Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tavlu at 474 Lowell Avenue!

King Dude found the backgammon in the basement of the summer house. . . Can we play backgammon, Ama?

Okay, his grandmother replied.  She taught him the game, the moves, and proudly reported to her daughter that evening that she and Iffar had not only played backgammon, but that Iffar had won the game!

What?  asked her daughter.  You didn't teach him Tavla?  You didn't teach him the numbers the way Grandpa Peter and Uncle Paul shouted them out?  Shesh Besh?  Du Shesh?  How could you?

So Marash Girl had some undoing to do . . . a major linguistic teaching job lay ahead of her.  That language that belongs only to tavlu for Armenians from Marash.  Are you ready for the lesson?

1-1... Hep yek 
2-1... İki bir 
2-2... Du Bara 
3-1... Se Yek 
3-2... Sebar i Du 
3-3... Du Se 
4-1... Cehar ı Yek (Jehar i yek)
4-2... Cehar i Du  (Jehar i du)
4-3... Cehar u Se (Jehar u se)
4-4... Dort Cehar  (Dort Jehar)
5-1... Penc u Yek (Penj u Yek)
5-2... Penc i Du  (Penj u Du)
5-3... Penc u Se (Penj u Se)
5-4... Beş Dört   (Besh Dort)
5-5... Dü Beş   (Du Besh)
6-1... Şeş Yek  (Shesh Yek)
6-2... Şeş i Du  (Shesh i Du)
6-3... Şeş ü Se (Shesh u se)
6-4... Şeş Cehar (Shesh Jehar)
6-5... Şeş Beş  (Shesh Besh)   The favorite of all for the kids!
6-6... Dü Şeş  (Du Shesh)

Marash Girl remembers the day she and her sister and brother and cousins took out a pencil and paper and recorded those numbers on a piece of paper, and stuck the paper inside of one of the tavla sets so they would never forget.


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