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Help with Turkish folk translation!

I've set myself onto the Turkish course, however, it seems it's going to be a over a year before I can do some of the Turkish things i really want to do. One of these things is understanding this song - Abdal - Ervah-ı Ezelde: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR8enIV2GWw

I have deep loved this song for two years now and I still have little clue what they are saying as much as I want to know! I have picked up things like 'heart', 'world', 'ship/boat' but that's it, and feeding it into google translate gives a nonsensical translation. I remember searching for hours and hours for a proper online translation but alas I have been left with no closure.

If there any friendly Turkish duolingers that can help me with a translation? Also, anyone learning Turkish I recommend a listen to this, hear the beauty of the language, even if for now it's just sound to you .

June 5, 2015



even though there are many words i do not know, i translated it.

ervah-ı ezelde levh-i kalemde

bu benim bahtımı kara yazmışlar

bilirim güldürmez devr-i alemde

bir günümü yüz bin zara yazmışlar

when the souls were created, in the frame of the destiny

my fortune was written (determined) as misfortune

i know it won’t make me smile, in this age of the world

one day of mine is written on one hundred thousand dices (it is randomly determined)

Dünyayı sevenler veli değildir,

canı terkedenler deli değildir

insanoğlu gamdan hali değildir

her birini bir efkara yazmışlar

the ones who love the world are not Saints

the ones who abandon themselves are not insane (another translation = the ones who give up on life are not insane)

the mankind is not free from sorrow

each one is written on melancholy (another translation = each one is written on thoughts)

nedir bu sevdanın nihayetinde,

yadlar gezer yarın vilayetinde

herkes diyarında muhabbetinde

bilmem bizi ne civara yazmışlar

what is at the end of the love (what does love brings eventually)

strangers wander in the county of my lover (another translation = dreams are on whereabouts of my lover)

everyone is in their country in love

I do not know whereabout we are written to (where will we be)

olaydı dünyada ikbalim yaver,

el etsem sevdiğim acep kim ne der

bilemem tecelli mi yoksa ki kader

beni bir vefasız yara yazmışlar

i wish my fortune helped me in the world

if I waved to you my love what would others say?

i cannot know whether it is fate or destiny

i am written to an unfaithful lover

yazanlar leyla'yı mecnun kitabın

sümmani'yi bir kenara yazmışlar

the ones who wrote the book of leyla and mecnun

wrote Sümmani on a side (in turkish folk songs, the lyricist mentions his name or pseudonym at the end of the song)


Awesome translation!

The last part:

"Beni bir vefasız yara yazmışlar. Yazanlar Leyla'yı Mecnun kitabın, Sümmani'yi bir kenara yazmışlar".

My understanding of these lines is: "Fate has led me to an unfaithful lover. God who can create legendary lovers - such as Leyla and Mecnun -, had completely different plans for me (Sümmani)."

The way I understand it is that he looks at the love between Leyla and Mecnun and then he looks at his lover who is unfaithful to him, and he figures: "If love in this world is one whole book, then my love is definitely on a different chapter from Leyla and Mecnun's."


Thank you!!! It's amazing how culture also plays such a strong role in understanding, for example I only know the story of Leyla and Mecnun because I guessed it in similarity language wise to be the version I know which is Laila and Majnu. If I didn't know the story I'd totally miss the depth of what he is trying to compare there.


How nice of you and Ektoraskan to try to translate this although it is not so easy for a native speaker even! Impressive! :)


it is really hard to translate even if you know the words because many metaphors are used. Also there is a figure of speech, called kinaye (allusion), used very often in folk songs. Kinaye means referring to two different meanings in one sentence. It is up to audience but usually the poet means both


How interesting! :) Teşekkür ederim


that is very interesting :O


You are amazing thank you for such great effort! I know it's a tough one and probably won't help with Turkish learning for beginners but it is a really, really beautiful song, and looking at the lyrics you've translated speaks even more of it. Beautiful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart :)


its Turkish is really old. I, as a native turkish speaker, can understand 80% of it.


you choise really different song i offer to you listen another song becuse a lot of words on this song dont use by turkish people ,i dont use,


I am learning more for the art and culture rather than to just speak the language, but it probably is a a very difficult song to start with :P


as others said, don't try to understand this song as a learner, even (young) natives don't understand quite a lot of it :)


but it is so beautifuuuuuuuuul, my heart understands it ;)


by the way, folk songs are not really good start for beginners. in folk songs, suffixes of words could be dropped and many rules might be violated in favor of the phonetic structure of the poem


This song is really nice!


thanks to you i have discovered the band, great:)

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