Here you will find most of what you'll need for a most basic conversation with a Lezgi (if you ever meet one, that is). This page will grow, of course.

The greetings

The most basic way of greeting someone in Lezgi is by saying "салам" [salam] which means "peace" (the answer to which is "салам" too). More formally, you may say "салам алейкум" [salam alejkum] (which is answered by reversing the greeting, ie saying "алейкум салам" [alejkum salam]). If you meet more than one person you may well say "салам виридаз" [salam viridaz] that is "hello to everyone". In case someone called on you, you express your happiness by saying  вун хвашгелди! [vun xwashgeldi] (welcome !), or better yet  вун атуй, рагъ атуй [vun atuj, ragh atuj] (you came, sun came)

The forms of address

For most of the time knowing a person's name will work, there are however situations when you have to aproach and address someone you don't know at all. Calling him 'a friend' from the very beginning sounds like reasonable survival strategy to me... if you needed to use it, the Lezgi words for 'friend' are дуст [dust] (pl. дустар [dustar]) and хванахва [xwanaxwa] (pl. хванахваяр [xwanaxwajar]). There's also a quite cordial form of address usable when your interlocutor is not your elder (ie. if he's your age or younger) - дуст-кас [dust kas] (lit. friend-person). Alternatively, you may call a closer acquaintance your "brother" which in Lezgi becomes стха [stxa] (pl. стхаяр [stxajar]). Living in the feminism era I woudn't dare to omit some ways to address women. "sister" is вах [vax] (pl. вахар [vaxar]) in Lezgi and this is what you can say addressing a woman. Another kinship terms used when addressing people are даха [daxa] (used for men) and баха [baxa] (used for ladies). If you want to be even more courteous, you may want to use such words as  играми [igrami] and азиз [aziz] (which both mean "dear" and have to be followed by a noun). In more formal setting you may use the word  гьуьрметлу [hurmetlu] (respected). Another option is to precede the name of your friend with the word чан, [chan] which on its own means "soul" but is used before names as a sign of friendship. Another thing which may be put before a name (or any of the address-words listed in this paragraph) is a simple я [ja] serving the function similar to English "hey" used when catching someone's attention.

The good-byes

The commonest way of biding farewell is that of saying сагърай [saghraj] (this means "be well" and is used also in the sense of "thank you" (another way of saying "thank you" is сагъ хьуй [sagh xhuj]). You can also express your wishes regarding the well-being of the other person by saying something along the lines of  Ви кефер-гьалар хъсан хьурай [vi kefer-halar qhsan xhuraj] (roughly: let your mental and physical state be well)  or Сагъ-саламат хьухь [sagh-salamat xhuxh] (be well and healthy). That would be it for a start (or, an end, actually). 

The inquires about health and welfare and how to answer them

If you didn't say "good bye" immediately after having met someone, you have to engage in at least some conversation with him. Asking how the things are is a good start, ain't it ? You can make your inquiry in several ways. First and most basic one is by asking Вун гьикI я ? [vun hik' ja] (how are you?), or you can say Вуч хабар ? [vuch xabar] which means "what's new ?", it'd however be problematic if you used it with someone you don't know at all. Ви кефер-гьалар гьикI я, [vi kefer-halar hik' ja] is a quite formal, general inquiry about someone's mental and physical welfare, Вуна вучарзава ? [vuna vucharzava] (how are you doing) does the same but on less formal level. If you're convinced that everything is ok you may just ask for confirmation - Ви кефер хъсан яни ? [vi kefer qhsan jani] (are you well ?)... That would be about asking, but that's only a half of the exchange. Now for the answers... the most basic ones are Пис я [pis ja] and Хъсан я [qhsan ja] (the former means "I'm bad" or "things are bad" ; the latter you use when everything is developing nicely). And if you wanted to say something far more elaborate you may try the following. Сагъ хьуй, зи кефер хъсан я, вуна хабар кьурла лап хъсан хьана, [sagh xhuj, zi kefer qhsan ja, vuna xabar q'urla lap qhsan xhana] which in plain English would be "Thank you, I am well and felt even better when you asked"

The requests and being polite

There are at least two ways of saying 'please' in Lezgi. The one you use when suggesting or offering something (as in English 'please, do come in' or 'here you are') is буюр [bujur] ('please come (in)' is actually ша буюр [sha bujur]).  The other one минет хьуй [minet xhuj] reads 'let there be the favor' and is used when requesting someone's assistance or answer.  


Apart from the thankyous given above (ie. сагърай [saghraj] and сагъ хьуй [sagh xhuj]) there's also an oftenly encountered word чухсагъул, [chuxsaghul] a Turkish loan also meaning 'be well' and also used as 'thank you'. In any case, the use of 'more Lezgi' forms is encouraged. In case when emphasis is needed you can use гзаф кьван сагърай [gzaf q'wan saghraj] (thanks a lot)


The simplest way of apologizing is by saying багъишламиша [baghishlamisha] (forgive!). If no real harm was done this can be answered with машат авач [mashat avach] (there's no harm ie. it's ok)

Promises & Expressing hope

At times you'll feel the need to promise someone your help (or maybe you will be offered the same). There are two expressions which may come in handy in such occasions: иншалла [inshalla] (lit. if God wishes so), known to the whole Muslim world and a Lezgi one - Аллагьди рехъ гайитIа [allahdi reqh gajit'a] (lit. if Allah gives way) Their usefulness lies in that at the same time they express your hope of bringing things to happy end and they stress the fact that it's not your personal efforts but God's will that really matters. In other words, in case of failure, you're excused :)

The typical personal inquires (and how I would answer them).

Вун Лезги яни ? Are you a Lezgi ?
Ваъ, зун Лезги туш, зун Поляк я No, I am not Lezgi, I am a Pole.
Вун гьинай я ? Where are you from ?
Зун Польшадай я I am from Poland
Ви тIвар вуч я ? What is your name ?
Зи тIвар Пётр я My name is Piotr
Вун гьина яшамишзава ? Where do you live ?
Зун Варшавада яшамишзава I live in Warsaw
Ви яш гьикьван я ? Ви шумуд йис я ? How old are you ?
Зи къанни пуд йис я I am twenty three years old
Вун Лезги чIалал рахазвани ? Do you speak Lezgi?
Эхь, рахазва / Ваъ, рахазвач Yes, I do / No, I don't
Вна гьина кIвалахзава ? Where do you work ?
За мад кIвалахзавач, за Варшавадин университетда фарс чIал кIелзава. I don't work yet, I study Persian at the Warsaw University

Lastly, but not leastly - The most useful phrase you will ever need.

Заз вун гзаф кIанда [zaz vun gzaf k'anda] - As you have surely guessed, this means "I love you" in Lezgi (actually "гзаф" means "a lot, very much", so the exact meaning is "I love you very much")

As a side note I may add that I used this phrase myself in the most apropriate circumstances and it was for the first time I said such a thing... 

Of course Polish translation immediately followed.

If you have enough of being polite, go here
If you want to see my main page on the Lezgi language here it is

I owe this page, as I owe everything, to K.D. , whose smile makes the impossible happen