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Archive for the ‘About me & my blog’ Category
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.
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)