Saturday, April 6, 2013

An Armenian Proverb?

Recently, browsing through a group of old books, as Marash Girl is wont to do, a "business reply mail" envelope fell out of a particularly old Armenian book, an envelope which appeared to be unused, vintage 1960, with a preprinted address for Proctor & Gamble Home Service Group in Cincinnati, Ohio.  About to toss the envelope into the waste basket, Marash Girl noticed  both Armenian and English handwriting on one end of the back side.  

Although she could not read the Armenian script as it appeared to have been tinily and hastily written, she could read the English (which by the way, appeared first, just above the Armenian) and here is what was written.

"It takes a certain amount of strength to bend the twig . . ."

Never having heard this expression before,  Marash Girl searched the internet for its origin, to no avail.  Could you, dear reader, provide the original Armenian, and (perhaps) a context and possible meaning for this apparently Armenian expression, one important enough to write down and keep among the pages of a very old book?


  1. I stumbled upon this by chance, and I'm glad that I did. Anyway,I, too, figured that the person who wrote this must have deemed this aphorism important enough to write it down, just as I find myself doing the same often. So I doggedly tried to break this beloved person's chirographic code, I was unsuccessful of course and felt defeated -- That was yesterday.

    This morning, the first thing I did was to turn on my computer to take another crack at it. My Haigagan blood was churning more feverishly in my veins by now. So I devised a trick of forgetfulness in order to remember. I imagined, for a moment, that I did not know a word of English and concentrated solely on the Mesrop-Mashdots-conceived alphabet instead. After a couple of hours of mental zoom-ins and zoom-outs,I got it: First, the transliteration -- "Gar nayev sirderoo sirdageghek veedjage," which gave rise to this = "կար նաեւ սրտերու սրտակեղեք վիճակը." Next, is the mechanistic translation devoid of any thought-glue -- "There Was, also, hearts' pitiful condition." So, when I chose to anglicize it a bit for cross-cultural relevance, it, more or less, rendered the following meaning: "... pitiful condition of a doleful heart."

    1. Thank you so much for all of your efforts! Apparently two completely different sayings. Wow.

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