An Introduction to the Songs
I commented in chapter 1 about the way I have transliterated Turkmen words in the text and used the Turkmen alphabet in the transcription of the songs. During the translation process I was often challenged by the fact that a number of Turkmen words are used interchangeably, while others have more than one meaning. Translating the words for ‘brother’ provides a good example. Dogan is the most general of the terms for brother and refers to a brother of any age. It is also used by girls to refer to the little son of an older brother. Aga is the word for older brother, but it is also used (especially by girls with no older brothers) to refer to a maternal uncle. Dayy means uncle but is sometimes used to refer to an older
brother. Dide means ‘eye’ and is a term of affection and respect used by girls for their brothers and by women for their sons.