Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Listen to Fond Farewells

The most common farewell is sağ ol (singular) or sağ olun (plural) for “Good-bye.” Yes, this word is using for both “thanks” and “good-bye.” Literally it means “Be healthy/well.”  Other often-heard expressions for good-bye are: Yaxşı yol. “Good luck (Have a good trip).” Görüşərik. “See you. (We will meet again).” Hələlik. “See you soon.” Sabaha qədər! “See you tomorrow.”
Listen to bold words on this mp3 file.

Listen to Friendly Questions and Answers

Salam. Necəsiz? / Necəsiniz? / Necəsən? Yaxşıyam. Bəs necəsiz? Mən də yaxşıyam. Nə var, nə yox? Hər şey var, heç nə yoxdur.

Sağ ol. Sağ olun. Hər şey yaxşıdır. Yaxşıyam. Hər şey qaydasındadır. Pis deyil. Əladır!

Siz haradansınız? Kanadadanam.

Listen to these questions and answers on this mp3 file.


Hello. How are you? (plural or formal) / ditto / informal. I am fine. And how are you? I am fine too. What's new? Everything is, nothing is not. (This is a jokey response.)

Bye. (informal and formal). Everything is fine. I am fine. Everything is in order. Not bad. Fantastic!

Where are you from? I am from Canada.

Listen to Greetings

Salam. Salam əleykim. Əleykim salam!
The following mp3 file shows you how to pronounce these greetings.


Hello. Peace be with you. And peace be with you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Help me translate this sign...

I can't make out the ending of this sign and people won't help me translate it because they say it is a bit rude. I don't mind - just explain someone! It is about people who throw garbage...

More signs...

A couple of signs from the Baku Roasting Company. The first is in both English and Azerbaijani. The second is Azerbaijani only. Can you translate?

Thursday, November 3, 2011


An announcement at my school. Can you translate?

Translation follows...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Turns of phrase

A few turns of phrase. Can you guess what they mean? Answers follow. Thanks to my colleague Lalə for suggesting these.

1. Pişiklər çox həssas heyvandılar.

2. Qulağıma səs dəyib ki, sən köçürsən.

3. Sən çox arıqlamısan! Lap bir dərisən, bir sümük!

4. Mənim rəfiqəm iki il pəhriz tutdu, amma arıqlaya bilmədi.

5. Nanə çox faydalı bitkidir.

6. Mən zəfəranlı aşı çox sevirəm.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A fabulous online resource for iPod or iPhone

Prepare to be impressed! This is the most sophisticated and good-looking app translation tool that I've come across - and it's for Azerbaijani!!! I am so excited! OK, I'll stop using exclamation marks now, but you get the point. This app is awesome.

It's called AzerDict and it's free. I have placed a link to the website in my links along the right side of the blog. However, the app is far more powerful than the site. Download it from the iStore and enjoy these features:
  • automatic recognition of what you are typing (as either Azerbaijani or English, so no need to always select the direction of translation from AZ - ENG or ENG to AZ
  • easy to input all letters of the alphabet because the letters with diacriticals, plus ı and w are provided as buttons beneath the search field
  • gives an exhaustive list of words with each translation (I put in qəlyan as an example because I keep seeing this around town, sometimes with the word Livan. I lived in Lebanon a few years back so this reference was driving me crazy - was it some kind of Lebanese mezze? No, it turns out it is the nargile (as they say in Lebanon). AzerDict gives all these words as translations of the noun qəylan: hookah, hubble-bubble, tobacco-pipe, and more, along with how they are used in Azerbaijani phrases written below in red). 
  • spell check... though it has now frozen - may have to delete and download again : S. I deleted and downloaded again. It works perfectly now.
  • predicts the word you are typing so that you can select it
The developer is from Baku. He has a blog and you can follow him on Twitter.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yup. Not working again!

Taxi can be ordered by calling...

Baku's famous new purple cabs. Very rahat!

Water ad

Azerbaijan's most famous brand of water (so claims this ad).

My first jeans (diaper ad)

Yup, the diapers have a denim look!

Free parking for those who shop here





Beef meat with bone

100 napkins or serviettes

Note that salfat is the proper word for serviettes. It reads Sun (brand) serviettes 100 pieces.


More signs

More signs


A new resource

OK, in the past I have been very unimpressed with Google Translate online. However, I've just downloaded the free app for my iPod and it is not bad. Two things that you have to get used to however - the keyboard and the letter for ə. The keyboard is smaller than the Azerbaijani keyboard that I have installed on my netbook. (See my post about Azerbaijani keyboard to find out more about setting up and using your keyboard.) On my iPod there was no option for an Azerbaijani keyboard, so I chose the Turkish keyboard. This works well if you follow the two points below.

The keyboard

To access letters that you don't see, simply hold down the letter that looks most like it. For example, if you want an ö you need to hold down o and then a line of o-like letters will appear. Slide down the line and click on the one you need.

Where's the Ə????

This is a bit strange. Hold down the e and then slide down to the letter that looks like an e with a tail (e with a cedilla).

Takes a little getting used to, but so far the translations from Azerbaijani to English have been accurate.


The ş is an s with a hat, so the mark is on top, not the bottom. However, I just asked for the translation of maşallah (which I have never found in a dictionary - apart from Dilmanc.) So Google Translate app, all I can say is Maşallah!! (Well done!!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Testing with video

Another test

I am sending a photo of Baku.


A rainy day in old Baku. I am testing email posting.
Sent from my iPod

Please suggest new topics for posts

I am getting great comments on songs and complex translations, but nothing from beginning learners of Azerbaijani. Tell me what you would like to see and I will post it! I am going to try out a new "response" gadget. Not sure how it works but it may make it easier to give feedback. Let's see...

Blog stats

I really like the fact that Blogger provides detailed statistics with the program. It is interesting to see where pageviews are coming from and what is most popular. Here is a quite summary of the top five:

Most popular with these countries:

America - 3,199
Azerbaijan - 2,322
Turkey - 766
UK - 673
Germany - 451

Most popular posts:

Present - 978
Typing with an Azeri keyboard - 802
Accusative case - 415
Possessive pronouns - 291
Cheat sheets for shopping - 133

Aman Ovçu (Have mercy hunter)

I've gone through the lyrics I have for my favorite songs and have discovered that I didn't post this one. It is a xalq mahnısı (folk song). I've heard it sung in a really upbeat kind of way, which I don't like. It seems that the content deserves a more plaintive tone. I am sure my translation is not perfect. Some lines I am just guessing at. All advice gratefully accepted.

Aman ovçu, vurma məni,                                  Have mercy hunter, do not strike me, Mən bu dağın, ay balam, maralıyam.               I am a deer of this mountain. 
Maralıyam, maralıyam,                                    I am a deer, I am a deer. 
Mən bu dağın, ay gülüm, maralıyam, bala,      I am a deer, my love, of this mountain, child. 
Ovçu əlindən, ay balam, yaralıyam.                 From the hunter's hand, oh beloved, I am wounded.

Bu dağlarda maral gəzər,                                 Deer roam on this mountain. 
Əl-ayağın, ay balam, daşlar əzər.                     Hands and feet, oh love, crush the stones. 
Mən yarıma neyləmişəm?                                 What have I done to my love?
Yarım məndən, ay gülüm, kənar gəzər,            My love, oh love, shuns me, 
Yarım məndən, ay balam, kənar gəzər.            My love, oh love, shuns me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Read the label - Red Beans

If you buy Azerbaijani food products, read the labels! They are a good way to improve your vocabulary, as are ads and signs around the city. I recently bought a package of dried adzuki beans.  These are called Lobya Qırmızı (Red Beans) in Azerbaijani. This is what the package looks like.

As you can tell, the language seems a bit odd. That's because it's Turkish, so although the beans are produced in Baku, the parent company is probably Turkish. I don't know any Turkish, so I used Dilmanc to translate the Turkish into Azerbaijani. Çam is Şam, which means candle or supper. N.B.: I've been corrected on this. See note below. Şam in Azerbaijani can also mean pinetree and this is the meaning in Turkish. No idea what Bakliyat means, unless this is the Turkish for Red Beans. Again, see the helpful comment below. (I love comments - Don't be shy about commenting!) At the bottom it reads Güven ve Katlite 100% Doğal = güvən və keyfiyyət 100% təbii - Reliability and quality 100% natural. Turn the package over and you will find Turkish, English, Azerbaijani, and Arabic. An opportunity to learn! Let's see...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Qubanın ağ alması (Guba's white apple)

This is a beautiful xalq mahnısı (folk song). The chorus can vary a bit with aman and yar and can, but the main verses are always as follows. I really like to sing this song, but now that I try to write the translation I once again am unsure, especially of the second verse. I await the expert advice of native speakers. If I get some feedback I'll post a recording of me singing this song.

N.B.: After some debate, I think I agree with balkanika's assertion that "Yarıma yola saldım" is correct.

Qubanın ağ alması, ay gülüm,      Guba's white apple, my love, 
Yeməyə var alması. (2 dəfə)        There is an apple to eat.

Yarım gələnə qalıb, ay gülüm,      When my love comes to stay, my darling,
Yaramın sağalması.                    My [heart's] wounds are healed. [Lit: my wound's healing]

Nəqarat:                                      Chorus (Refrain) 

Sevirəm, sevirəm, yar, səni mən, yar,      I love you, darling, you, darling, [Sounds SO much better in Azerbaijani!]
sevirəm, yar aman. Aman, aman, aman.     I love you, darling, have mercy on me!

Sevirəm, yar, səni mən, yar,     I love you, darling, you, darling,
sevirəm, yar aman.                 I love you, darling, have mercy on me!

[Sevirəm, sevirəm, yar!           This variant adds yalqızam = I am lonely
Səni mən, yar!                        and can = soul
Yalqızam, yar can!
Aman, aman, sevirəm, yar!
Səni mən, yar!
Yalqızam, yar can!]

Qubadan alma aldım, ay gülüm,     I took an apple from Guba, my darling
Yarıma yola saldım. (2 dəfə)          I sent (it) to my lover.

Yarım gələnə kimi, ay gülüm,         Until my love comes, my darling,
Heyva kimi saraldım.                    I blanch with pain [Lit: I turn yellow like a quince].


Sunday, October 9, 2011

More signs around Baku

Another stroll up to Huseyn Cavid Küçəsi to have a yummy cappuccino at the Baku Roasting Company. Then up to Lider to buy meat and cheese, down to Gastronom to get special stuff like whole cinnamon, frozen fish and gluten-free soy sauce! Awesome to see gluten-free products finally coming to Baku. On the way I remembered to take some more pictures of signs. Here they are. BTW - I can highly recommend all of these shops. People are very friendly and helpful.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Signs around town

On a recent walk around town I snapped a couple of pictures. It's a beautiful sunny day in Baku today. I'll be sure to take more photos today and post later on. But for now, see if you can translate the following. English translations are given below each photo.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sample sentences - ways to complain

OK, we all need to complain every now and then - even in Azerbaijani. Here's how.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sample sentences

At work I have been sharing sample sentences for children and teachers to try and decipher. While they get some picture clues, you don't. Can you figure out what these sentences mean? Explanations follow.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Shopping for food - basic words

A new colleague has requested a video about names of foods. I've put together a simple video using a children's picture dictionary. One of these days I'll make a film in a real shop! But in the meantime, here's a selection of commonly purchased fruit, veg, and other food items.

Video is now ready.

In the news...

Today's BBC Azeri has an article about the Absheron gas field. It has some fairly complex sentences. I have attempted to translate some of the article with an explanation of specific elements of grammar. One verb form that I can't identify is çəkərək. What verb form is this? Help from native speakers on this would be appreciated. The parts in bold are from the original article.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Numbers 1 to 100

I had a request recently for more video at a beginner level. So, we'll start with the numbers, then move on to fruit and veg, shopping language and taxi language. I'm celebrating the purchase of a new iPod which I used to make this simple video. I'm hoping to collect some photos and recordings from around Baku in the near future. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Resources update

Have you updated to Dilmanc 2.5? Go to to get this terrific free translation software.

There is also Google Translate online (|az|) but Dilmanc is much more accurate.

Polyglot also has a free dictionary for download. Go to - Windows versiyası.

-ən / -an = somebody who is / something that is doing something

I guess it is technically a participle, but knowing that doesn't help me learn to use it any quicker! In Azerbaijani you cannot say "the girl who is lauging" - instead you say "the laughing girl". It is easier to change the English phrase around in your head before translating it into Azerbaijani.

For example - the girl who is laughing = the laughing girl = gülən qız

Read more examples...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

DİQ – non-future participle used as an adjective

The form is created by taking the verb root + diq + possessive suffixes. However, because all the possessive suffixes begin with vowels, the endings are in effect –dığ, -duğ, -diy, -düy. The Q from maq changes to a ğ, as in tanımaq – tanıdığ-, or oxumaq – oxuduğ-. The K from mək changes to y, as in istəmək – istədiy-, or düşmək – düşdüy-.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kim, nə, hara + isə = indefinite objects, persons or places

The i in isə is usually dropped after a consonant or not pronounced after a vowel [pronounciation follows in square brackets]. They are declined as regular nouns, with the case endings coming before the isə. These three little words are very useful indeed!

Case endings for pronouns

Personal and demonstrative pronouns take case endings. However, when they end in a vowel, the buffer letter is n, not y.

Case endings for question words and adverbs

Question words with case endings - Nominative (subject of the sentence - no case ending), Genitive (of), Dative (to), Objective (direct object), Locative (at, in, on), Ablative (from). For words that are pronounced differently from their spelling, I have included the correct pronounciation in square brackets after the word.

Case endings for nouns

A selection of nouns listing in the order of cases: Nominative (subject of the sentence - no case ending), Genitive (of), Dative (to), Objective (direct object), Locative (at, in, on), Ablative (from). I have used an example for all vowels (with words ending with consonants and words ending in vowels), plus words ending in k or q.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

noun or adverb + -ki = when

A few examples:

bu günki işim - my work for today
dünənki vəziyyət - yesterday's situation
bu axşamkı tamaşa - this evening's show
keçan yaydakı hava - last summer's weather

locative noun + ki suffix = the thing+ki that is / are somewhere

To talk about the location of a thing, you use the suffix -ki. Where we would say in English, for example, "The sentences that are below", in Azerbaycani is "The-below-at-that sentences."

Here are more examples, using phrases and in sentences.

Infinitive + üçün = in order to

Infinitive + üçün is used to explain why an action has taken place. This construction always seems to come first in the sentence, followed by the resulting action. Handy and easy-to-learn.

Some examples:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Words starting with U, V, Y, Z - same or similar to English or French

I haven't been able to find any words beginning with Ü that have a parallel in English or French. But still a few from the last four letters of the Azerbaijani alphabet.

Verb phrases using Əl (hand)

There are many expressions using əl. Some are quite literal but others would be impossible to guess. A friend recently helped me learn these. The entry for əl in my red dictionary covers three pages!!

Words starting with R, S, Ş, T - same or similar to English or French

Almost through the entire alphabet now...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Words starting with C, Ç, and D - same or similar to English or French

Another list:

Words starting with B - same or similar to English or French

More than you would think!

Words starting with A - same or similar to English or French

There are a surprising number of words that are the same or very similar to English. Here's the list of almost 100 for just the letter A! I have included some that are just very easy to remember, such as adam (the first man) is the word for man.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another great resource

I recently found another learning resource and I have just received it in the mail. A fabulous find! It's a textbook and two CDs of conversation and audio drills.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sən nə etməyi sevirsən? (What do you like to do?)

A good way to practice using the verbal noun form in the accusative is to answer the question "What do you like doing?" Here are some of my answers.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Verbs using gəlmək (to come)

I have found just a few of these, but they are commonly used.

Verbs using vermək (to give)

Haven't found many of these, but they are interesting, especially məzə vermək and ürek-dirək vermək.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Verbs using etmək (to do or to make)

There seem to be a lot of verbs that use etmək with another word (usually a noun, sometimes an adjective) to make a verb phrase, much like faire is used in French. It is my understanding that eləmək is often used instead of etmək in conversation, but that in written Azerbaijani it is always etmək.

What follows is a listing of the verbs in Azerbaijani alphabetical order. In the square brackets is the meaning of the noun or adjective. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

verb + ış / iş / uş / üş = new verb

These suffixes added to a verb root make the action one that involves two or more people.

Adjectives + ar / ər = verbs

Have only found six of these.

Adjectives + al / əl = verbs

I have not found many verbs that are formed this way.

Nouns or adjectives + la / lə = verbs

Verbs that derive from nouns or adjectives with la or lə added:

Nouns or adjectives + laş / ləş = verbs

Another suffix that is commonly added to nouns and adjectives to make a verb is laş / ləş. Here is a list that İ have managed to compile. Please let me know if there are others.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nouns or adjectives + lan/lən = verbs

The suffix -lan -lən can be added to some nouns (even adjectives) to create verbs. It adds the sense of "becoming" to the noun. Here are some examples that I have come across. Let me know of any others and I will add them to the list.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sevgili Canan (Beloved Sweetheart)

Once again I am struggling to translate Nizami. Beautiful song and fun to play on the kamancha, but rife with difficult words.

Sevgili Canan
Mus.: Üseyir Hacıbəyov, Söz.: Nizami Gəncəvi

Hüsnün gözəl ayətləri,
Ey sevgili canan!
Olmuş bütün aləmdə
Sənin şəninə şayan.

Fascination's beautiful laws, oh beloved sweetheart!
In all the world to have been worthy of your happiness.

Gəl eylə nəvaziş,
Mənə ver busə ləbindən,
Çünki gözəlin
Busəsidir aşiqə ehsan.

Come and caress me, Give me a kiss from your sweet lips,
Because your beautiful lips are a blessing to your beloved.

Sordum ki, könül,
Hardadı, aldım du cavabı:
Gəl sorma, tapılmaz,
Onu axtarsa da insan.

I asked where was my heart, and this was my answer:
"Do not ask, the person who seeks it, it will not be found."

Rəhm eylə-deyib, sel kimi
Göz yaşımı tökdüm,
Gəl qanım ilə oynama,
Ey afəti-dövran.

Have mercy, my tears are flowing like a stream,
Don't plague me with pain oh beautiful one.

İnsafın əgər var isə,
Söylə bu Nizami
Sənlə necə rəftar eləsin,
Ey mahi-taban?

If you are merciful, tell Nizami
How must I act towards you, oh moonlight?

Gəl sevgili canan!

Come my beloved sweetheart!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

DIR / T - to have somebody do something

The days are hot in Baku in July. It's hard to work up enough energy to post when the temperatures soar to 36 and beyond. Easier to lounge on the balcony with a good book, hoping for the relief of a light breeze and listening to the sounds from the street. One hawker goes by late every morning calling "moruq, çiyələk, marina." The first is raspberries, the second strawberries, and the third I have no idea. It sounds like marina, but perhaps I've got it wrong. Maybe it's Russian? (I've been told since that it is malina - Russian for moruq.) If I weren't so lazy I would go down and ask him to sell me some strawberries!* (See if I have got this right.)

Anyway, a short posting about these kind of verbs...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sənsiz (Without You)

The music for this song is by the great Azerbaijani composer Üzeyir Hacıbəyov. The lyrics are by the 12th century poet Nizami Gəncəvi. I found two versions of the lyrics - one from Min Bir Mahnı and the other on English wikipedia. There were differences, so I compared them to Bülbül's clear and wonderful rendition of this song. I think the words below are correct according to Bülbül's version.

This is a very difficult song to try to translate. There are words that Dilmanc would not translate and others that I could not find in dictionaries. For instance, saət did not appear in any of my regular dictionaries, but I did find it in my 4 volume Azerbaijani-only dictionary. (See my Learning Resources post for more info on this.) It is, as I suspected, a variant of saat. And for sure, it sounds better when sung as saət. The 4th volume finally explained vəslinə as well. It is an archaic term for vüsal - a meeting with one's darling. On the basis of this research, I will attempt to translate, though some phrases are still fairly impenetrable for me.

Hər gecəm oldu kədər, qüssə, fəlakət sənsiz,
Hər nəfəs çəkdim hədər getdi, o saət sənsiz!

Without you, my every night is filled with sorrow, grief, and calamity.
Every breath I draw, each hour, I draw in vain, without you!

Sənin ol cəlb eləyən vəslinə and içdim, inan,
Hicrinə yandı könül, yox daha taqət sənsiz!

Believe me, I took an oath to your captivating presence,
Your pilgrimage has burnt my soul, I have no more strength without you!

Özgə bir yarı necə axtarım, ey nazlı sənəm,
Bilirəm sən də dedin: Yox yara hacət sənsiz!

Let me find my other half, oh my beautiful one,
I know you have said: I have nothing for my wounds without you!

Sən mənim qəlbimə hakim,
Sənə qul oldu könül,
Sən əzizsən, mən üçün,
Mən heçəm, afət, sənsiz.

You are the judge of my soul,
My heart is a slave to you,[very interesting line as Nizami's first and most beloved wife was a slave girl]
You are beloved to me,
Without you I am nothing, my beautiful love.

Sən Nizamidən əgər arxayın olsan da, gülüm,
Gecə-gündüz arayib olmadı rahat, sənsiz.

From Nizami you can be sure, my love,
Day and night search but are not at ease, without you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Laçın (xalq mahnısı)

I only know this song because I play it on the kamancha, but I don't have a recording of it being sung. It is a beautiful and melancholy tune. I decided to look for the words. It seems to me that the words are sad as well.

First stop was a lovely little book I found in a used bookstore -  Min Bir Mahnı. However, some of the words didn't make sense, so I looked on and found these lyrics, which I have attempted to translate. The wiki lyrics had the word göncə, which I assume should have been qönçə.

As usual with trying to translate folk songs, I have run into difficulties. Not sure what "barı" refers to. Fruit? Wish? Anyway, here is my translation. All help appreciated!

Araz axar su ilə,
Dəstə-dəstə gül ilə,
Mən yarımı sevirəm
Şirin-şirin dil ilə

The Araz flows with water,
With bunches of flowers,
I love my dear love
With sweet language

Ay Laçın, can Laçın,
Mən sənə qurban Laçın...

Oh Lachin, dear Lachin
I would be a sacrifice for you...

Bağçaların barı gül,
Yarı qönçə, yarı gül,
Gec açıldın, tez soldun,
Açmayaydın barı gül,

The gardens have fruit flowers,
Half bud, half flower,
You were opened late, you faded quickly,
Would that you had not opened!

Ay Laçın, can Laçın,
Mən sənə qurban Laçın...

Oh Lachin, dear Lachin
I would be a sacrifice for you...

Yeri-yeri küsən yar,
Yeni eşqə düşən yar,
Elçiləri qırılmış...
Özü elçi düşən yar!

Here my love is discontented,
My dear one who has just fallen in love,
The envoys have been cut down...
The go-between has fallen himself my love!

Ay Laçın, can Laçın,
Mən sənə qurban Laçın...

Oh Lachin, dear Lachin
I would be a sacrifice for you...

Bakı bahalıqda Avropanı geridə qoyur

An interesting report in the news today about Baku. It has been ranked the 36th most expensive city in the world. The headline, from BBC online (Azeri), reads "Baku leaves behind Europe in expensiveness."

I'll attempt a translation of an excerpt:

"Tanınmış araşdırmalar mərkəzi Merserin 2010-2011-ci il üçün tərtib etdiyi Yaşamaq qiyməti indeksində yer alan 214 şəhərlik siyahıda Azərbaycan paytaxtı 36-cı mövqedədir."

The well-known investigative center Merser's 2010-2011 Cost of Living Index has placed the Azerbaijan capital at 36 in the list of 214 cities.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mənim sualım var...

Mən fikirləşirəm ki, bir kəs bu suala cavab verə bilər. Mən "gooseberries"-i çox sevirəm. Mən yaxşı sous toyuq üçün bişirləşirəm. Çox dadlıdır. Amma, heç kim Azərbaycanca sözü bilmir. Mən çoxlu lüğətlərində axtarmışdım. Nəhayət, mən "motmutu" tapmışam. Düzdür?

Bu gün başqa satıcı mənə dedi ki, o quş üzümüdür.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Learning resources

I had a comment today asking about resources for learning Azerbaijani. Here are some of the dictionaries, books, and CDs that I have found useful. Search used bookstores and regular bookstores. Some resources can be downloaded.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gerunds with possessive pronouns

Gerunds can take possessive pronouns as follows:

Mənim getməyim - my going
Sənin getməyin - your going
Onun getməsi - his going
Bizim getməyimiz - our going
Sizin getməyiniz - your going
Onların getməkləri / getməyi - their going

Using infinitives as gerunds (-ing nouns)

Where we would use a verb plus infinitive in English, in Azerbaijani it is common to use a verb plus a gerund which is derived from an infinitive. Confusing? Yeah. Let's look at an example:

To say "One needs a lot of time to learn Azerbaijani," you use a gerund rather than the infinitive "to learn".

Azərbaycancanı öyrənməyə çox vaxt lazımdır. The bold word looks like an infinitive but is not. It is a gerund in the dative (to) case - to the learning. The infinitive öyrənmək has been turned into a gerund - k changes to y with the -ə ending. So, the sentence literally means Toward learning Azerbaijani [object / accusative case], much time is needed. 

Using infinitives in sentences with istəmək and lazımdır

Two very useful constructions in Azerbaijani are istəmək (to want) plus an infinitive and lazımdır (to be necessary) with an infinitive. You can say a lot with these two and they work just as they do in English, so you can translate directly and it works. As we will discover, in Azerbaijani infinitives are often not used in sentences as we use them in English. Instead, they are turned into nouns (to be precise, gerunds). But more on that later... it is complicated. For now, enjoy learning something useful and easy:

İstəmək + infinitive (to want to...)

Works like English, except the infinitive comes before the main verb.

I want to see you. - Mən səni görmək istəyirəm.
I want to speak to you. - Mən sizinlə danışmaq istəyirəm.
I want to break a twenty. - Mən iyirmi manat xırdalanmaq istəyirəm.
I want to buy a ticket. - Mən bileti almaq istəyiram.

Lazımdır + infinitive (it is necessary to...; it needs to...)

Again like English, but the infinitive comes first.

It needs to be done. - Bunu etmək lazımdır.
It is necessary to go early. - Tez getmək lazımdır.
What book needs to be read? - Hansı kitabı oxumaq lazımdır?
To take part in the discussion it is first necessary to be calm. - Söhbətin alınması üçün ilk növbədə sakit olmaq lazımdır.
It is necessary to come to a decision. - Bir qərarə gəlmək lazımdır. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Feli bağlama - basic list

There are many feli bağlama in Azerbaijani. Here is a basic list.

1. -əndə - meaning "when" 
2. -əndən sonra - meaning "after" 
3. -məzdən qabaq -məzdən əvvəl -məmişdən qabaq -məmişdən əvvəl - meaning "before" 
4. -ə + bilmək - meaning "to be able to do something" 
5. -ib - a stylistic usage
When two verbs have the same ending, Azerbaijani changes the first to an -ib suffix, regardless of the tense. The verb is the same tense as whatever verb follows it. This usage is more for varying sounds and does sound very nice when spoken.
6. -ə -ə - for repeated action
For a repeated action that is happening at the same time as the final verb in the sentence, the first verb is repeated with the ə ending attached to the verb root.
7. -əndən bəri - meaning "since" 
8. --ən kimi - meaning "as soon as" 
9. -ənə qədər -ənə kimi -ənəcən -ənə dək - meaning "until" 
10. -ənə qədər -ənə kimi -ənəcən -ənə dək - meaning "before"
11. -ənə qədər -ənə kimi -ənəcən -ənə dək - meaning "while" 
12. -məmiş -mədən
13. -dikcə - meaning "The more..."
14. -dikcə - meaning "whenever" 

Dialogue - What should we do?

Try to translate the following dialogue into English. My translation is given at the bottom.

Mən darıxıram. Nə edək?
Xalam qızı qonaq gedək.
Yaxşı. Hədiyyə ona alaq.
O İngilis kitabları xoşlayır. O yaxşı oxuyur.

Dialogue - A walk in the forest

Try to translate the following dialogue into English. My translation follows.

Meşədə piyada getməyə gedək.
Yaxşı. Nə geyinməliyik?
Bu gün meşədə soyuqdur. Ona görə də bizə isti paltarları lazımdır.
Bəli. Mənə elə gəlir ki, yağış yağacaq.

Feli bağlama -ə + bilmək

There are many feli bağlama in Azerbaijani. Verb suffixes can change the meaning of a verb and its relationship to the second verb in a sentence. These are a bit difficult but very useful.

 -ə + bilmək - meaning "to be able to do something" 
Instead of an infinitive, an ə is added to the end of a verb root to create a new verb form that is used with bilmək. A very easy form to learn.

present - 
Mən azərbaycanca danışa bilirəm. I can speak Azerbaijani.
Onlar cavab verə bilmirlər çünki oxumadılar. They could not answer because they did not study.
Sən gecə işləyə bilirsən? Can you work late?
Mən sənnən danışa bilmir çünki o məşğuldur. He can't talk with you because he is busy. 

indefinite future -
Mən darsı verə bilərəm. I can give a lesson (and I am willing to do it).
O ərzaq ala bilər. He can buy some food.
Sən pianino çala bilərsən? Can you (and are you willing to) play the piano? 
Siz radio söndürə bilərsiz? Can you (and are you willing to) turn off the radio?

di past -
Dünən kitabxanaya gedə bilmədim. Yesterday I couldn't go to the library.
Orda işləyəndə o işdə lanç ala bilirdi. When he worked there he could buy his lunch at work.

Feli bağlama -məzdən qabaq -məzdən əvvəl -məmişdən qabaq -məmişdən əvvəl

There are many feli bağlama in Azerbaijani. Verb suffixes can change the meaning of a verb and its relationship to the second verb in a sentence. These are a bit difficult but very useful.

 -məzdən qabaq -məzdən əvvəl -məmişdən qabaq -məmişdən əvvəl - meaning "before" 
The second verb happened before the first. Again, a practical verb suffix.

Mən yatmamışdan qabaq kitab oxuyam. I read a book before going to sleep.
Sən işə getməzdən əvvəl siqaret çəkirsən. You smoke a cigarette before going to work.
Siz qərara gəlməmişdən əvvəl mənə danışın. Speak to me before coming to a decision.
Teatra getməzdən qabaq bilet alaram. I will buy a ticket before I go to the theater.