The Lezgi language - lesson 1

Welcome to the first ever Lezgi language lesson !

I hope that pronunciation of all those throaty Lezgi sounds is not a secret to you. If so, we can proceed. The main topics of first lesson are - personal and demonstrative pronouns (ie. nice little words such as "I, you, we" and "this, that"), and also simple nominal sentences with the verb "я" (to be). You'll learn to say what nationality are you and what's your name. You'll also be able to ask questions about such thing, or, месела (for example) nod your head while taking a closer look at Azerbaijan and say "Аман, им демократия туш !" (Oh my, this is not a democracy !). All of these in Lezgi.

1. Short and silly dialogue

- Салам алейкум !

- Ва алейкум салам ! Вуж я вун ? Вун Лезги яни ?

- Ваъ. Зун Лезги туш. Зун Поляк я. Куьн вири Лезгияр яни ?

- Эхь, чун вири Лезгияр я. Ви тIвар вуч я, Поляк гада ?

- Зи тIвар Пётр я. Куь тIварар вучар я ?

- Зун Самир я, ва абур зи дустар я: Арифни Муса.

- И руш вуж я ? Лезги яни ?

- Гьелбетда, ам зи вах я, адан тIвар Цуьквер я.

салам алейкум - lit. peace to you (from arab.) hello, hi - an usual greeting;
ва алейкум салам
- an usual answer to "салам алейкум", the meaning is the same

вуж - who ?; я - to be (present tense); вун - you (sg.); Лезги - a Lezgi;
-ни - question-forming particle; ваъ - no; зун - I; туш - not to be (present tense);Поляк - a Pole
куьн- you (pl.); вири - all, everyone; эхь - yes;чун - we; ви - your (sg.); тIвар - name; вуч - what ?
гада - boy; зи - my куь- your (pl.); ва - and; абур - they, those; дуст - friend;
дустар - friends; Самир, Ариф, Муса - masculine proper names;-ни - and;  и - this;
руш - girl; гьелбетда - of course; ам - he/she/it/ that one; вах - sister;  адан - his/ her;
Цуьквер - feminine proper name (lit. "flowers") 

2. Notes and explanations.

- What Lezgi lacks. Lezgi has no articles, no grammatical gender (e.g. ам means both "he" and "she"), and Lezgi verbs don't inflect for person (e.g. я can mean any of the following: "am/ are /is") 

- What Lezgi has, among other things, is difference between singular and plural "you". One uses вун only with regard to one person and куьн for more people (or, in polite speech, to one person, too). See also that each of these two "yous" has a possesive adjective of its own (resp. ви and куь

- The nominal sentence. The way to say "X is Y" in Lezgi is "X Y я" (e.g. Самир Лезги я). The same pattern is used when saying "I am Y" or "You are Y" ( Зун Лезги я; Вун Лезги я )

- Quite possibly, you're now tired of saying that you're Lezgi. Some names of other nations: Поляк (Pole), Урус (Russian), Табасаран (Tabasaran), Азербайжанви (Azeri), Гуржи (Georgian), Дарги (Dargin), Авар (Avar), Яхулви (Lakh), Эрмени (Armenian). If you wish to keep your nationality in secret, you can use the more generic word дагъви (mountaineer)

- Sometimes you can be mistaken for someone else. Here's how to react. The pattern for "I am not X" is Зун Х туш (e.g. Зун Урус туш, зун Лезги я). Like я, and all the other verbs, туш doesn't inflect for person. Useful phrase to remember: Им четин туш, им асант я (it's not difficult, it's easy). Remember the phrase им асант я (it's easy) and repeat it anytime you're stuck with learning.

- The demonstrative pronouns 'this' - им (pl. ибур) and 'that' ам (pl. абур) when used with a noun lose the ending and become respectively и and а (и руш 'this girl' а гада 'that boy'. ам and абур are also used as personal pronouns, that is with meaning "he/she/it" and "them" respectively.

- The yes/no questions are formed by adding a particle -ни to the verb (when added to the noun this particle means "and"). Месела (e.g.): Вун Лезги яни ? - Are you Lezgi? Such questions are answered by saying  эхь or more colloquially ун to mean 'yes' or ваъ to mean 'no'.

- Let's oversimplify things a bit and say that plural in Lezgi is formed by adding: -яр to nouns ending in vowel, -ер to one-syllable nouns having "e" "и" or "уь" as their vowel, and -ар otherwise. There are more detailed rules, but let's leave them until later. For now note that words вуж "who" and вуч "what" have their plural forms (вужар and вучар) too. 

- Posessive pronouns are: зи "my" ви "your(sg.)" адан "her/ his" чи "our" куь "your(pl.)" абурун "their"

- More words to practice with: буба "father"; диде "mother"; хва "son"; руш "daughter"; стха "brother"; вах "sister"; чIехи буба "grandfather"; баде "grandmother"; хтул "grandchild"; халу "uncle(maternal)"; ими "uncle(paternal)"; хала "aunt(maternal)"; еме "aunt(paternal)"; паб "wife"; гъуьл "husband"; кицI "dog"; кац "cat"; машин "car"; кIвал "house"; затI "thing"

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