Lezgiblog, reloaded

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Hello and welcome to this blogs’ new home! The posting will be more regular, if not very frequent. Realistically I would expect a new post every two weeks or so.

To all those who commented: thank you for your feedback! It’s really appreciated. I will try to get back and reply to all of you shortly.

Почему не пишу здесь по-русски?

… потому что во-первых, не получается так, как хотелось бы и, во-вторых, не считаю того нужным. А точнее:

1. Признаться стыдно, но надо. Дамы и господа, мой русский никак не на высоте и писать на таком уровне как следовало бы кое-как образованному человеку просто не могу. Искренно извиняюсь.

2. Наличие в рунете хороших материалов по лезгинскому (и другим дагестанским языкам) а также возможности прямого общения с его (их) носителями, подавляющие большинство которых владеет русским языком так, как я никогда не буду, – всё это делает все мои усилия и попытки лишными. Я просто ничего не могу добавить к тому, что уже сказано, написано, настоящими знатоками и носителями живого языка.

Думаю однако, что этот блог и другие мои странички, могут прийти в пользу тем, у кого интерес к лезгинскому языку есть, а знания русского и знакомства с цирилицей- пока нет. К примеру – лезгинам проживающим вне границ исторического Лезгистана (в Турции, США и др. странах). Именно на них рассчитан этот ресурс. Конечно, это не значит, что только и исключительно на них. Может быть и русскоязычны лица найдут здесь что-то интересное.

Если у Вас есть какие-либо предложения, вопросы, комментарии или советы – большая просьба не таить их, а писать :)

New beginning

As you can see, the blog’s address has changed (as a part of my strategy of putting all my blogs in one place), but its contents have not.

Expect new additions soon(ish), as I’ve just found not only a wealth of very useful materials, but more importantly the willpower to move further on.

Learning Lezgi – how do we proceed

A couple words about what are my plans for the immediate future of this blog.

1. How to read Lezgi. This introducton to Lezgi Cyrillic will be continued in small, easily palatable, chunks, each introducing only a couple of letters (first those which are similar to Latin ones, then more uniquely shaped, then digraphs and trigraphs – plenty of them). I’ll try to smuggle in some info about grammar and choose as useful example words as possible – but some randomness of the vocabulary is inevitable. Lezgi sound system is quite rich and it’ll take us some time before we will be able to form meaningful sentences.

2. Lezgi lessons. After we’re done with reading, we’ll start to actually learn the language and not only its script. The lessons will start from scratch and all the info introduced during the script phase will be repeated to keep the material organised. I’ll try to maintain a light tone and to make it as entertaining as possible.

3. Feedback. It’s much needed. For one thing, it’s always good to know what works and what doesn’t, what is explained well and what demands further clarifications. So I welcome any opinions. What’s even more important is that whoever reads this must be aware that I don’t really know Lezgi. I know a bit or two about it, and I can read it fairly ok, but there’s still a lot of unsolved mysteries out there. So, what’s particularly important is feedback from those who speak Lezgi well. I will try to spread the word about this blog among my Lezgi friends, and if you have the opportunity, please do so as well.

4. Regular updates. Don’t expect them. I’ll try to make this blog alive, but can’t promised any regular activity.

That would be it for now. Next time – those Cyrillic letters which look like Latin ones but don’t sound like them.

Introducing Learning Lezgi

This webspace is almost a year old, yet it is only now that I’ve decided to fill it with content. My journey with Lezgi has had its ups and downs (of which I’ll tell you later) thus far, but I hope that now I’m finally back on the right track.

But first things first – you might want to know what is this Lezgi thing I am talking about. After all I can’t assume you’re familiar with it, can I? To put it briefly, Lezgi is a Caucasian  language spoken by over 500k people most of whom live in northern Azerbaijan and southern Dagestan (I think you may want to consult an atlas now). Ah, another thing – ‘Caucasian’ here is taken to mean ‘pertaining to the Caucasus mountain range’  and not ‘white-skinned’, mind you.

Back to the point – it has no relatives outside the Caucasus area, which sort of means it’s nothing like any other language you’re familiar with. Lots of difficult vocabulary, strange grammar, guttural sounds – I kid you not. On the other hand it’s just about the most accessible of its kin – the Lezgis are very helpful and well represented on the Net and the language itself is still less quirky than some of its cousins.

The idea behind this blog is twofold: first, to give me some space to document my efforts to learn it, vent my frustration and cry for help and second, to share a couple pieces of what could pass for facts about the language with the outside world. Expect mini lessons, pontifications about minor grammar points, short translations etc.

I’ll be writting mainly in English and Lezgi (or rather my best approximation of it), but entries in Russian, Turkish or Polish could happen sometime as well.

That’s it for now. Let me finish this post with what for some of you will be the first ever Lezgi word they learnt:

Сагърай / Saghraj! (this means ‘be healthy, be well’ and is used as a farewell or a thankyou in Lezgi)