Site hosted by Build your free website today!



Provided by David Straub-- Contact at

Homepage News & Weather Maps, Flags, & Currency
Articles Travel Culture, Language
& Ethnicity
Photos News Archives Discussion Groups
Internet Chat Room Message Board

The following is an Ishkashimi language story translated into English. The story was compiled and translated by Sir George A. Grierson and was published as the chapter titled "Ishkashmi Story" in Ishkashimi, Zebaki, and Yazghulami: An Account of Three Eranian Dialects (1920, Royal Asiatic Society, London). Below is an exact reproduction of Grierson's work except that Grierson's transliteration scheme, which was based on Greek characters, has been replaced by Shaw's, a Latin scheme that was published on p. 9 of the above mentioned work. Immediately following the Ishkashimi story is a literal translation that was included in Grierson's work (p. 65-68).

"> Read a description of the Ishkashimi People at the The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire

1. Wak adam fri wak shak.
One man good one bad.
2. Do adam-an safar-an shud.
Two men-they journey-they went.
3. Tsand roz-an shawal shud.
Some days-they road went.
4. I der zunduk shud
His belly hungry became.
5. Nek (or fri) shak-ba ghezd "wak lav gala mum-ba dai."
Good (Good) Bad-to said, "A piece bread me-to give-thou."
6. Shak ghezd, "tu khe tsam kur kun; az tu-ba dayum."
Bad said, "thou thine-own eye blind make-thou; I thee-to I-will-give."
7. Fri khe tsam kift; ts-wádakh-an toghd.
Good his-own eye pierced; from-there-they went.
8. Cand roz sha' wal-an toghd. Wev der zunduk shud.
Some days' road-they went. Their bellies hungry became.
9. Fri ghezd, "wak lav gala mum-ba dai."
Good said, "a piece bread me-to give-thou."
10. Shak. ghezd, "ts-khe sar wak tsam kif; az inga tu-ba
Bad said, from-thine-own head an eye pierce-thou; I then thee-to
11. Ar-vadak tsam kur shud. Shak toghd, fri frin.
Both eyes blind became. Bad went, Good remained.
12. Wak roz ta vuzer núlust. Shab shud. Wak kud aghad.
One day till evening he-sat. Night became. A dog came.
13. Wi dúmb-i nad. Kud wan kutál kul wud. Tar ambi
Its tail (acc.) he-grasped. Dog him leading did took-away. Into a-cave
wan wud za shab shud.
him he-took-away and night became.
14. Cand wakht shukht, wak khurs, wak urk, wak urwes, wak
Some time passed, a bear, a wolf, a fox, a
vaghd aghad. Khurs tsa urwes frut "tu-t kum dza vud?"
night-mare came. The-bear from the-fox asked, "thou-thou what place wast?"
15. Urwes ghezd, "az-im ner tar padsha khan-um vud."
The-fox said, "I-I today to the-king's house-I was."
16. Khurs ghezd, "ciz khabar ast?" Urwes ghezd, padsha khe
The-bear said, "what news is?" The-fox said, the-king his-own
wazir dar ghazab shud. Pa'dsha-na wak udoghd kur shuduk;
viziers in anger became. King-belonging-to a daughter blind has-become;
padsha khe wazira-ba ghezd, "wak tabib áviraw izmuw."
king his-own viziers-to said, "a physician find-ye bring-ye."
17. Urk ghezd, "ai nafam pad'dsha, tu mal dárun wak kabut
The-wolf said, "O foolish king, thy cattle among a blue
vuz ast; agar nakwa vuz aviri I korost zanz i
goat is; if this goat he-finds its skin he-takes her
tsam taza shu."
eyes renewed will-become."
18. Khurs ghezd, "ai tu-t pa'dsha be-fam-at vudak. Ambi sar-dza wak
The-bear said, "O thou-thou king foolish-thou hast-become. The-cave in-front a
sabz cena'r ast. Pi-bun wak kul ast. Tse-rang kur tse
green plane-tree is. Below-it a pool is. Of-whatever-kind blind-man who
vuni wa cenar nasu, khe dust pa kul du, tsa
may-be he the-plane-tree may-grasp, his-own hand into the-pool may-put, from
kul vek zanzu, tar cena'r wan sambu, tsa cena'r zanzu,
the-pool water may-take, on-to the-plane-tree it may-smear, from the-plane-tree may-take,
tar khe tsam sambu, i tsam sinyat shu."
on-to his-own eyes may-smear, his eyes well will-become."
19. Nakwa kur pa ambi tse vud, i gul gap-I shud.
This blind-man in the-cave who was, his all talk (acc.) heard.
Sahar tsa wadak khut nusht.
At-dawn from there he-rose he-went-forth.
20. Cenar vish shud wa cenar nad, khe dust ded kul
The-plane-tree below he-went. He plane-tree grasped, his-own hand put the-pool
darun, tar cenár sambud, tar khe tsam samd. I tsam
within, on-to the-plane-tree he-smeared, on-to his-own eyes he-smeared. His eyes
taza shud.
renewed became.
21. Tsa wadak khut toghd. Tar pa'dsha qúslaq shud. Padsha khe
From there he-arose he-went. To the-king's town he-went. The-king his-own
wazira'w gul kul.
viziers (acc.) assembled made.
22. Tsa waziraw frut, "ner-ba dah roz tamukh-ba quara'r vud. Ner
From the-viziers he-asked, "to-day-to ten days you-to agreement was. To-day
tamukh zanum.
you I-will-kill."
23. Fri ghezd, "e padsha, wak roz miv guna tsa fak
Good said, "O king, one day of-these the-fault from Your-Honour
tilápum." Padsha ghezd, "khob."
I-demand." The-king said, "Well."
24. Fri ghezd, "mum-ba hukm tse shu, padsha, udoghd tsam taza
Good said, "me-to order which may-become, king's daughter's eyes renewed
25. Padsha ghezd, "agar mun udoghd tsam taza kúlut, az tu-ba
The-king said, "if my daughter's eyes renewed thou-madest, I thee-to
26. Fri ghezd, "tu mal darún wak kabut vuz ast, mum-ba
Good said, "thy cattle among a blue goat is, me-to
27. Wa vuz-I zoghd aghad. Kut, i talkha-i zoghd, tar padsha
He the-goat (acc.) took he-came. He-flayed, its bile (acc.) he-took, on-to the-king's
udoghd tsam vust. I tsam sihat shud.
daughter's eyes he-tied. Her eyes well became.
28. Sahar pa'dsha-ba khabar shud, i udoghd tsam sihat shud. Pa'dsha
At-dawn the-king-to news became, his daughter's eyes well became. The-king
khush-wakht shud. Ghezd, "shu wanuw izmuw."
happy became. He-said, "go-ye call-ye bring-ye."
29. Padsha dza-an aghad. Ghezd, "ke udoghd tu-ba dayum, tu khush-wakht
The-king's place-they came. He-said "my-own daughter thee-to I-will-give, thou happy
30. Fri ghezd, "e padsha, tu-t tat, az zus." Khe udoghd
Good said, "O king, thou-thou-art father, I son." His-own daughter
fri-ba dud.
Good-to he-gave.
31. Pa'dsha ghezd, "e zus, tar takht nid." Fri tar takht
The-king said, "O son, on-to throne sit." Good on-to the-throne
32. Tsand roz bad shak aghad. "As-salam alaíkum." Fri ghezd, "alaíkum
Some days after Bad came. "The-peace on-thee." Good said, "on-thee the-peace.
as-salam. Ciz talapi tu?"
What dost-thou-demand thou?"
33. Shak ghezd, "e pa'dsa, khazina-i-ghaib-i tsa fak talápum." Ghezd, "khob
Bad said, "O king, treasure-of-hiding (acc.) from Your-Honor I-demand." He-said, "Well,
shu, shu, wak dza ambi ast. Po wa ambi darun
it-becomes, go, a place cave is. In that cave within
wak khurjin durr ast. Wak sandúq la'l ast. Wan zanz
a sack (of) pearls is. A box (of) rubies is. It take
mum-ba izum La'l sandúq gul mum-ba, durr khurjin gul tu-ba
me-to bring. Rubies (of) box all me-for, pearls (of) sack all thee-for."
34. Khut tsa wadak rawan shud toghd. Shud ambi- (or ghar-) ba,
He-arose from there going he-became he-went. He-went the-cave (cave-) to,
a-toghd. Khe kharuk-ba avul, pomutsuk-ba mus avul; he ciz nus
in-went. His-own eating-for he-obtained, clothing-for clothes he-obtained; any thing not
vud za wadak paida na shu.
was which there manifest not may-become.
35. Shak ghezd, "e Khuda, az-im lev shud? man pa'dsa-ba ussum?
Bad said, "O God, I-I mad became? This king-to shall-I-take-away?
Az khadak kharum nedum."
I myself I-shall-eat I-shall-sit."
36. Shab shud. Khurs, lew, urk, urwesak aghad-an. Apukht-an, tsa var
Night became. The-bear, night-demon, wolf, fox came-they. Listened-they, from the-door
sada aghad.
a-sound came.
37. Urk ghezd, "e khurs, wok ciray pedin. Khurs ciray zoghd,
The-wolf said, "O bear, a light set-alight. The-bear a-light took,
var at kul. Wok adam nulustuk.
the-door open he-made. A man has-sat.
38. Khurs tras kul. Ham-digariy-an keu kul. Urk a-toghd. I der
The-bear fear made. Each-other (acc.)-they trouble made. The-wolf in-went. His belly
kandar kul. Shad mul.
pieces he-made. Bad died.

Literal Translation of the Above

(slightly altered from Shaw's)

1. (There) were (two men), one good (and) one bad.
2. They went on a journey.
3. (They) went several days' road.
4. His belly became hungry.
5. The good (one) said to the bad: Give me a piece of bread.
6. The bad one said: Thou make (thine) own eye blind, then I will give thee (some bread).
7. The good (one) pierced (his) own eye. Thence they went (on).
8. Several days' road they went. Again their bellies became hungry.
9. The good (one) said: Give me a piece of bread.
10. The bad (one) said: Piece the eye (which remains) in thy head, then I will give thee (some bread).
11. Both (his) eyes (thus) became blind. The bad (one) went (on), the good (one) remained.
12. He sat one day on (till) evening. (It) became night. A dog came.
13. He laid hold of the dog's tail. The dog leading (him) took him away. It brought him into a cave and night fell.

14. After a time, a wolf, a bear, a fox, a night-mare came. The bear asked the fox: Thou, where wert thou?
15. The fox said: I was to-day to (at) the king's palace.
16. The bear said: What news is (there)? The fox said: The king has become angry with his Wazirs. A daughter of the king's has become blind. The kind said to his Wazirs: Find a doctor (and) bring (him).
17. The wolf said: Ah! Thou (art) a foolish king. Amongst they flocks (there) is a blue goat. If he brings that goat, (and) takes the goat's skin, her eyes will become (renewed).
18. The bear said: Ah! Thou king, thou hast become a fool. Before the cave (there) is a green plane-tree. At the foot of the plane-tree there is a pool. What kind so-ever (of) blind person (there) may be, (if) he lay hold of the plane-tree, and put one hand into the pool, take (water) from the pool, smear (it) on to the plane-tree, take (it) from the plane-tree, (and) smear (it) on to (his) own eyes, his eyes will become renewed.

19. The blind man who was in the cave heard all this speech; at dawn he rose up thence (and) went out.
20. He went to the foot of the plane-tree. He laid hold of the plane-tree, put his hand into the pool, smeared (water) on to the plane-tree, smeared it on to his own eyes. His eyes became renewed.
21. He rose up thence (and) went away. He went to the king's city; the king had assembled (his) Wazirs.
22. He interrogated his Wazirs (saying): To-day, your ten day's agreement is up (lit. to you ten-day's agreement was). To-day I slay you.
23. The good (hero of the tale) said: O king! I beg (of the punishment of ) their fault for one day. The king said: All right.
24. The good one said: If the order be (given) to me, I will renew (cure) the eyes of the king's daughter.
25. The king said: If thou curest my daughter's eyes, I will give her to thee.
26. The good one said: Amongst thy flocks (there) is a blue goat. Bring (it) to me.
27. He brought that goat (and) flayed (it). He took its gall (and) bound (it) on to the eyes of the king's daughter. Her eyes became cured.
28. Next morning news went to the king (that) (his) daughter's eyes were cured. The king rejoiced. He said: Call (them and) bring (them).
29. They came before the king. He said: If I give thee my daughter, wilt thou be glad?
30. The good one said: O king! Thou (art my) father, I (am thy) son. He gave his daughter to the good one.
31. The king said: O son! Mount on the throne. The good one mounted on the throne.

32. After some days the bad one came. (He said) Peace be with you. The good one replied: And with you be peace. What is thy desire?
33. The bad one said: O king! I desire a hidden treasure from thee. He replied: It is good. Go, in such a place (there) is a cave. Inside the cave (there) is a sack of pearls, (there) is a box of rubies. Take (and) bring them [it] to me. The box of rubies (shall be ) for me, the sack of pearls for thee.
34. Thence he started (and) went. He went into the cave. (There was) foot to eat, clothes to put on, no lack of any thing.
35. The bad one said: Oh God! Have I become mad? Shall I take this to the king? By myself I will eat, I will lie down.
36. (It) becomes night. The bear, the night-mare, the wolf, the fox, came. (They) gave ear (and heard) that a sound came from within.
37. The wolf said: Oh bear! show [light] a light. The bear took (a) light (and) opened the door. (A) person was sitting (there) [lit. person has sat down].
38. The bear felt fear; each invited the other (to enter) [lit. one to this gave trouble.(1)] The wolf entered. He tore [made] his belly [to] pieces. The bad one died.

(1) The expression "to give trouble", "to trouble", is a common oriental idiom for "inviting in", answering to the French "donnez-vous la peine d'entrer'.

This page was posted at the Tajikistan Update by David Straub on December 25, 1998