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?)