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.