Annadurdyyeva Aygul1, Geldimyradova Gulalek1
1Magtymguly Turkmen State University, Lecturer in the Department of English Stylistics and Grammar

This article examines the translation of the Turkmen poet Magtymguly Pyragy's works. The article highlights Shengeli's significant contribution to translating Magtymguly's poetry into Russian, offering valuable insights into his methods and emphasizing the complexities involved in literary translation.

Keywords: literary translation, Magtymguly Pyragy, poetry translation, translation, Turkmen literature

Category: 10.00.00 Philology

Article reference:
Annadurdyyeva A., Geldimyradova G. The masters who created the translation school of Magtymguly's poetry // Modern scientific researches and innovations. 2024. № 2 [Electronic journal]. URL:

View this article in Russian

The immortal poetry of the great poet has been translated into various languages of the peoples of the world and today it has a rightful place in the minds and hearts of those who know the true value of poetry. As a result of the work of the translators who directly participated in the translation of the poems of the classic Turkmen poet Magtymguly, it is still an urgent task to investigate the features of the translation of the poems in the published books. Most of the poets and professional translators who translated Pyragy’s works into Russian are mentors who successfully completed work not only in artistic translation, but also in poetry and other branches of science. Among them G. Shengeli, A. Tarkovsky, S. Ivanov, M. Tarlovsky, Y. Gordiyenko, Y. Neyman, N. Grebnyov, T. Spendiyarova, V. Ganiyev, A. Krongauz, Y. Valich, A. Starostin, N. Lebedev, L. Penkovsky, T. Streshneva, A. Revich, S. Botvinnik, A. Zyrina and others worked hard to spread Magtymguly in the Russian language. Analyzing the results of the translators mentioned here based on the principles of translation theory and practice will allow us to reveal the specific features of the translation of Magtymguly’s poems into Russian.

Georgy Arkadyevich Shengeli, a Russian poet, translator, critic, philologist and literary man, is one of the great contributors to spreading the works of Magtymguly to the public in Russian. Among those who translated Magtymguly into Russian, his name deserves to be mentioned. He was born in 1894 in the family of a lawyer. His own passion drives him to work as a translator. In 1919, G. Shengeli began to work as a translator.

For more than 30 years, G. Shengeli has worked diligently and tirelessly, translating more than 140 thousand lines of his poetry into Russian. Among his most famous translations are: The Complete Works of George Gordon Byron (63,000 lines); The works of Emil Werharn (he translates most of them); Two works by Victor Hugo; Voltaire’s two tragedies; a large collection of poems by the great Magtymguly Pyragy; a one-volume collection of the famous Estonian poet Johannes Barbarus; A smaller collection of Heinrich Heine; Turkmen dessans “Yusup – Ahmet” and “Shasenem – Gharyp” (he translates the latter together with N. Mukhina); Lesya Ukrainian’s poem “Robert Bruce”; Ivan Kochershin’s tragedy “Song about Bokal”, Abulkasym Lahuti’s poem “The Magician of Happiness” and some of his lyric poems.

It should be noted that G. Shengeli showed great skill in translating Magtymguly’s poems into Russian. Analyzing the features of the translation of some of them will allow us to give clear examples of this. ” Azadym kany?” In translating the poem, G. Shengeli tried to achieve the content of the original copy, for example:

Şekerlikden zäher boldy sözlerim,

Zagpyran dek sargarypdyr ýüzlerim,

Kuwwat gitdi, gubarlandy gözlerim,

Münberim azany – Azadym kany?


Стали речи мои словно горький дурман,

Пожелтело лицо у меня, как шафран,

Пал на очи мои непроглядный туман,

Где алтарь мой, где мой образец – Азади? [3, 40]

G. Shengeli points out the following about the situations that arise when using subtle types of translation: “If it was always possible to create such examples, then the fundamental problem of translation, that is, translation is actually a “creative work or not?” the question would never arise. The translated text of the work must be similar to the content of the original” [8,12]. That is, the equivalent expression of the content of the original text in another language testifies to the achievement of a high level of translation art. No matter how good a translator is, it is not always possible for him to achieve complete similarity between the original and the translation. For this reason, ensuring that the translation is as close to the original as possible is a major task for an experienced translator. G. Shengeli addresses the examples from his experience of translating Magtymguly’s poems, raising the issue of rendering artistic characters and comparisons equivalent in meaning. Emphasizing that similar content can be created in the translation based on the meanings given in the dictionary of the translated language, the expert translator emphasizes the importance of free research to express the meaning characteristics of the words. It also proves that the line-by-line translation method that was widely used in the early days is unreliable.

Noting that it is an important task to translate lines of poems depending on the context, G. Shengeli shows that it is possible to translate the poems of French, Italian, Turkmen and other authors written in beyt and yamb. In the translation of Magtymguly’s poems, he says that since the original version does not correspond to the melody of the Russian language, it is necessary to preserve its harmony and coherence. G. Shengeli explains this situation by the lack of equal-syllable poetry forms. The outer form is only the basic foundation of the poem. Rhyme harmony is the complex intonation and emphasis used in monosyllabic rhyming lines that are characteristic of each language. Therefore, the condition of “joints being numerically compatible” can be interpreted as a rule of thumb. For example, the author uses the six-step iambic form of the capyal meter in the translation of the twelve-syllable French poems, the five-step iambic in the translation of the eleven-syllable Turkish poems, and the Georgian “shay-rini” (both “high” and “low”) harmony and it shows that it is convenient to use an eight-point chord. As for the line measurements of the poem, G. Shengeli used “ghazal”, “mohammes”, etc. and it notes that it is even more difficult to translate poems written in octave form. However, with dedication and hard work, even such complex problems can be solved. Regarding the matching of the number of lines of the poem in the original text and in the translation, he pays attention to the need to fully follow the instructions that help to overcome certain difficulties with the harmony of secondary lexical units.

G. Shengeli’s creative approach to the translation of poems, considering the features of the original, determines the legal dimensions of translation work, and even in our days, this attitude has not lost its relevance. This teaching of a master translator is an invaluable asset in training future generations of skilled translators. G. Shengeli can be recognized as one of the founders of the school of translating Turkmen literature into Russian. Directly directing the effective implementation of the translation work, he founded a school of skilled professionals. And he prepared a worthy generation to continue the work he started, the first of whom is the name of Arseny Tarkovsky.

It should be noted that Arseniy Tarkovsky occupies a worthy place in the world of poetry created in the Russian language. Indeed, if we turn to the period of Arseniy Tarkovsky’s life, then we find that his poetry is a link between the so-called “silver age” and that period in the history of poetry. Although younger than Anna Akhmatova and Marina Svetaeva, Arseniy Tarkovsky maintained a friendly relationship with them. He managed to incorporate the traditions of the poets of that generation into his work.

The poet is known as an excellent translator of Abu-l-Ala-al-Mari, Nizamy, Magtymguly, Kemine, Sayat-Nova, Vaja Pshawela, Adam Miskevchi, Mollanepes, Grigol Orbeliani and many other poets.

One of the next famous masters is Sergei Nikolayevich Ivanov (1922-1999), a poet, scientist-turkologist, candidate of philological sciences, who translated many works from Turkic languages, including Magtymguly’s poems into Russian. Scientific works of S.Ivanov are devoted to the stylistic cases in the Turkish language. In them, the scientist expresses his theoretical views on the general problems of the philology and stylistics of the Turkish language. Among the successful works of S. Ivanov, one of the most famous works of the 11th century is Yusup Balasagunly’s “Kutatgu Bilig” book, as well as Alyshir Novai, Magtymguly Pyragy, Hafiz Khorezmi, Munis, Kamil Khorezmi, Birata Talyby, Hatamtai, Chary Afzal, Imameddin Nesimi, Meshrebi, translations of Muhammad Babir, Hussein, Yunus Emre can also be mentioned.

Despite the variety of creative styles, poetical features and skill levels of the translators who translated Magtymguly’s poetry into Russian, their work is a priceless treasure. They did a great job in spreading the immortal poetry of the great Pyragy and his leading, deeply humanistic ideas to the world.

Translations of Turkmen classical literature into the languages of various nations were performed at a high level of skill. A unique school of translations into Russian was created. Magtymguly Pyragy’s poems shine as a spiritual lamp for readers of other countries.

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