The Lezgi language - lesson 2

Welcome to the second ever Lezgi language lesson !

I seriously hope that you have survived my first lesson in good mental and physical condition. If so, let's proceed and learn one of the most useful phrases ever - Заз чидач [I dunno] - be prepared to use it very often. But first, some notes. The structure of this lesson is somewhat different from the first one (three silly dialogues in place of one) and only the words you encounter for the first time are translated. Now, if you really are using this to learn something, please, tell me what do you think about all that (structure, explanations, dialogues, material etc.). Yes, I am begging you for feedback. Enough, let's get going.

1a. First of the three short and silly dialogues.

- Салам Масуд стха !

- Салам чан Мансур ! Ви кефер-гьалар хъсан яни ? 

- Гзаф хъсан я, ви чан сагърай. Вун гьикI я ?

- Зунни пис туш. 


Масуд, Мансур - Lezgian masculine names; чан - soul; кефер-гьалар - lit. pleasures-states; хъсан - good, well; гзаф - very, a lot;
ви чан сагърай (or simply сагърай) - lit. let your soul be healthy ie. thank you; гьикI - how ; -ни - also, too ; пис - bad;


1b. Second of the three short and silly dialogues

- Пётр, ваз вуч чIалар чида ?

- Заз Полякни, Урусни, Фарс чIал чида.

- Лезги чIални чида, тушни ?

- Анжах са тIимил.


Пётр - Polish first name ; ) ; ваз - to you(sg.) ; чIал - language ; чида - know ; Фарс - Persian ; тушни - isn't it ? (tag question); анжах - only; са - one ; тIимил - little ;


1c. Third of the three short and silly dialogues

- Квез чидани, Самир гьина ава ?

- Ваъ, чаз чидач, амма адаз чида.

- Самир гьина ава ?

- Зазни чидач, пакамаз ам ина авай, гила ина авач. 

квез - to you (pl.); гьина - where ?; ава - there's ; чаз - to us ; чидач - know-not ; амма - but ; адаз - to him/her ; пакамаз - in the morning ; авай - there was ; гила - now ; авач - there isn't;


2. Notes and explanations.

- Words чан and стха are used with personal names to make greetings more friendly-sounding. The former corresponds in meaning to the English "dear".  

- кефер-гьалар, literally "pleasures-states/moods" is an idiom used in asking about someone's well-being. For more similar expressions see the conversation section.

- Note the correspondence between the following groups of words: гьикI "how" икI "this way" акI "that way" ; гьи "which" and already known и "this" а "that"; or гьина "where" ина "here" ана "there". See the pattern ? 

- Remember that -ни, when glued to a verb is a question marker. When added to a noun/pronoun it can mean "and", "too" or "also". Зунни means thus "me, too".

- The first verb (not counting я, because it is not a full verb) you encounter is "чида" [know], a quite peculiar one. What you should remember is that a) чида, like all the Lezgi verbs doesn't inflect for person (ie. has one form, regardless of who is doing the knowing, so to speak) b) it takes noun/pronoun in the Dative (see below) to mark "the knower" and in the Absolutive (ie. basic form) to mark what is known. 

- The Dative form is used roughly when in English you'd say "_to_ someone/smth", but has also many other functions (for a description of some see this). It's characteristic ending is . Later you will learn how to create the Dative form of a noun, the personal pronoun forms are заз 'to me' ваз 'to you (sg.)' адаз 'to him/her' чаз 'to us' квез 'to you(pl.)' абуруз 'to them'.

- Лезги чIални чида, тушни ? - the subject of this sentence, ваз, is not expressed, but easily understood from the context. Such situation is very typical.

- тушни - is a little word you add to the end of the sentence, just like English "isn't it" (note that it is even composed the same way) or German "nicht war"

- Most of the verb forms are negated by adding to their end (but you already know that я behaves differently). чидач therefore means "don't know". 

- ава is a verb meaning "to be (in some location)". As such it corresponds to the English "there's". Note that a) again, it doesn't change for person ("where _are_ you?" is thus "вун гьина _ава_ ?") and b) it forms past tense by adding . The latter observation will be very useful in later lessons.


3. A task. Write the following in Lezgi (who knows, it could come in handy): Where am I and who are you ? Who are you ? Don't you know who I am ? What is this thing ? Aaaarghh !!!  


4. Bonus question. Another Lezgian verb, кIанда, meaning "to love" behaves exactly like чида. That is Dative marks the loving one, Absolutive - the beloved. Do you know how to say in Lezgi: "I love you, but do you love me ?"


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