marineSOLUTIONS

Your Marine Surveyors in the Eastern Mediterranean…


From the Baburnamah [1] (the events of the year 935 [2] ):

Below a passage from the letter of Babur Khan [3] to his son Humayun Khan, 20, and at that time in Kabul. It was written in Chagatay Turkish and in the Emperor’s own handwriting in Agra in India. The letter was delivered to Buyan Shah, the servant of Humayun Khan on Friday, the fourteenth of Rabi’i (27 November 1528)

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The picture: Babur and Humayun with Courtiers (Detail), The Late Shahjehan Album, India, Mughal Period, ca. 1650.

(…)  
Yana men degen dek bu hattlarini bitip sen ve okumai sen, As I asked, you have written your letters, but you didn’t read them over,
ne üçün kim eger okur hayal kisan edi, okuy almas edin. for if you had had a mind to read them, you would have found that you could not.
Okuy almagandin son elbette tagyir berür edin. After reading them you certainly would have changed them.
Hattinni hud tesvis bile okusa boladur, veli [a]sru muglak tur. Although your writing can be read with some difficulty, it is excessively obscure.
Nesr mu’amma heç kisi körgen emes. Who has ever heard of prose designed to be an enigma?
Imlan yaman emes, egerçi hayli rast emes. Your spelling is not bad, although it is not entirely correct either.
Iltifatini ta bile bitip sen. Kulinc’ni ya bile bitip sen. You wrote iltifat with the ta; you wrote qulinjwith a ya.
Hattinni hud her tawr kilip okusa boladur, Your hand­writing can be made out somehow or other,
veli bu muglak elfazindin maksud tamam mefhum bolmaydur, but with all these obscure words of yours the meaning is not entirely clear.
galiba hatt bitirde kahillikin hem osbu cihettindür. Tekellüf kilay dep sen. Os cihetten muglak boladur. Probably your trouble in writing letters is due to the fact that you try to make it too fancy.
Mundin nari betekellüf u revvsen u pak elfaz bile biti. From now on write with uncomplicated, clear, and plain words.
Hem sana tesvis azrak bolur ve hem okuguciga. This will cause less difficulty both for you and for your reader.
(…)  

 


[1] Wheeler M. Thackston, The Baburnama, Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor, Oxford University Press, 1996, New York

[2] 1528/1529

[3] Zahirüddin Muhammed Babür Padisah Gazi (1483-1530), Born to Ferganah, Timurid, Emperor of India

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