How to say “How to say it in Lezgi” in Lezgi? Conversational Lezgi II

After breezing through the basic Lezgi courtesies the lesson before, lets now stop by some expressions related to knowledge of languages.

Ваз лезги чизвани? – Do you know Lezgi?
Лезги чIал заз чидач – I don’t know Lezgi
Заз лезги чIал пис чида – I know Lezgi poorly (lit. bad)
Заз лезги чIал хъсан чида – I know Lezgi well
Зи хайи (// дидед) чIал  лезги  чIал я – Lezgi is my native (mother) language

Лезги чIалал зун гъавурда акьазвач – I don’t understand Lezgi (lit. on Lezgi language)
Вун зи гъавурда акьазвани? – Do you understand me?
Гъавурда акьуна – I understood
Гъавурда акьунач – I didn’t understand
Зун ви гъавурда дуьз акьунани? – Did I understand you correctly?
Тикрар хъия – Repeat (please) lit. repetition-do again
За дуьз лугьузвани? – Am I saying it correctly?

Заз лезги чIалал рахаз чириз кIанзава – I want to learn to speak Lezgi
Захъ галаз лезги чIалал рахух – Speak with me in Lezgi
Им лезгидалди кхьихь – Write it down in Lezgi
Идаз лезгидалди гьикI лугьуда? – How do they call it in Lezgi?
Лезги чIалал им гьикI я (жеда)? – Lit. what is it (will be) in Lezgi? ie. How is it called in Lezgi?
Ада вуч лугьузва? – What is he/she saying?
И гафунин мана вуч я? – What does this word mean? (lit. what is this word’s meaning?)

1. лезги чIалал ‘on Lezgi language ie. in Lezgi’ and лезгидалди ‘from the top of Lezgi ie. the Lezgi way’ are interchangeable and have the same meaning. For other languages, just substitute a language name as appropriate (урус чIалал – in Russian;  фарс чIалал – in Persian; поляк чIалал – in Polish etc.)

2. The translations may seem quite direct and even blunt to the average English speakers. In particular, the lack of the word ‘please’ in requests may raise some eyebrows. But its omission is not a mistake. The traditional Lezgi culture, like many other Caucasian cultures, is very egalitarian and not keen on formalities. That is all men are equal to each other and speak directly and up to the point. For instance, in Lezgi, there is no form of polite addrees (like the French “Vous” or German “Sie”).

This is not to say that the Lezgi culture doesn’t value politeness… On the contrary, politeness, respect and good manners  are extremely important, it’s only that they are displayed in general behaviour and not necessarily in using flowery (often meaningless) words.

An illustrative anecdote read at a Caucasian forum:

Q: “How do you say ‘please’ as in ‘could you please bring me a cup of tea’ ?”
A: “In our culture and society, there’s a strict hierarchy. Everybody knows who should bring tea for whom. We don’t need words for that.”

4 thoughts on “How to say “How to say it in Lezgi” in Lezgi? Conversational Lezgi II

    • I’m glad you like it and I agree there’s something to it. I really like Caucasian mentality, even though my own is quite different :)

  1. Igrami Peter,
    Kyune kxizva(You write):[For instance, in Lezgi, there is no form of polite address (like the French”Vous”or German “Sie”).Kuyn duyz tush!(You are wrong!)

    Lezgi chIala,Kyu(n) raxazvatIa Kvez chin teyiday kasdix galaz, ya taxhaytIa, Kvelay yashdiz chIexidax galaz,Kuyn Kyu(n) luhuz raxada adax galaz-If you speak to a person you have never seen before or a person is older than you are, you should speak to that person using Kyu(n) (like the French “Vous” or German “Sie”).

    Kvez madni agalkiunar!

    • Thank you for this comment. I was told that while the distinction you write about is used by some Lezgis, some other people consider it an influence of Russian ty/vy distinction and alien to the typically Caucasian straightforwardness. I think at some point I would pose an open question to my Lezgi readership and ask for their opinions on the matter.

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