Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2004 (12.3)
Page 89


"Hello" in 29 Languages

The Internet is full of tutorials, dictionaries, and materials for learning English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and other well-known languages; but if someone wants an introduction to one of the lesser-known languages such as Azeri, it's still quite difficult to find material, especially for Russian speakers.
That's why for the past year and a half, Dmitri Lovermann has been developing a his free time to introduce some of these languages in Russian. "Some languages are dying out, and one of the best ways to revive them is to publish materials about them," he says.

Photo: Dmitri Loverman

Dmitri is a university student in Prague, Czech Republic, who majors in Economics and Information Sciences. Dmitri's itinerary around the world via languages represented on LINGVISTO includes: Albanian, Armenian, Assamese (India), Aymara (South America), Basque (Spain), Cebuano (Philippines), Cherokee (USA), Cornish (UK), Czech, Danish, Farsi, Greek, Hungarian, Jamaican, Karachay-Balkar (Caucasus and Central Asia), Macedonian, Ojibwa (Canada), Punjabi (India), Quechua (Peru), Samoan, Serbo-Croatian, Sesotho (Botswana), Slovakian, Somali, Tagalog (Philippines), Tamil (Philippines), Toki-Pona (an artificially constructed language, which was developed by Sonya Kisa somewhat along the line of Esperanto), Turkish. One of the most recent additions is Azeri.

Dmitri got the idea to create a section devoted to Azeri this past spring after visiting, Azerbaijan International magazine's Web site dedicated to the Azeri Language and Contemporary Literature. "I only wish that every language had such a large selection of ethno-linguistic articles," said Dmitry after discovering the "Sociolinguistically Speaking" series by Jala Garibova and Betty Blair that is included under the heading LEARN AZERI. The articles provide social context for some of the more common expressions, which are spoken in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Dmitry describes how useful the material was for him. "There I found well-structured, informational and interesting articles about the Azeri language and culture. Russian speakers [living outside of Azerbaijan and Russia] often don't have the opportunity to get to know this culture and language. I want to help with the solution."

The "Sociolinguistically Speaking" articles published in Azerbaijan International magazine are available at and now include 16 articles, related to everyday situations. The articles are written in English with Azeri phrases, and provide excellent supplemental language learning material for those who are serious about mastering Azeri. The articles deal with topics such as: Greetings, Introductions, Leave-taking, Apologizing, Euphemisms, Taboos, Offering Advice, and more.

On his own initiative, Dmitri translated the English explanations into Russian for the first article in theseries, "Saying Hello". In the future, he hopes to expand the Azeri section. He also has created an equivalency table to show the sound value of each Azeri letter in the new modified Latin alphabet as it relates to the Cyrillic letter in Russian. It was the computer that fostered Dmitry's love for languages, especially when his family bought a computer and got connected to the Internet. That's when he discovered a gigantic world and realized that there was so much information out there that he was not able to understand. "I love to listen to languages and often spend time listening to music in Turkish, Greek, Arabic and other languages just to hear how beautiful the languages sound," he says.

Dmitri knows five languages. His mother tongue is Russian. He speaks Czech as a student in Prague, and he also knows English, German and Esperanto.

Visit Dmitry's Web site at You won't need any exotic fonts, including Azeri, to read or print off his pages. If you want to say "Salam" to Dmitri, contact him at:

From Azerbaijan International (12.3) Autumn 2004.
© Azerbaijan International 2004. All rights reserved.

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