Dear Lonweb readers and volunteers, we are happy to introduce you to a new project for experienced volunteer translators who can tackle a literary text with confidence: The DEDE KORKUT IN 100 LANGUAGES project is centred on an old  anonymous Turkish epic (see

The project is being coordinated by Dr. Metin Yurtbaşı, a linguist residing in Bayburt, Turkey, who teaches iPA phonetics to English teacher trainees.

Dede Korkut is divided into many chapters, one of which is a wonderful love story which celebrates the infinite power of love: Wild Dumrul. This short text has already been translated into 25 major languages but the goal is to reach at least 100 languages. 

Please help us reach that goal! If you are interested, you can just translate the story, respecting the English formatting (i.e. replacing the English strings with the target language strings) and send it to us or, if you need more information, just write to us!



DEDE KORKUT, WILD DUMRUL --  1► Among the Oghuz people, there was a man by the name of Wild Dumrul. He was the son of Duha Koja. 2► Dumrul had a bridge built across a dry river bed. 3► He asked for thirty-three copper coins from anyone who passed over it; 4►  and those who refused to cross the bridge, he beat and got forty coins anyway. 5► He did this to challenge anyone thinking that he was braver than Wild Dumrul to fight, 6► because he wanted everyone to know that he was fearless, heroic and courageous, even in places as far distant as Anatolia and Syria. 7► One day, a group of people camped along his bridge. 8► A fine, handsome young man in the group fell sick, and died by the command of Allah. 9► When the young man died, some wailed "Son," some "Brother," and there was great crying after him. 10► Wild Dumrul, coming quickly to the scene, asked people: 11► "Why are you crying, folks? What is this noise on my bridge? Why are you mourning?" 12► They said: "Sir, we’ve lost a fine young man; that is why we are crying." 13► Wild Dumrul asked: "Who is it that killed your friend?" 14► They answered, "Oh Sir, it was by the order of Almighty Allah. 15► The red-winged Azrail took his life." 16► He said: "What sort of a fellow is this Azrail, who takes people's lives? 17► O Almighty Allah, for Your pleasure and Your oneness and existence, let me see Azrail. 18► Let me fight and struggle with him to save the life of such a fine youth, 19► so he should never take a life again." 20► After saying this, Wild Dumrul turned away and went home. 21► But, Almighty Allah was not pleased with his words. 22► He said: "Look at that mad man. 23► He does not understand my Oneness. 24► He is not thankful to Me, and also behaves arrogantly in My mighty presence." 25► He ordered Azrail: "Go and appear before the eyes of that mad man. 26► Make his face pale, squeeze his neck and kill him.” 27► While Wild Dumrul was sitting and drinking with his forty friends, Azrail suddenly arrived. 28► Neither the agents nor the watchmen had seen Azrail pass. 29► Wild Dumrul's eyes became blind, his hands could not move. 30► His whole world was darkened to his eyes. 31► He began to speak. 32► So let us see what he said: 33► "O Azrail, what a mighty, big old man you are! 34► The agents did not see you come; 35► Neither did the watchmen hear you. 36► My eyes, which could see, now cannot; 37► My hands, which could hold, now cannot. 38► My soul trembled and was terrified. 39► My golden cup fell from my hand. 40► My mouth is now cold as ice; 41► my bones have turned to dust. 42► What a white-bearded old man, 43►  such a cold-eyed man you are! 44► You, big old man! 45► Get out of here, or I may hurt you." 46► Azrail was angry at these remarks, and said to him: 47► "Oh, mad man, 48► Don’t you like the cold look in my eyes? 49► I have taken the lives of many lovely-eyed girls and brides. 50► Why is it that you don’t like my white beard? 51► I have taken the lives of both white-bearded and black-bearded men. 52► That is why my own beard is white."  53► He then continued like this: 54► "Oh, mad man! You were boasting and saying that you would kill the red-winged Azrail. You wanted to save the life of a fine young man by catching me. 55► But now, o fool, I have come to take your own life. 56► Tell me, will you give your life to me, or will you fight with me?" 57► Wild Dumrul asked him: "Are you the red-winged Azrail?" 58► "Yes, I am," he replied. 59► "Are you the one who takes the lives of these fine boys?" asked Dumrul. 60► "That is so," said Azrail. 61► Wild Dumrul said, "O watchmen, shut the doors." He then turned to Azrail, and said: 62► "O Azrail, I was expecting to catch you in a wide open place, but now I have caught you in a narrow one, didn’t I? 63► Now, let me kill you and save the life of that fine young man." 64► He drew his big black sword, held it in his hand, and tried to strike Azrail with it. But Azrail became a pigeon and flew out of the window. 65► Wild Dumrul, very proudly, clapped his hands, and burst out in laughter. 66► He said: "My friends, you’ve seen how much I’ve frightened Azrail. He fled,  not through the wide open door, but through the narrow chimney. 67► In order to save himself from my hand, he even became a pigeon and flew away. 68► But I will catch him with my falcon." 69► Dumrul then mounted his horse. He took his falcon on his hand, and started to follow Azrail. 70► He first killed a few pigeons. 71► On his way home, however, Azrail appeared before the eyes of his horse. 72► The horse was afraid, and threw Wild Dumrul off its back to the ground. 73► His poor head grew dizzy, and he became powerless. 74► Azrail came and pressed down upon his white chest. 75► Dumrul murmuring a few minutes ago, now couldn’t even breathe, and there was a dying sound in his throat: 76► "O Azrail, have mercy on me! 77► There is no doubt about the oneness of Allah. 78► I did not know about you. 79► I did not know that you secretly took lives like thieves. 80► We have mountains with large peaks. 81► And we have vineyards on those mountains. 82► In those vineyards, there are vines with bunches of black grapes; 83► and, when pressed, those grapes make wine, red wine. 84► A man who drinks that wine grows drunk. 85► So I drank out of it, and did not hear you coming. 86► I did not know what I had said. 87► I thought I was stronger than anyone else, but now I know that I am not. 88►  I just wish to live out a few more years of my youth. 89► O Azrail, please spare my life." 90► Azrail said: "You mad fellow, why do you beg mercy from me? Beg mercy from Almighty Allah instead. 91► What is in my hands? I am but a servant." 92► Wild Dumrul said: "Is it, then, Almighty Allah, who gives and takes our lives?" 93► "Of course, He is" said Azrail. 94► Wild Dumrul then turned to Azrail and said: 95► "You are an evil man. 96► Do not interfere with my business. 97► Let me talk with Almighty Allah myself." 98► then Wild Dumrul spoke to Allah. 99► So let us listen to what he said: 100► "You are higher than the highest. 101► O Great Allah, no one knows how high you are. 102► You are Allah, the Magnificent. 103► Fools search for You, up in the sky and on earth, 104► but You are in the hearts of the faithful. 105► Eternal and Almighty You are, 106► o Immortal and merciful Allah. 107► If You wish to take my life away, 108► then take it Yourself. 109► But do not let Azrail do it." 110► Almighty Allah was pleased with the way Wild Dumrul addressed Him this time. 111► He shouted to Azrail saying that because the mad fellow believed in His oneness, He would give him His blessing and would spare his life if he could find another person willing to die instead of him. 112► Azrail then came and told Wild Dumrul:  113► "Oh, Wild Dumrul, it is the command of Almighty Allah that you should find the life of someone else in place of your own. Only then will I not kill you." 114► Wild Dumrul said: "How can I find someone else's life for mine? 115► I have no one in the world except an old mother and an old father. 116► But let me go and see if either of them will give up his life for me. 117► Perhaps one of them would say: “You can have mine and be free." 118► Wild Dumrul went to his father's house, kissed his hand and spoke to him. 119► So let us see what he said to him: 120► "My white-bearded father; I love you and respect you. 121► Do you know what has happened to me? 122► I spoke disrespectfully to Allah, 123► and He became very angry with me. 124► He commanded Red-Winged Azrail above to fly down from the sky. 125► He landed on my white chest, sitting on my body. 126► He made me give out my last words, and he almost took away my sweet life. 127► Father, I ask you please to give me your life. 128► Will you do it for me? 129► Or would you prefer to weep after me, saying, 130► "O my son, my Wild Dumrul, is dead?" 131► His father answered: "Son, son, oh my son! 132► You are a part of my life, o my Son. 133► You are like a lion. Once for you, I had had nine camels killed. 134► You are the backbone of my house with its chimneys of gold. 135► You are a flower like my goose-like daughters and brides. 136► If it is necessary, you can command the black mountain far away 137► to come here and serve as Azrail's grass-land. 138► If it is necessary, let my cool springs be his fountain. 139► If it is necessary, give him my house of beautiful horses to ride. 140► If it is necessary, my caravan camel can carry his goods. 141► If it is necessary, the white sheep that stand in my fold 142► can be cooked in the kitchen for food at his feast. 143► If it is necessary, my silver and gold money will be for him. 144►  But living is too dear and the world is too sweet. 145► So I can’t give up my life for you; you must understand this. 146► There is also your mother. She loves you more, and you love her more than I do. 147► So my son, go to your mother." 148► When his father sent him away, 149► Wild Dumrul went to his mother, 150► and said to her: "Do you know what has happened to me, my mother? 151► Red-Winged Azrail flew down from the sky, 152► and pressed my white chest as he sat upon me. 153► He squeezed my throat and almost took away my life. 154► My father did not give me his life when I asked of him. 155► Now I have come to ask you for yours, my mother. 156► Will you give me your life? 157► Or would you prefer to weep after me, saying, 'My son, my Wild Dumrul’ when I die? 158► While also scratching your white face with your sharp fingernails 159► and tearing your long white hair?" 160► Upon this, let us hear what his mother said: 161► "Son, son, o my son! 162► Son, whom I carried nine months in my narrow womb, 163► whom I bore in the tenth month, 164► and clothed and placed in the cradle with care, 165► whom I fed with my abundant white milk. 166► Son, I wish you were now in a white-towered castle, 167► held there by infidel men with their horrible religion, 168► so then I could save you, using my power or my money. 169► But instead, now you are sunk into a terrible position. 170► So I cannot reach out, and help you, son. 171► Know that the world is too sweet, and the human soul too dear. 172► So, I cannot give up my own life.  173► I want you to understand this." 174► So his mother also refused to give him her life.  175► Azrail, therefore, came to take Wild Dumrul's life. 176► Seeing him, Wild Dumrul said to him: 177► "O Azrail, do not hurry. 178► There is no doubt about the oneness of Allah. 179► Azrail replied: "Oh, you mad man, why do you keep begging for mercy? 180► You went to your white-bearded father, but he refused to give up his life for you.  181► You then went to your white-haired mother, and she didn’t give up her life either. 182► Who else is there to give for you his life?" 183► "I have one person  that I love” said Deli Dumrul. 184► Let me go and see her," 185► "Who is your loved one, mad fellow?" asked Azrail. 186► "I have a lawful wife. She is the daughter of a man from another tribe. And I have two children by her. 187► I will have a few things to say to them."  188► You may take my life after I visit them. 189► Then he went to his wife and said to her: 190► "Do you know what has happened to me? 191► Red-Winged Azrail flew down from the sky, 192► and pressed my white chest as he sat upon me. 193► He almost took away my sweet life. 194► My father refused to give his life for me when I asked of him. 195► I then went to my mother, but she couldn’t give up hers either. 196► They both said that the world was too sweet and life was too dear. 197► Now, let my high black mountains be your grass-land. 198► Let my cold springs be your fountain. 199► Let my stables of beautiful horses be yours to ride. 200► Let my beautiful gold-chimneyed house give you shelter. 201► Let my caravan camels carry your goods. 202► Let white sheep in my fold be food at your feast. 203► Go, marry another fellow, whomever your eyes and your heart love. 204► Let not our two sons be orphans." 205► His wife then spoke, 206► and let us hear what she said: 207­► "What is it that you say? 208► My strong ram, my young king, whom I loved at first sight, and gave all of my heart? 209► Whom I gave my sweet lips to be kissed; 210► whom I slept with upon the same pillow and loved. 211► What shall I do with the black mountains when you are no longer here? 212► If I ever take my sheep there, let my grave be there, too. 213► If I drink from your cool springs, let my blood run like water. 214► If I spend your gold coins, let them be for my shroud. 215► If I ride on your beautiful horses, let them carry my dead body. 216► If I love after you, any other young man, and marry him, sleep with him, 217► let him turn into a serpent and then let him bite me. 218► What is there so precious in life, 219►  that your unfortunate parents could not give away their own lives for yours? 220► Now let the heavens, the eight-storied heavens, be witness; let the earth and the sky be my witness, as well; let Almighty Allah be witness for me; that my life be a sacrifice made for the sake of your own." 221► Saying this, she became willing to die, and Azrail came to take the lady's life. 222► But Wild Dumrul, did not wish his wife to give away her life. 223► And he asked for mercy from Almighty Allah. 224► Let us hear what he said: 225► "You are higher than the highest; 226► No one knows how high You are, o Allah, the Magnificent! 227► Fools search for You in the sky and on earth, 228► But You live in the heart of the faithful. 229► Eternal and Merciful Allah; that’s what You are! 230► Let me build homes for the poor along the main roads of the land. 231► Let me feed hungry men for Your sake when I see them. 232► If you would take any life, take the lives of us both. 233► If you’d spare any life, spare the lives of us both, the Most Generous Allah! 234► Almighty Allah was pleased with Wild Dumrul's words. 235► He gave his orders to Azrail: "Take the lives of Wild Dumrul's father and mother. 236► I have given a life of 140 years to this good married couple. 237► Azrail went to take the lives of the father and mother immediately, 238► but Wild Dumrul lived with his wife for 140 years more. 239► Dede Korkut came, and told tales and sang legends. 240► He said: "Let heroic musicians sing this legend of Wild Dumrul after me, 241► and let generous men with clean foreheads listen to it. 242► Let me pray that your rocky black mountains be never flattened, 243► That your shadowed large trees be never cut off, 244► That your clear running streams never dry up. 245► I have spoken five words of prayer for your white forehead.  246► That Almighty Allah never let you be at the mercy of the bad people. 247► I hope Allah will accept them. 248► I also hope that He will cover your sins and forgive them for the sake of Mohammed because of his honoured name. (Translated into the ….. language  by …….  / edited by ........)


The languages available for translation at this point in time are the following:
  • JAWA
  • JIN
  • LAO
  • ODIA
  • RWAN
  • THAI
  • ZAZA

The languages available for editing at this point in time are the following:

  • Spanish


  1. When translating you can use Google Translate or Bing Translate to obtain a rough version but please don't send us a Google or Bing translation without having reviewed it properly!
  2. Please use the format shown in the example i.e.

    1► Among the Oghuz people, there was a man by the name of Wild Dumrul. He was the son of Duha Koja.
    2► Dumrul had a bridge built across a dry river bed. etc.
    For an Italian translation, the result should be:

    1► Tra la gente Oghuz c'era un uomo chiamato Dumrul il Pazzo. Era il figlio di Duha Koja.
    2► Dumrul aveva fatto costruire un ponte sul letto asciutto di un fiume. etc.
  3. After completing the translation, you can send it to

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