Georgian: დათა ყურძენელის წიგნებდან

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by jalu, Jul 16, 2014.

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  1. jalu New Member

    Miami, FL, USA
    Castellano
    Hello wise ladies and gentlemen may I borrow some of your wisdom please. I bought this rubber stamp on a flee market, for me intriguing design and curious if it is a writing on it and which language if any.

    I googled for snake grapes and moon, not found nothing, anybody knows what it is?

    Much obliged. Thank you in advance.

    J.A.U.

    sellogoma.jpg
     
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    It's Georgian letters, mostly anyway. I can make out dz-e-m on the third line at the left, there's t-n-something-b on the right, and if you compare shapes you can see an a and a p. Not all of them are readable letters, but I don't know Georgian handwriting, and can't see enough complete words to start looking them up in dictionaries.
     
  3. jalu New Member

    Miami, FL, USA
    Castellano
    Thanks, that's a good lead, it looks like it Georgian. What a beautiful script, it does look like grapes and vines. This stamp is 3x4 inches big, pretty big stamp and looks very old, a hundred years minimum. It must mean something. I read an article about Georgia in Wikipedia, it says that it's a long tradition in this country to make wines. The Google translator knows Georgian. I asked it to translate "a moon a snake and grapes" and here's what I got: გველი მთვარე და ყურძენი, not sure if it is correct. Google Translator makes pretty bad mistakes in Spanish, I am sure that's the case in Georgian too. The third word here ყურძენი actually looks like some letters on the left hand side, by the snake's back and "და" looks like the first 2 letters on the top line on the left. A seal of a winery? Some kind of a clan, a cult?
     
  4. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    You can also look up the English words in Wiktionary, and open up the 'translations' bar, which gives Georgian forms in both native script and transcription. Your four words are gveli mt'vare da q'urdzeni, which is correct: "snake moon and grapes"*. I looked for them in the inscription but they're not convincingly there, are they? So I'm afraid without a real Georgian speaker passing by, it's hard to guess any more at it.

    * Wiktionary uses j instead of dz, but it's pronounced [dz] in either case. Under English 'grape' it cites qurjnis, which is the genitive of qurjeni (q'urdzeni). I'm guessing this is because the basic Georgian word has the plural meaning "grapes".
     
  5. swintok Senior Member

    English - Canada
    If a Georgian speaker does not stumble across your post, there are a couple of people you might consider contacting for help. There is a Georgian-language newspaper published out of New York called Mamuli (www.mamuli.com). The web site is all in Georgian, but there is a phone number to the editor, who would probably be happy to either help or point you in the right direction. Both the University of Chicago and the University of London's School of Oriental and Asian Studies also have Georgian studies programmes and faculty that teach Georgian. Just Google "professor of Georgian language" and their contacts will come up.

    Good luck.
     
  6. YMOPA

    YMOPA Senior Member

    Repub de Tejas
    Russian
    Here's my 2 cents on this interesting piece: that's Georgian alright, and by the size and the looks it may be a bookplate stamp, a.k.a ex-libris. The best I can make out of the writing is "დათა ყურძენელის წიგნებდან", but it does not make much sense to me. First, is sounds kind of awkward unless it's a dialect that I don't know much about. "ყურძენელი" is not a valid Georgian family name, nor any kind of affiliation reference that I know of, neither to a spiritual group, not to social standing, nor a profession. The "-ელი" suffix points to geographical origin, it may have meant to say "Dat'a from the wine country", something like that. Sort of a nickname based on the origin or a place of residence. I have not seen any mentioning of bookplates in private libraries in Georgia as of 100 years ago, and even 50 years ago it was highly uncommon. I am pretty sure that the snake and the grapes symbol carries no special meaning. It's not a spiritual symbol: Georgians converted to Christianity in 4th century C.E., and been devoted Christians ever since, any remnants of paganism are long lost and completely forgotten. It's definitely not a family emblem: noble families emblems, coats of arms look very similar to European counterparts, clans in Georgia (like Khevsuri, Pshaveli etc) don't feature any symbolics to speak of, so it's not a clan symbol either. Just some artwork.
     
  7. Hulalessar

    Hulalessar Senior Member

    Andalucía
    English - England
    The Georgian script is and was also used for writing languages other than Georgian.
     
  8. YMOPA

    YMOPA Senior Member

    Repub de Tejas
    Russian
    Not quite that simple. There were 3 scripts developed for the language that differed in shape and only in shape of glyphs from each other. This one is called "მხედრული" and had been used exclusively since some 12th century, shortly passing away of the queen Tamari. Tamari used another script for her coins and documents, but then it was 100% mhedruli all over.

    The other way around, before and shortly after first specialized scripts were developed for the specifics of kartvalian languages, they used other scripts to write in kartvalian: Greek-based was first, rarely Armenian and in rare occasions, Arabic alphabet based. Mkhedruli was used till some 18th century to write in some languages of northern Caucasus(Ossetian/Iron first thing), by Pontic Greeks, Russians, Turks, but it never became systematic. I've seen letters written in Georgian with Cyrillic letters, by native speakers born in diasporas who never went to a Georgian school and never learned the native script. They learned to speak in the families but never learned how to read or write in mkhedruli. Across the times, using an arcane script was quick-and-dirty way of taking secret notes: we have tons of documents written in Slavic languages in Arabic scripts, and mkhedruli was one very popular choice for this purpose too.

    But none of this matters in this case because the strucure of the sentence as I read it conforms to syntactic patterns of the "Georgian language" (ქართული ენა). it goes like this:

    დათა ყურძენელის წიგნებდან (dat'a qurdzenelis tsignebdan): დათა is a very common first (personal) name. "ყურძენელი" is morphed after a common form of a Georgian last (family) name from Western Georgia. The ending -ს puts the name into dative/possessive case. Then it goes წიგნ-ებ-დან where "-ებ" is plural and -დან is instrumental, final "ი" from "წიგნი" reduced as it should. Meaning, "Data Qurdzeneli-(by) book-(plural)-(from)", i.e. "from the books of Data Qurdzeneli". Syntactically, grammatically it's legit although, as I said, usagewise, it sounds a bit weird.

    There is twist with the snake subject: with my knowledge of central and northern Georgia, I had no idea that a snake had a place in Georgian folklore. In central, Eastern and Northern parts a snake is just a snake, nothing special with it. But my friend who actually specializes in Georgian studies, she pointed out that in Western Georgia (Mingrelia firs thing), they had/have a whole bunch of parables and fairy tales where a snake acts as a highly benevolent personage: an advisor, a protector, a provider of wealth. This, combined with the fact that the fictitious family name is morphed after Western names, tells me that the person who coined this bookplate comes from the Western parts. She also said that several Mingrelian aspiring poets of late 19th century used the pen name "ყურძენელი", mostly those Lord Byron/Nikoloz Baratashvili wannabes who never made it to the fame...
     
  9. Lounger buddy

    Lounger buddy New Member

    Georgian
    დათა ( Data ) is one of the variations of the name - David ( Dato, Data, Datuna, etc ). As for ყურძენელი, it doesn`t make any sense for me for me as a native speaker. ყურძენი can be translated as - grapes. ყურძენელი is a made up word or a name given to a fictional character.
     

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