About Azerbaijan

Page in progress–I’ll keep adding to this/adjusting as I find things!

Azerbaijani Language

A note on the language: if you have a background with Turkish, Turkmen, or something similar, you have a great head’s start on Azerbaijani! My linguistic knowledge of Turkish is minimal–I knew just enough to get by when I was abroad–but I find myself comparing my resources between Turkish and Azerbaijani on a regular basis.

Lyrics Translate – Azerbaijani. Aside from being an amazing translation site for music around the world, there is quite the collection of Azerbaijani lyrics and music videos.

Elementary Azerbaijani (2nd Edition; 2012) by Kurtuluş Öztopçu. If you’re serious about investing time and brain power into learning Azerbaijani, this is the perfect book for that. 1) It’s the ONLY formal textbook I was able to find, but 2) It’s well-written, easy to navigate, and accessible. Click here for the book’s official website, but I bought mine from Amazon.

Azerbaijani Vocabulary, 9000 Words (2012) by Andrey Taranov. Words, words, words! Vocabulary is divided by theme (e.g. “Food and Drink,” “Education,” and “Commonly Used Adjectives”). Unfortunately, there are no recordings to hear the pronunciations, but it’s still a handy resource. I found mine on Amazon.


Azerbaijan History

Azerbaijan Diary by Thomas Goltz. Mr. Goltz was a reporter in the Caucasus in the early 1990s and witnessed the tumultuous transition of the region as it struggled to find political and historical identity after the fall of the Soviet Union. He provides fantastic, first-hand insight about this period in Azerbaijani history, and I found this to be a helpful resource while I applied for Fulbright. For more information, click here.


Azerbaijan Culture

Every Culture – Azerbaijan. General survey of Azerbaijan’s culture. Click here to read.

wwi TV – Azerbaijan. Links to TV stations, some based in Azerbaijan, a couple from the States. Take a look here!

Azərbaycan Musiqisi Kino. Great for language study and to see the scope of Azerbaijani filmography. There are three parts, each about 25 minutes long: Part One; Part Two; Part Three

O Olmasın, Bu Olsun (Film version, 1956). A movie version of the operetta by the great Uzeyir Hacibeyov (c. 1911). It’s a satire of tradition and how people grapple with changes in their culture. You can find brief information here (Azerbaijan International, “O Olmasın, Bu Olsun”); and watch the entire movie on YouTube (“O Olmasın, Bu Olsun, 1956). For fun, I’ll add the English translation of the libretto (“O Olmasın, Bu Olsun” PDF).


Other Blogs

From the Land of Fire (2007-Present; Peace Corps volunteer)

AzerbyJake (2010 – 2012; Peace Corps volunteer)

South of Russia, North of Iran (2013-2014; Fulbright ETA)

Salam Sumgayit (2014-2015; Fulbright ETA and one of my peers!)

Land of Fire, City of Winds (2014-2015; Fulbright ETA and one of my peers!)

Azerbaijurnal (2015; Fulbright Scholar)

Expat Edna – Baku Archives (2012; Journalist)


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