Translating the Kara Jorga song

Қара Жорға (Qara Jorga) is a popular dance song in Kazakhstan. You can see a great “traditionalized” version made by Kazakhs in China below:

So watching this on TV recently during the spring Nauruz holidays, I decided to try and translate it. I’ll talk more about the song in another post, but first I want to talk about the translation itself.

Translating Kara Jorga

Since I’m not fluent in Kazakh, when I say I translate I mean that… I study the song, knowing some words but still confused on the details. Then I look up individual words and phrases. Next I check my translation against Russian versions online for similar meanings. And finally, I transliterate the Cyrillic into letters you can understand, and shorted my long phrases (e.g. “If there’s no black-horse-dance, will the dance be fashionable?”) to something that better fits the tune.

Definitely an imperfect science, and I welcome corrections! But I hope this helps you understand the song a bit better! Below are lyrics in English and Kazakh:

Қара Жорға Лурики
Translation of lyrics for Kara Jorga

Qara jorga bolmasa / beedin sani keler me?
Qos etek koilek kimese / qizdin sani keler me?
Al qanekei joldastar / bireuin shiq toi bastar
Toi degende deidi-eken / domalaidi qu bastar

Without it, is the dance in style?
Without flouncy dresses, are girls beautiful?
Come, my comrades, leave your someone
Start the party, move around, you guys!

Al halayiq beelender / beelenizder suigenmin,
Basingizdar shattanip / qara jorga biyine
Qossin barliq beinege / qan tarasin denege
Qara jorga bolmasa / toidin sani keler me?

Now people, dance with your loved ones
Gladly nod your heads and dance,
Bring it on, let the blood rush,
Without the dance, is the party fun?

Qara jorga oinandar / qoi dece de qoimandar
Qos jurektin shattigin / del osilay toylandar
Kele bermes ingaiga / del osilay kun qayda?
Oynanizdar jamagat / bilenizder mundaida

Qara jorga, play it now. If they say “stop,” don’t you stop!
Two hearts’ gladness, just this way
When else comes such a perfect day?
Play it, people, dance it right here!

Shaldar jurse shattanip / janarinan ot janip
Bee beelesin maidanda / kempirine maqtanip
Kempir jursin kenkildep / aq jauligin jelpildep
Shaldarina koz qisip / bee beelesin selkildep

Old ones go gladly, light fire from fire,
Dance on the lawn, with pride in your wives.
You old women, hoot with laughter,
Dance, you wives, wink at the old men.

Beele jengem beelegim / mina toydin guli edin
Agalardin qalayda / dir-dir etkiz juregin
Salauatti agasy / azamattin sarasy
Beelep jatkan silsildap / kelinshekterge qarashy

Dance, my sister, our feast’s flower
Set the uncles’ hearts a-tapping
Exalted brother, best of men
The dancing young wives, look at them

Beele beele jigitter / janin turgan umitter
Shiqqaninsha toqtama / mandaiyinnan tuniq ter
Beele kyzdar buralip / sauik sayran quratip
Jaulasin bir ot sezim / jurekterde surapil

Dance, you boys, hopes of our hearts,
Don’t stop when your head starts to sweat
Dance, girls, turn and curve and swirl
Rivals light fire, at fierce hearts (?)

Kizdar solai mazdasin / jurek kilin qozgasin
Korgen kezde jigitter / talip tuse jasdasin
Gashiqtarda til qatip / jurekterdi jir qatip
Kyz ben jigit qosilip / beeleu degen bir bakit

Girls light up, turn our hearts’ strings
Seeing them, you guys may faint
Lovers speak and hearts stop speaking (?)
Guy and girl join in happy dance

Beele beele suluyim / qanday gazhap kuluin
Sirtildasin sausagin / bilqildasin buinin
Anau turgan boijetken / suikimdi edi au-oi netken
Talailagan jigittin / jurekterin soyletken

Dance, my beauty, with lovely smile
Stretch your fingers, loosen your joints
The ready girl, how sweet she is
All the guys fall in love with her.

Qara jorga bolmasa / beedin sani keler me?
Qos etek koilek kimese / qizdin sani keler me?
Al qanekei joldastar / bireuin shiq toi bastar
Toi degende deidi-eken / domalaidi qu bastar

Without it, will the dance be fashionable?
Without flouncy dresses, will the girls be beautiful?
Come, my comrades, leave your someone
Start the party, move around, you guys!

2 Comments

  1. Hallo.
    Ich bin kazachien lebe in BRD, seit über 40j.
    Wir leben unsere Sitten und bräuche, haben hier in München unsere kazachische Verein.
    Zu jeder Fest u.Hochzeiten tanzen wir klein und groß “kara-jorga”.
    Kara-korga-Tanz ist ein Volkstanz das von Europäischen und Kazachen in der Türkei (mehr zahl leben dort)getanzt wird.
    Gelenk Tanz(auf kazachisch”buvun”Tanz), gesund/glücklich werden Tanz oder auch Shamanen Tanz genannt.
    Im Kazachistan wurde zur Sowjetunion zeit verboten,seit ca.10 j.wieder belebt.
    Am 25.3.17 ist unser Nauvruz/Frühlings Fest in Nürgberg u.am 26.3.17 in München da Tanzen wir kara-jorga.
    Wenn sie interresse haben schreiben sie mich an gerne schicke ich ihnen Einladung.
    Mit freundlichen grüßen
    Shadkam Dinay

    • Dinay, thanks so much for writing! I am glad to hear Kara Jorga is being danced in Germany, and that you are living in Germany. Best — Cee

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*