Mobile menu

Story by Nasreddin Hodja in English
Thread poster: Anna Lorenz
Anna Lorenz
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
Nov 14, 2003

I am desperately looking for the English text of story #166 by Nasreddin Hodja (Arabic: Mulla Nasrudin, German: Nasreddin Hodscha). The German title of the whole book is "666 wahre Geschichten" (666 true stories?). The story is about a stubborn donkey. Hodja drives him with the help of ammonia nitrate...

Thank you.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:27
English to Hindi
+ ...
Resource: Also Mulla Nasruddin Nov 14, 2003

Please see

http://www.sufis.org/shahworks.html

and also

http://www.google.co.in/search?q=Idries%20Shah&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&meta=

Quite probably, Idries Shah should be able to help.

Roomy Naqvy


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Yup, Mulla Nasrudin... Nov 14, 2003

You should be able to find it in one of the following books by Idries Shah (the other stories are equally excellent):
-Caravan of Dreams
-The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin
-The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin
-The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin
Shah is the main translator of these stories into English. Since these stories are mostly orally communicated and regional variations exist, you may find some differences in the story you want if it was translated from Turkish whereas Idries Shah is Afghani. I'm sure the story will be enjoyable all the same
You should be able to buy these books on Amazon.
Have a nice weekend, Anna and Roomy.
Aisha


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
That's fascinating, Tayfun Nov 15, 2003

I had no idea that there was a "real" Mulla Nasruddin; I always believed him to be just a folk literature hero. Maybe he is the one that the stories are all based on and then they were orally transmitted into other languages!
I have read (nameless) "Hodja" tales too and they are obviously the same stories.
By the way, "Mulla Nasruddin" is how he is known in central and south Asia; his Arabic alias is "Juha", who incidently figures in some popular phrases and sayings too. I don't know if this happens in other languages though. He may also have other aliases in other cultures!

Aisha


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:27
English to Hindi
+ ...
Wonderful Nov 16, 2003

Dear Tayfun,
That's wonderful information.
Roomy


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:57
Member
English to Turkish
You really didn't know that Nasreddin was a historical personality? Nov 16, 2003

He represented the Anatolian peoples responding with humor and irony to the overwhelming Mongolian invasion in the 13th century, hence he became a symbol of humorous wisdom vs. power and irrational brute force. But he was also an element of the Anatolian response against orthodox Islam and sharia, as represented by his -most probably imaginary- closeness to Mevlana (better known in the West as Rumi). For those interested, the website of the Turkish Ministry of Culture could provide still more context, as well as a better understanding of why Nasreddin's beloved companion was a donkey, but not a horse:

www.kultur.gov.tr/portal/kultur_en.asp?belgeno=5573


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 14:57
Bosnian to French
+ ...
Nasrudin Hodja in Bosnian Nov 16, 2003

Nasrudin Hodja exists in Bosnian and in French as well.

He did exist and I think that he was burried in Konya (Turkey), but we don't know if all stories about him were true or made up afterwards.

Said


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:57
Member
English to Turkish
His burial place is in Akşehir, Konya, Nov 17, 2003

where stands his shrine. As a homage to the ironical sense of humor he represents the shrine has a very strong, impenetrable gate, but no walls. In fact, the expression "Nasreddin Hoca's shrine" has entered the language to signify situations or things that make an overstated show-off about security, but are truly vulnerable.

Akşehir is also the seat of annual Nasreddin Hoca festival, where each year the person who has contributed best to the pursuit of "humor" (be it in the area of theater, fiction, comics, etc.) takes over his "kavuk" (an ancient headpiece worn by men of learning).

[Edited at 2006-03-04 14:02]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Anna Lorenz
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Learning from each other Nov 17, 2003

I am really fascinated about your answers and would like to thank all of you for your contributions. I am happy that posting a request always results in such interesting comments from all over the world. I think we can only benefit from these questions, discover new things and learn from each other. It is wonderful to share one's knowledge with other people, thank you once again.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 14:57
Bosnian to French
+ ...
Wisdom of idiots - a fool is he fool or are we all fool? Nov 18, 2003

Xola wrote:

He represented the Anatolian peoples responding with humor and irony to the overwhelming Mongolian invasion in the 13th century, hence he became a symbol of humorous wisdom vs. power and irrational brute force. But he was also an element of the Anatolian response against orthodox Islam and sharia, as represented by his -most probably imaginary- closeness to Mevlana (better known in the West as Rumi). For those interested, the website of the Turkish Ministry of Culture could provide still more context, as well as a better understanding of why Nasreddin's beloved companion was a donkey, but not a horse:

www.kultur.gov.tr/portal/kultur_en.asp?belgeno=5573



Indeed,
Nasrudin Hodja was and still is a reference for me, as far as islamic mysticism and wisdom is concerned.

What I admire in his sufism/wisdom is the simplicity and the purity of the soul, universalism and justice.

For those who don't know what is this wisdom or philosophy all about I can try to explain briefly. It is all about refinding the true state of soul, the come back to the divine, trying to "refind" the peace, the nirvana, kind of soul's nostalgy ... trying to "remember". According to this philosophy based purely on the deep faith of Islam, if humankind is desperately trying to "re"create its wellbeing in this world, it is because the soul "remembers" where it comes from (i.e. the Divine) and "knows" how perfectly beautiful was to be part of the Divine itself or its environment. Sufis don't seek to "re"create it materially but spiritually either by meditating, by praying or by performing "cosmic" dances (which consist in turning round and round just as all planets, satellites, and other bodies, until a state of trance is reached).

Briefly, imagine a circle. The center of that circle is the divine/God. All around that center you can find different religions, faiths, who actually all belong to one and only divinity/God, but which are different by their tradition or interpretation. It is as if you took a diamant reflecting the light by sending the rays in all directions; the light being actually the Divine/God and the rays of light belonging to the same source (God).
Sufism is trying actually to get rid of the differences which divide religions, thus doesn't want to be around the center in the circle, but as close as possible to the center of this imaginary circle. Purily the contact between the soul and the divine.

This is very well illustrated in some stories with Nasrudin Hodja (Mullah Nassr Addin) as the following:

Case one (concerning the veil): -One day it was decided that Nasrudin had to marry a woman who he had never seen before, because she always wore a veil. He was in situation of forced marriage. So they got married and when they arrived at home, he had the privilege to discover for the first time her face. She was unbelievably ugly! Hideous! So she asked him: "Tell me my dear husband. In front of whom may I show my face and in front of whom do I have to hide it?"
And he answered: "My dear wife, you can show your face to anyone you want. Anyone. But please, when I am in front of you wear the veil, hide your face!"

Case two (concerning polygamy): -Nasrudin Hodja had two wives who he loved both very much. But one day the two wives wondered if he however had a preference for one or another. So they decided to ask him. He, of course, answered that he loves both. But as his wives were not satisfied with the answer, they asked Nasrudin to imagine if he were with them on a little boat on the sea and suddenly a storm breaks! Both women fall over in the sea. Who would he save in the first place? He was very embarrassed and didn't know what to answer. So after having thought longtime he turned himself to his older wife and said: "You can swim, can't you?" -

Third case (concerning God): -One day an emperor decided to kill all his philosophers and wise men around him if they don't show him God. So Nasrudin who was passing by the city where the emperor lived and having heard the emperor's request decided to go and see him. He said to the emperor if you want to see God come out of the castle and follow me. That's what emperor did. Then Nasrudin asked the emperor to look at the sky pointing with his finger towards the sun. That's what emperor did, but suddenly bowed his head down and started to shout: "are you crazy, you want me to become blind, my eyes are burnt by the sun?" And Nasrudin answered: "How do you expect to see God, if your eyes are even not capable to watch the simple sun which is one of God's creations?"

Fourth case (concerning the Truth): An emperor decided to hang all liars who would enter into his city. So he put two guards at the gates of the city and ordered to his guards to ask all new comers the reason of their visit. If they dare to lie they would be hanged. So this one time, Nasrudin was among the new comers. The guards asked him the purpose of his visit. He answered that he came to be hanged! The guards said: "This is impossible, you are lying!" Nasrudin said; "Well if I am lying, hang me!". Guards: "But if we hang you what you said would become the truth!" ; Nasrudin: "well, now you know what is the Truth, it is always YOUR truth!"

Fifth case (many people are looking for the "key = answers", but it is useless because as long as they are in the darkness they will never find it. On the other side there are people who know that they are out of the darkness, they are in the light and still searching for it, but they are blinded by the light and can't see that the light is telling them that they don't need that "key", because they are already enlightened.) : -One night Nasrudin was looking something desperately under the street lamp. His neighbors saw him and asked him what did he loose. He answered: "my key!" So his neighbors started to look for it as well all around the street lamp. After one hour and even more nobody found anything! So finally they asked him: "well do u remember where did you loose it your key?". Nasrudin answered: "yes, it must be somewhere there in the dark far from the street lamp." They asked him: "If you lost it there, why are you looking for it here then under the street lamp?" Nasrudin: "because under the street lamp I can see!"

SAID


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:57
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
Thanks for the interesting discussion Nov 19, 2003

I have fond memories of reading Mulla Nasrudin stories (as a child in Georgia - Sakartvelo)

Giuli ~

[Edited at 2003-11-19 13:27]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:57
Member
English to Turkish
To remember Nov 19, 2003

Said, I think you've chosen the one single best-fitting word to cover up the whole meaning of "spiritual seeking" - that is, "to remember". Thanks for reminding us. And in a world which is being forced to forget through hypocricy, euphemisms, political correctness, etc., we all still remember that "a fool" means nothing else but the "wise one", don't we?

One sad thing is that Nasreddin's tales were published in Turkish in their complete original form -for the very first time- about a decade ago. Most of his original tales were in fact composed in a very explicit language. What had been passed to us for "Nasreddin the Anatolian wiseman" for centuries were but spiritless versions of the original stories, tamed to fit in the context of school textbooks and touristic leaflets - yes, we were made to forget the real Hoca. The publication I mention above was an honest attempt to make us remember, and it was the fruit of a very long, painstaking research and collection job done by an eminent Turkish folklorist, to be published by one of the most prestigious publishing houses in Turkey. Alas, the publishing house was being sponsored by a bank, and the board chairman or whatever of the bank happened to find the language offensive. Result: the books were left to decay in the warehouses before going into circulation, and the editor resigned in protest. Remembering is a tough task, indeed.


One more from Nasreddin Hoca, to finish: A man asks, "Tell me, Hoca, so that true wisdom is supposed to take one path, how come everyone's moving in a different direction?" Answers Hoca: "Son, had everyone moved in the same direction, the Earth would've been thrown off balance."

__________________

DEAR IDRIS

I am so sorry, but I have lost your email address. If you happen to check this forum again about Nasreddin, please do contact me through my profile.

[Edited at 2005-09-03 02:05]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Story by Nasreddin Hodja in English

Advanced search


Translation news





PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs