Thursday, January 29, 2015


I have been reviewing the mughams that I have learned so far. I decided today to try to record a bit of mugham (without actually having my face online!) This is my first attempt - the first cümlə of Zil Bayati Şiraz. If followers find this interesting I'll record some more.

This video was recorded on my old Q2 Zoom recorder, which I use for all of my kamancha and singing lessons. It is a real boon to musicians who learn music by ear. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new Q4 Zoom Video Recorder... 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Idiomatic expression

This is a funny thing to say. Popular with older people. It literally means - We didn't die but we have seen this day! When something surprising happens that you didn't expect - good or bad - you can say this. Ölmədik, du günü də gördük!

But, how to express this in English?

Sənin bürcün nə dir?

I had a conversation about birthdays today. Azerbaijanis are fond of astrology, so they always want to know your sign. Here is some vocab for all things astrological...

Qoç bürcü

Buğa bürcü
Əkizlər bürcü
Xərçəng bürcü
Şir bürcü
Qız bürcü
Tərəzi bürcü
Əqrəb bürcü

Oxatan bürcü
Oğlaq bürcü
Dolça bürcü
Balıq bürcü

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I'm making my first attempt to learn a teeny-tiny bit of mugham - not on the kamancha! - but sung!

Very interesting. Here are the words, but do I understand it?

Sung between the first and second stanzas of "Gözlərimin işığı".

Mən səni indi də, görəndə inan,
Gözümdə yaş donur, bədənimdə qan.
Könlümü vermişdim sənə bir zaman
Könüldən qiymətli de? Nə verəydim.

Now I see you and I believe,
A tear in my eye, my blood freezes.
Once I gave you my heart
Tell me at what cost? I gave it.

Well, that is a dog's breakfast at the moment. Someone help me makes sense of this!

Monday, January 19, 2015

More lambs...

Another offer on the lamb front:

Mən sənə mələməmiş quzu kesərəm!

Yox dur? Mən kesmirəm!

Can you translate? The picture is a clue.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dovşan kimi?

OK, people really liked the dovşan posting, so I asked around for a similar expression. Finally, thanks to a colleague I found another:

"Sənə quzu kesərəm!"

Now if you said this in English it would be very strange indeed - I will cut a lamb for you! It means, I would sacrifice a lamb for you. That is, you are so sweet I would do something very special for you. My colleague says it is the sort of thing that grandparents would say to their grandchildren when they do something nice.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Küçələrə su səpmişəm - the full version

Ages ago I posted the first stanza of this song because of Eurovision. It occurred to me now that I am singing it again the the full version should be online. Here it is:

Küçələrə su səpmişəm,
Yar gələndə toz olmasın.
Elə gəlsin, elə getsin,
Aramızda söz olmasın.

I have thrown water into the street,
My beloved is coming, so there must not be dust.
Let her come, let her go,
But let there not be words between us.

Samavara od salmışam,
İstəkana qənd salmışam.
Yarım gedib, tək qalmışam,
Nə əzizdir yarın canı!
Nə şirindir yarın canı!

I lit the samovar,
I put sugar in the glasses.
My love has left, I am all alone,
Such a dear, my love!
So sweet, my love!

Samavara alışdırın,
Maşa verim qarışdırın.
Yarım mənnən küsüb, gedib,
Onu mənnən barışdırın.

Light the samovar,
Let me give you this iron bar, you can mix the kindling.
My love was sulking and left,
Please help us to reconcile.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Eat rabbits?

Yenidə sualım var...

This is the second time that someone has said to me - Ay səni dovşan yesin!

OK - so this is definitely not advice to eat a rabbit!

This was a helpful comment:

If it is an idiom, then it is likely to express "mildly", with humor, approval or admiration towards the other party because of its some words, deeds and the like; and word by word translation doesn't mean advice to eat rabbits but a wish to be eaten by a rabbit.

Anyway, apart from the grammar of the thing, it is obviously an idiom. It was a popular song in 2014.

I get the "good" message of this idiom, but how to express it in English? Literally would it be "May a rabbit eat you!" That is, I think, you are so good, kind, etc. that a little rabbit would love to eat you?

Also other colleagues have said that the compliment is that a rabbit eats slowly - he will enjoy eating you for such a long time!

In English I think that the closest idiom we have is: "I could just eat you up!" It's the sort of thing you say to small kids because they are so sweet.

Am I getting closer?

I did some more research - OK, I just asked my taxi driver. He said that the response to this would be:

"Saxlasın axşam yesin! Əgər vaxtı olmasa, bişirsin indi yesin!"

"Let him keep you until the evening to have you have you for his supper! But if he doesn't have time, let him cook you now and eat you."