Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Yeni İliniz Mübarək! Sualım var...

It's New Year's Eve. Yeni İliniz Mübarək!

I'd like to start off the new year with a few odd questions for my Azerbaijani readers.

Apparently it's the Year of the Horse. Some sites online say the "green" horse, some say, even more strangely, the "wooden" horse. Maybe that can account for this image.

Here are a few more images. My first question is - why are Azerbaijanis so fond of Chinese astrology? (Or maybe they aren't, that my impression is wrong.) But an Azerbaijani friend came to have Christmas dinner and said it was auspicious that we had fruit in every course - since it was the Year of the Horse (and horses eat apples). Any other lore about the Zodiac or this particular year would be welcome.

 Other questions that have come up recently...

What do Azerbaijanis say for see-saw? Several dictionaries gave the word yelləncək. But this is a general term, as I understand it, that can be applied equally to swings and related playground equipment. A friend told me that a see-saw in particular is called a yer üstü yelləncək. But another person said that this was not a word in Azerbaijani, and would that make a swing a yeraltı yelləncək? OK, now things are getting rather complicated here. To make matters worse, I contacted a friend who grew up in the rayon. He says that they called it kil-miko oyunu. Huh???

I did a search on Google Translate and it said that it is taxta üzərində yırğalanma, which looks promising to me, since it refers to rocking rather than swinging. This more properly describes a see-saw, or as we also called them when I was a kid, a teeter-totter. (The first is a British usage, the second is North American). Both English language terms refer to the rocking motion of the device. Apparently see-saw is a direct Anglicization of the French term ci-ça - this-that, which again describes the motion. The term teeter-totter is derived from a Norfolk language word tittermatorte. Both terms are examples of "reduplication", where a syllable is repeated, but with a different vowel. It is commonly used for words that describe repeated activity. I wonder if this could be applied to the Azerbaijani way of repeating the same syllable as in - gəzə-gəzə or qaça-qaça.

As one travels through the USA, the names change to tilting-board, dandle-board, ridey-horse, and hickey-horse. Which leads me to my next question - what do Azerbaijanis call a rocking horse? Google Translate says it is sallanan at. Another question for the Year of the Horse!

On a totally different note, does anyone out there know the correct Azerbaijani for the opening part of Mahur Hindi - is it Bərdaşt? Also, is the later part spelled Qərai or Qərayi?

This is the official listing I found in Vikipedia:

1.    Bərdaşt
2.    Mayeyi – Mahur
3.    Üşşaq
4.    Hüseyni
5.    Vilayəti
6.    Şikəsteyi – fars
7.    Əraq
8.    Qərai

However, I am playing 10 parts with these names:
1.    Bərdaş
2.    Mayeyi – Mahur
3.    Üşşaq
4.    Hüseyni
5.    Vilayəti
6.    Şikəsteyi – fars
7.    Mübariqə
8.   Əraq
9.    Qərayi
10. Mahura ayaq

Happy New Year! I am off to play some music. I eagerly await responses!

1 comment:

Alef Noon said...

Hi Colleen,

I will try to answer some of your questions (I think you know more about muğam than I do so, can't help with muğam questions. I can't answer your son sual either.)
Let's start with chinese astrology. I don't know how much my fellow countrymen are fond of chinese astrology but I do know azeris in general tend to be more religious or less secular than many Americans or Canadians. People (not everyone of course) take astrology, divination, and religion more seriously in Azerbaijan than in America and Canada. So, that fondness you write about might be connected to that attitude toward supernatural.
As to see-saw and other kinds of related objects I would say azeri language may not have the exact word you are looking for. I personally don't know any other word except yelləncək for see-saw (and other similar objects). If you find one, please post the word; I would to love learn that new word (ditto for rocking horse). By the way, you offer interesting observation about redublication in azeri but I think you may find more correct examples than gəzə-gəzə (in which vowel ə does not change). Here are few examples for you. Would you mind finding their meaning? 1) kağız-kuğuz. 2) arıq-uruq. 3) qara-qura. 4) gədə-güdə. You can also find words in azeri where only consonants change but the vowels of word repeat. Examples: 1) Uşaq-muşaq. 2) səbəb-məbəb. 3) söz-möz.
And finally, Sizin də yeni iliniz mübarək! Neçə-neçə belə illərə çıxasınız.