxshi.

Questions formed with the help of the interrogative words like qanday (how) are pronounced with falling intonation. In the sentence Ishlaringiz qanday? (How are you?), the low point of intonation is on the second syllable of qanday.

For Dialogue 4[edit]

As Uzbeks take leave of one another, they commonly exchange a series of expressions meaning goodbye. Some of these are:

Uzbek Dialogue • Lesson Four • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (upload)
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Forms of Greeting
Xayr! Goodbye!
Xayr, Yaxshi boring! Goodbye, go in peace!
Koʻrishguncha! See you later!
Uchrashguncha! Meet you later!
Ertagʻacha Until Tomorrow
Tuningiz xayrli boʻlsin! Good night!

The parting expression Xayr! may be used at any time of day. The expression Xayr, yaxshi qoling! is used by a guest or by the person taking leave. The expression Xayr, yaxshi boring! is used by a host or by the person staying.

The Uzbek word xoʻp has many meanings, including 'fine,' 'very well,' 'agreed,' 'all right,' and 'O.K.' Uzbeks use xoʻp and yaxshi much as English speakers use 'fine', and 'good'.


In future editions of this book we might have excersizes and such, so that you can practice what you learned, and really get it to soak in—and also so you can double check and make sure you know it. But they aren't available just yet :)

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