Sunday, June 24, 2012

O olmasın, bu olsun - the cast

I've finally seen a live performance of O olmasın, bu olsun. As I'm sure readers know, this is a famous operetta by the great composer Üzeyir Hacıbəyov. The title is usually translated as "İf not this one, then that one". The performance was great - wonderful set, great singing, and very funny acting. So I've set myself the goal of translating the libretto and the songs so that next time I see it I'll understand more than I did this time. So, here's the first bit of information you need - the cast. In Azerbaijani this is called İştirak Edənlər - the participants...



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Qəmgin mahnı - Sad song

I fell in love with the music (played by the incomparable Çinqiz Sadıxov) before I heard the lyrics or even the title. It was such sad music, it would always make me want to cry. And guess what? That's what it's called - Sad song! I found a version of  it on Youtube sung by Şovkət Ələkbərova. Exceptionally beautiful rendition. Music by that genius Tofiq Quliyev. Words by Zeynal Cabbarzadə. Unfortunately the link to Youtube has been taken down due to copyright infringement.

Found another link. Let's hope it stays so the world can enjoy this beautiful song and grow in their understanding of Azerbaijan's rich musical culture.

https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2399923203657

Qəmgin mahnı Sad song

Mən çox gün görmədim 
Bil ki, dünyada... 
Ah, nə dərdə düşdüm 
Cavanlıqda mən... 
For a long time I haven't seen
What there is in the world...
Oh, I had misfortune
In my youth...

Hər gülün rəngini 
Salıram yada, mən yada... 
Ağlaya-ağlaya... 
Ağlaya-ağlaya... 
Qaranlıqda mən... 
All the colors of flowers
I try to recall, I try...
I am crying...
I am crying...
In the darkness...

Bax, gəlib ilk bahar, 
Qaynayır sular... 
Gör, nələr söyləyir 
Quşların səsi... 
Look, an early spring has come,
Waters are warming...
Listen to what the song of the birds
Is telling you...

Ürəyimdə şirin 
Ən xoş arzular, arzular... 
Dilimdən düşməyir,
Dilimdən düşməyir,
Sevgi nəğməsi...
In my heart 
Are such sweet hopes of happiness...
That I can't stop singing,
A song of love...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Əl - words and phrases from "hand"

A great thing about Azerbaijani is that learning one word can help you to learn many new verbs or expressions. One such word is əl - hand.

Although I don't have an etymological dictionary, it seems to me that there are many words beginning with əl that must be related to hand. Maybe əla (perfect) has something to do with hand? Certainly əlaqə (connection, tie, or bond) seems related since people hold hands. Therefore, əlaqəsi olmag (be connected, have a connection with), əlaqəli (connected, related), dostluq əlaqələri (friendly relations), gardaşlıq əlaqələri (links of brotherhood), qohumluq əlaqələri (blood ties, that is, relatives), əlaqə girmək (to get in contact, to get in touch), əlaqəni kəsmək (cut ties), and yaxşı əlaqələri olmaq (to have lots of connections, be well-connected). When you are cut off on the phone you say Əlaqə kəsildi. Also əlac meaning "remedy" could be that remedies are given by hand. Əlavə etmək is to add. Əlbəttə (of course) implies a promise. Əlbir "one hand" means "hand-in-hand" or "together". Əliaçıq is literally open-handed or generous. Əliaşağı "hand down" means short of money or in need of money. Əliəyri "crooked hand" means thievish or dishonest. Əliganlı is literally red-handed. Əlləşmək "to use your hands" means to make an effort, to try hard. Əlverişli is advantageous (you want to be given into your hand) while əlverişsiz means the opposite - disadvantageous or unprofitable (something you don't want to be given into your hand). Finally there is good-bye: Əlvidə!

Verbs and nouns using əl:

əl çalmaq - applaud, clap
əl dəymək - touch
əl vermək - shake hands
əl vurmaq - to touch
əl-ələ - hand-in-hand
əl-ələ vermək - to work together, to cooperate
əl tutmaq - to hold hands or to help
əl yetirmək - to help
əldə etmək - to gain, to attain
əldən düşmək - to become tired
əl atmaq - to undertake (work)
əl açmaq - to beg
əl eləmək - to wave good-bye
əlini üzmək - to lose hope
əldən buraxmaq  - to let go, slip
əldən salmaq - to exhaust
özünü ələ almaq - to have self-control
əl yeri goymaq - to have a way out, a loophole
Əlim gəlmir - I can't bring myself to do do it.
Əl çək! - Leave me alone. Get lost!
əl ağacı - walking stick
əl əməyi - manual labor
əl işi - hand-crafted
əl yaylığı - handkerchief

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tapmacalar

It seems there is a oral tradition (şifahi xalq ədəbiyyatı) of telling riddles in Azerbaijani.You can find books of riddles in Azerbaijan that are not only fun to figure out but are great for building vocabulary. Altun Kitab press publishes a small red paperback with 639 riddles. They are listed by themes such as Bitkilər (plants), Geyim və bəzək şeyləri (clothing and jewelry), and Xörəklər və qida məhsulları (Meals and food products). Look for it in bookshops. Here are some that I have figured out (OK, for some I peeked at the answers in the back of the book). I'll list examples here and answers on the following page. Warning: some are very specific to Azerbaijani culture!





1. Axşam gedər, Səhər gələr.
2. Aləmə işıq salır, Axşam gül kimi solur.
3. Yupyumru fincan, İçi dolu mərcan.
4. Adam deyil, hey qaçir, Meşə deyil, səs salır.
5. Bizim evdə dörd gəlin var, Dördü də bir boy-buxunda.
6. Üzük aldım, qaşı yox, Təpə gördüm, daşı yox, O nədir ki, ağlayır, Gözlərinin yaşı yox?
7. Bizdə bir kişi var, Çoxluca gözu var. 
8. Bizdə bir kişi var, Dörd qıçı var.
9. Bizdə bir kişi var, Qırx iki dişi var.
10. Baxsan onun üzünə, Görünərsən gözünə.


Dilmanc upgrade

Dilmanc version 2.5 is available for download. They also have a new "Metnin səsləndirilməsi" - literally "text's sounding" or "text to speech". It does a really good job of reading out Azerbaijani. Try it! It's quite amazing. As I've said before, no translation software is perfect, but this is the best I've come across for Azerbaijani.
Go to www.dilmanc.az.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Singing - Qızıl üzük

I  am learning to sing "Qızıl Üzük". Here is a session with my teacher. She sings one line, I sing another, then we both sing together.



video

You can find the lyrics and a translation elsewhere on the blog.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Singing - Girdim yarın bağçasına

This is a cell phone video of my first attempt at singing an Azerbaijani song in public. The event was held at my school a few months ago. Students (and me, the one staff person) who are studying music with tutors had a chance to perform. I am accompanied on the piano by my brilliant piano and vocal teacher, Nigar.

I was really nervous! I think it gets easier the more you perform in public. I hope to do another public performance next week.



The words are posted and translated elsewhere on this blog.