Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.


with 5 comments

On my last pass through Baku, 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 Azeri vocabulary we get to use here in Azerbaijan.  So I’ve got it, the Azerbaijani thesaurus.  I met with Şaiq and talked about Azerbaijani politics, a little history, and his own story.  We discussed how he came to creating the Azeri thesaurus.  And now I have a shiny copy in hand.  We’ve been rolling through it a little bit, and we’re happy to see we recognize some of the words.  We’re also recognizing that we need to learn a lot more Azeri before this book is going to be come particularly useful.

In the meantime, you may remember from his comment that Şaiq gave me a challenge:

We can discuss many issues of the Azerbaijani language. Meanwhile, here’s a simple test for you: please find Azerbaijani equivalents for the words: ‘disappointment’ and ‘honesty’.

So here’s what I have.  I’ll start with honesty.  The closest I could get was düzlük.  It’s fairly straightforward, sort of like “the essence of being true.”  Yet, there are three more words I found that could work, and Miri told me that they are more of a poetic, literary type.  İsmətlilik, qeyrətlilik, and qəlbitəmizlik all can work as words for honesty.

For disappointment, I came up with a few options.  The first I found was məyusluq.  And the other two I came up with are pərtlik and küskünlük.  Küskün seems to mean more along the lines of offend than disappoint, but still gets the job done.  How did I do, Şaiq?  (Or any other Azeri experts out there?)


Written by Aaron

July 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Aaron,

    Did you find in that thesaurus the word-phrase xəyal qırıqlığı (noun), and xəyal qırıqlığına uğramaq (verb)?
    You may not and that’s because it is quite rare and new. You may hear the word xəyal qırıqlığı from Azeris,especially from those who are somewhat russified and fill in their poor vocabulary with words borrowed from Turkish. Nevertheless, it is distinctly non-azeri word with very familiar conceptual metaphor (xəyal can be translated as thought and qırıqlığı can be translated as brokenness. So it is broken thoughts/expectations or something similar). It means disappointment. Some Azeris, who think that being wordy can pass for highly developed intellect yet are not well versed in their own language can also use this distinctly Turkish word. But it is nice word. Another word for disappointment can be pərişan. İt is a Persian word, used a lot in classic poetry, and connotes disappointment in love relationships. Qanqaraçılıq also can be translated as disappointment and it connotes less personalized continual process.
    Another word for honesty is dürüstlük which is Persian word. There are yet other words for honesty which are sözüdüzlük, sözübütövlük, doğruculluq, and ürəyiaçıqlıq.
    Anyway, good luck to you in your language studies.

    Movie-ing Maniac

    July 4, 2010 at 3:56 am

    • I’ll add those, too. I haven’t heard xəyal qırılığı before at all. Maybe someone has said it, but I certainly didn’t pick it up. I’ll run it by a few friends and see what they say.


      July 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm

  2. in case your wondering, in turkish “düzlük” literally means something like “straightness”- which obviously lends itself to honesty. i don’t know if they have “dürüstlük” in azeri turkish, but i think thats the best translation for honesty in turkish.


    July 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    • Thanks Jon—I leafed through my Azeri dictionary and found dürüstlük, too. Another word for honesty added to the lexicon….now I just to figure out how to fit it into daily conversation.


      July 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm

  3. Aaron, you did great!
    You’ve found so many synonyms for ‘honesty’. But certainly the best equivalent is ‘dürüstlük’. It is rarely used nowadays though. Probably there are too many ‘nadürüst’ people. 😉

    As regards the second word ‘disappointment’, this is a so-called ‘contextual word’ and there are no direct equivalents. Its usage depends on its content. ‘Pərişan’ is a good translation. Also, I use sometimes ‘peşman’.

    While working on the Thesaurus, I used to show it to some writers and poets. The most frequent responses were: ‘Too many Persian (or Arabic, or Russian etc) words!’ Their choice highly depended on their political sympathies. That is, their approach was mostly political, rather than philological. I hate politics, especially when it intervenes science.

    Any language contains foreign words. Our problem is that Turkey-oriented people don’t want to see Persian words, Russian-oriented ones can’t live without ‘davay’ and uzhe’ and more to it: the regional people are even proud of using their dialects be it on TV, or books and newspapers.

    I’m neither a judge, nor prophet. I don’t know which way it’s going to develop. I only want to thank Aaron for spending his time on my not very simple tasks. Good job!

    Shaig Safarov

    July 7, 2010 at 8:11 am

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