Xani’s classroom : El Qitt’etu fî behrii recez-il mettwîyy-îl mexbûn

Posted on January 16th, 2008 by piling

nubar1.jpg

As I had to write about the “Nûbar”, I’ve found funny to translate it and even to transform firstly in a French-Kurdish kexicon, and then in an English-Kurdish one. Then non-Arab speakers, Kurds or not, could have a more accurate idea of how was a rhymed dictionnary written for children in 1683 by a Kurdish sheikh. As his pupils would be between 1-12 years, the vocabulary is clear and simple, easy to memorize and it shows a pedagogic talent from the teachers’ mind.

“When the veils of the Accidental are raised, it’s a great delight ;
The heart leaves the prison of sorrow, the nightingale of the rose garden rejoyces.

Mufte’îlun mefa’îlûn, mufte’îlûn mefa’îlûn
Rajaz is beautiful with a elusion and when the fourth foot is mute

What are man and woman ? Mêr and jîn, zewcet is wife.
Father is bab and mother is da, and brother is bira.

Son is kur, daughter is keç, father-in-law is xezûr, the paternal uncle is mam.
Aunt is met, turban* is shash ; what is grand-mother ? pîreda.”

*We logically wonder what ‘s this turban doing between aunt and grand-mother. Well, Khanî put open an “intruder” in a lexical field when he wants to stress “false friends” or “false cousins” words. Here, “turban” aka ’emame in Arab is included to be distinguished from “aunt” ’emmet.

“Payment is kirê, guarrantee is gerew, loss is ziyan and lie is derew.
To sell is firoshtin, to give is dan ; what is kirrîn ? tu buy.”

Shoulders are mil, heart is dil
What are joy and happiness ? Shahî ; to die is mirin, to cry is girîn.

Cow and donkey are ga and ker. What is ban ? Roof, and door is der.
Forehead is enî, mouth is dev, face rihin, and the new is neba.

Corn is genim, barley ceh, nectarine shilîl, vineyard rez.
Xurme is pear, grape is tirî ; Let’s sell : bifirosh ! The price is beha.

Shîr is milk, cattle is pez, yaourt is mast, cream : to.
Wool is hirî, plum perr, yellow is zer, kevî* clothes;

* for the Arab “qeba”.

Let’s learn wind and ba, dust and toz*.
*(Follow six Arab terms related to dust).

Fear is tirs, and noise deng ; birûshk storm and astonishment bêhishî
Knowledge and science are ‘elamet, sorrow is xem*

*Khanî translated “besse” by xem and mentioned also that it means eshkera in Kurdish : clear, obvious, seen .

Lie is direw, curdled milk is dew ; what is goose ? qaz and partridge qew.
Belt is kinar, canal cû, air, weather, hewa.

Gold is zêr, silver is zîv*.
What is sifir ? copper ; paxir alloy, brass, and tin qela.

*Here again a lot of Arab synonymous for 2 Kurdish words. We should remember that it is a lexicon to learn Arab and not the more Kurdish words as possible. Moreover, the linguistic level in Kurdish, contained in the Nûbar, shows that Khani’s young pupils not only spoke very well their mother language, but also wrote and red it perfectly. So let’s remind us this obvious fact : in 1683, teaching in Ottoman Kurdish schools (kuttabs) wa bilingual. Kurdish was taught during 3 or 2 centuries, until its banishment by Turkish Republic. So, if there was a lack of culture and civilisation in Kurdistan during all the 20th century, it was not because of Kurds and a failing of their own history : Barbary was imposed to them, from a foreign rule.

“Much, a lot of : gelek ; there li wê, here li hêr.
No is ne, for us: ji bo me ra ; if : eger, lamp : çira.

Where : li ku ; how : kuwe ; under : li bin, on : li ser.
Let’s know that behind is ji pashê wî, you are : tu yî, for us : li bo me ra.”

For reading more about the history of schools and madrasas under Ottoman empire in Kurdistan.


Posted in Culture, History, North Kurdistan | Leave a comment

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