Conversational Lezgi I

As you can see my approach here is a bit ecclectic (in plain language: I’m doing a little bit of everything), taking “shots” at Lezgi from various angles – grammar, writing system, dialects… What I feel has been missing so far was essentials of real, useful, daily conversation. True, I have written about a couple of expressions elsewhere on my website, but it would be good to repeat some of that here (adding new stuff, of course). So, today I give you the most basic basics:


Хийирар – These two greetings are appropriate for any time of day. First of them may carry a bit of religious undertone, but it is more popular than the second.
Пакаман хийир
Сабагъ хийир – Two ways to say “Good morning”. First of them is purer Lezgi.
Абатхийир - Ways to answer the greetings above
Салам - More casual (but still polite) greeting

Хвашгелди – Welcome


Сагърай - A much-used word, can mean “thank you” as well as “goodbye”. Literally, means “be healthy”.
Сагъ-саламат хьуй (хьурай)! - “Be healthy and sound” another farewell greeting.
Гьелелиг - “So long”, a more casual farewell.
Хъсан рехъ хьуй (хьурай)! – “Have a good way (home)”, said to the person departing
Геже хийирар – “Good night”
Хийирар Аллагьди гуй! – “Let God give wellness” – answer to the above
Some other things you may want to say:
Чун акван хъийида – We’ll see each other again
Чун рикIелай алудмир – Don’t forget about us (lit. don’t take us down from your heart, a very poetic Lezgi idiom).
X-з саламар це – Pass my regards to X


Вавай … хабар кьадай ихтияр авани? – Can I ask you….?
Багъишламиша, квез ….чидачни? - Excuse me, do you (lit. don’t you) know….?
Багъишламиша, ихтияр аватIа … – Excuse me, if it is possible…
Вахъ са тIалабун ава заз - I have a request for you
ГъвечIи тIалабун – (I have a) small request
Четин туштIа …. – If it’s not difficult…
ЖедатIа, … / Эгер жедатIа, … – If it’s possible…


Чухсагъул / Баркалла / Сагърай – Ways to say ‘thank you’
Вазни сагърай – Thank you, too.
Лап рикIин сидкъидай чухсагъул – I’m thanking you from the deep of my heart
Фикир гунай чухсагъул – Thank you for your attention
Куьмек гунай чухсагъул – Thank you for your help
Пишкеш гунай чухсагъул – Thank you for your gift
Теклиф авунай чухсагъул – Thank you for the invitation


Багъишламиша – Excuse me / Forgive me
ТIалабда, зун багъишламишун – I beg (ask) you to forgive me
Багъишламиша, зи тахсир я – I’m sorry, it’s my fault
Инжиклу авунай багъишламиша – I’m sorry to disturb you
Багъишламиша, ваз  хъел гъиз кIанзавачир – I’m sorry, I didn’t want to upset you
Хъел къвемир! – Don’t be angry!
Зи тахсир ина авач – It wasn’t my fault!

Any questions? Comments? Requests for the next instalment?

12 thoughts on “Conversational Lezgi I

  1. Hello!I has just started learning this language.And I’m looking forward to the continue of your lezgi lessons started on your site. I’m sure that such way of teaching is the best one.

    • Thanks / Спасибо / Сагърай

      Can I ask why have you started learning Lezgi? Are you Lezgi yourself?
      Можно спросить почему Вы стали учиться лезгинскому? Вы сами – Лезгин?
      ЖедатIа лагь ман, вучиз лезги чIал чириз гатIумна вуна? Вун Лезги яни?

      • I’m not Lezgi, I’m Azeri. Caucasian languages and Lezgi in particular always attract me . And learning it is a chance to realize my dream about mastering one of the Caucasian languages.Frankly speakingç I think that Lezgi chIal is the easiest language of North Caucasus.
        Я не лезгин, я азербайджанец. Кавказские языки и лезгинский в частности всегда привлекали меня. Поэтому изучение его это шанс осуществить моб мечту о владении одним из кавказских языков. Откровенно говоря, я считаю лезгинский самым легким языком Северного Кавказа.
        Mən ləzgi deyiləm, mən Azərbaycanlıyam.Qafqaz dilləri mənim marağımı cəlb edirdilər. və Ləzgi dilini öyrənmək bu diləyimi gerçək etmək üçün bir fürsətdir. Düzünü desək, mən Ləzgi dilini Quzey Qafqazının eb yüngül dili sanıram.
        Зун Лезги туш, зун Азербайжанви я. Анжах заз Лезги чIалал рахаз кIанзава.

  2. (can’t find time to reply in 4 languages)

    Oh, I see… I’ve never met any Azeri (apart from those with Lezgi spouses) who spoke or learned Lezgi. Do you have anyone to practice with?

    As for your judgement on ‘easiness’, I think I agree from the point of view of the grammar – it’s simpler than for instance Avar or Lak or Tsakhur. But the dialectal differences, while not big enough to hamper communication between native speakers, make learning difficult. I often had an impression, for instance on the language forums, that everyone’s Lezgi is a bit different and that was a bit confusing. Of course similar situation exists with other Caucasian languages as well, so I guess that your point stands…

  3. It may be caused by not enough knowledge of their language orthography.You might have known that the VAST majority of Lezgis using Internet hasn’t got their education in Lezgi.They learn how to write correctly only after getting adult so it can be explanation of unknowledge of this dialect.

  4. You are very right about the low level of knowledge of Lezgi orthography among the Lezgis themselves.

    Another factor at play is that dialects differ between themselves on many levels. For instance, the ending of inelative case (‘from a place’) is ай in literary Lezgi but агъ in many dialects spoken in Azerbaijan. When I first noticed forms like вун гьинагъди ава? (where are you from?) I wasn’t sure of their meaning – because of the different ending I thought it is not a form of гьина (where) but a different word and couldn’t find it in dictionaries.

  5. In literary Lezgi it will be sth like вун гьинайди ава?
    I think there two difficult points of Lezgian grammar:cases and verbs.I’ve read somewhere that there are more than 20 grammatical tenses in Lezgi.Is it true?And are there many prefixes in it(like in Russian)?

  6. I think in literary Lezgi it should be вун гьинайди я? (I will post later on differences between я, ава and other Lezgi verbs meaning ‘to be’).

    As for the tenses, yes, I think that there are around 20 forms of each Lezgi verb. These are not necessarily ‘tenses’ though, as some of them are used only in particular types of clauses or only in combination with other verbs, some have adverb-like meaning (sth. like ‘when doing’) etc. There are verbs with directional prefixes, similar to the system found in Georgian or in Slavic languages, but their number is limited. There’s also a great number of participles, that is, forms created from verbs, but playing the role of nouns or adjectives in the sentence.

    What I find the most difficult is the syntax of the complex compound sentences. It seems counterintuitive at times. But even simple sentences can be challenging – for a long time I’ve been saying зун шад хьана for ‘I was/became happy’, but recently I read that шад хьун is one of the verbs demanding subject in the dative case (заз шад хьана would be the correct form). I searched and it seems that both versions can be found in actual usage – I don’t really know what to make of it.

    It’s the issues like this which make Lezgi a difficult language to learn, even if we accept that by Caucasian standards it is not that complicated.

  7. You you should make changes to the blog subject title Conversational Lezgi I | Lezgi language to more specific for your content you write. I enjoyed the blog post however.

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