Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

When Words Become Tired, Ctd.

with 2 comments

The Movie-ing Maniac has given us some more food for thought in his comments on this post.  I made the claim that two causes have led to the type of Azeri language I am exposed to on a daily basis; first, the high frequency of idiomatic phrases and second, the presence of Russian as the language of the elites.  It’s probably partly a function of my own snootiness when it comes to speaking english.  In any case, the Azeri I’m used to hearing here is a form of Azeri that would not be considered of the educated class.  From the Maniac:

On another note, you may want to pay more attention or actually go to other sources rather than asking people around you about words whose equivalent you cannot find in Azeri. Especially, those words like awesome, fantastic, wonderful, etc. have equivalents but either people around you don’t know or they simply don’t use them, because many of them considered to be literary lingo of bookish people.

I consider myself somewhat bookish, so I probably need to delve into those more literary sources to get the satisfaction I’m looking for.  As well, this concept is most certainly not limited to Azeri.  Maniac makes a good point, and it certainly goes for non-bookish people here as much as it does for non-bookish folks in America.

The other point Maniac makes is probably the most salient against what I wrote:

…I don’t think there is connection between Soviet influence and intense use of phrases or idioms. Also, extensive use of phrases and idioms should not be seen as weakness. What is the reason of privileging less idiomatic language over against more idiomatic one, if we exclude suppression factor as explanation?

I don’t really have any good reason for arguing that a more idiomatic language (or version of a language) is necessarily less developed.  Instead, I’m probably just conflating the less literary aspect of what I’m learning with the coincidence that the language is highly idiomatic, and concluding that those go together.  That’s a failure of logic on my part.  Oh, and yes, I do like it when people disagree with me.

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Written by Aaron

June 10, 2010 at 6:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. […] a comment » If there wasn’t enough to read about this topic, I’ve gone and found some more info for us.  Movie-ing Maniac recommended I look beyond the […]

  2. […] I was able to take up Şaiq on his invitation.  It was very much worth it.  If you followed this series of posts, you’ll know that we’re having a little difficulty with the seemingly limited […]


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