Let's make a list of good books for learners of Georgian!

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Makrasiroutioun
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Let's make a list of good books for learners of Georgian!

Postby Makrasiroutioun » 2007-11-29, 2:33

Hey!

I've noticed that there is a severe lack of learning material for Georgian, in any language, whether it be in English, French, Russian, German, or any other language.

I'll start with this book: Georgian: A Learner's Grammar

http://www.amazon.com/Georgian-Learner- ... 236&sr=8-2

Review: it's pretty bad. This isn't even a textbook, and cannot serve as one. It's also unclear, and I find certain parts poorly organised. I don't know enough Georgian to judge the veracity of whatever is in the book, but some of the reviewers have said that there are plenty of mistakes and mistranslations!




I hope someone's found some good books!
Please add to the list if you own the book and tell us if it's worth it.

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Zorba
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Postby Zorba » 2007-11-29, 5:34

The book that I used for beginner's Georgian last year was 'Basic Georgian' by Nana Danelia. It is paced quite well for learners and has English explanations for grammar, though they are not very good. There are supposed to be links to it here but they don't seem to work:

http://languagelab.bh.indiana.edu/georg ... _g312.html

The book seems to be only available in Georgia (our teacher was a native speaker who brought them over) but I could lend it to someone if you really want it.

There is Howard Aranson's 'Georgian: A Reading Grammar' which is very thorough and systematic (generally thought to be better than Hewitt's). But it isn't an ordinary textbook, it is a very demanding reading course suitable for very serious students.

There is also 'Georgian language: an intensive course' by M. Nikolaishvili. This book again is very heavy (though a bit easier going than Aranson) and good only for very serious students.

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Postby Qaanaaq » 2007-12-13, 14:27

Lia Abuladze, Andreas Ludden: Lehrbuch der georgischen Sprache.

I’ve got three or four textbooks in Russian, two in English and a grammar in French, but this book is a MASTERPIECE

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Postby Makrasiroutioun » 2007-12-14, 3:27

I got my hands on "Georgian: A Reading Grammar" by Howard I. Aronson... apart from the downright awful typewritten fonts in both English and Georgian, it actually is a pretty good textbook, but very unfriendly to those without a deep personal knowledge of linguistics (or an advanced linguistics degree)!

At least he goes over the phonology of the language in a very detailed and thorough manner. It's also quite thick at 540-some pages.

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Postby Zorba » 2007-12-14, 4:06

Aronson's book is extremely tough indeed and I guess only those lucky souls with a photographic memory and advanced linguistic knowledge can use it. After a year of Georgian I think I was still on Chapter 3 of Aronson :S

The problem is that most people who learn Georgian are professional linguists who study it for its linguistic oddities, or scholars of the former Soviet Union who have exposure to learning languages.

Aronson is based here in Chicago and I've thought about asking him for Georgian lessons (there's a chance the university would pay for this). But I just found the language too tough-going to take seriously.

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Postby Makrasiroutioun » 2008-01-20, 22:53

Hey hey! I also got my hands on Einführung in die georgische Sprache. Bd. 1. Theoretischer Teil and Einführung in die georgische Sprache. Bd. 2. Praktischer Teil von Kita Tschenkéli. Very detailed, two large volumes but three complaints: 1. extremely difficult to find (I only found it at one university, and I lent it and brought it to a photocopying store so it cost me around 60 bucks to photocopy every single page!) 2. It's in German! A highly academic German, mind you. 3. It's from 1958... so it's rather aged, but it's the largest Lehrbuch of its type.

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Postby zhiguli » 2008-01-21, 14:45

i have a scanned version of this book. it seems good but my non-existent german prevents me from making any real use of it.

there's actually a fair amount of books out there, they are just difficult to find and not the most accessible to the (average) learner.
"georgian: a reading grammar" by aronson and the follow-up book for first-year students "georgian language and culture: a continuing course" by aronson and kiziria are probably the most widely available (and they are also fairly inexpensive). i personally like these books in spite of their heavy emphasis on grammar and passive, rather than active, skills.
georgian intensive course by nikolaishvili - long long thematic word lists, light on grammar to the point where some things were just unclear (or would have been if i didn't have aronson or kekelia to fill in the gaps) and the organization is a bit messy, but nevertheless it's probably good for someone who actually plans to spend some time in the country - situations like shopping, talking about your family, etc are covered and the vocabulary is fairly complete and oriented towards everyday survival.
one more book that i will mention is one that i've heard lots of good things about - "the georgian language for foreigners" - geguchadze. i finally got my hands on this book a year or so ago and it turned out to be a big disappointment. it does not teach any active skills, it is full of reading texts with long lists of words and the grammar explanations read more like...well...excerpts from a reference grammar and not what i'd expect from a good teach yourself book. there are no exercises in this book either, so its only use is as a reference grammar/reading book, and even here it falls far short of aronson.

the other books that i regularly use(d, when i was actually studying this language) are грузинский язык для всех - цибахашвили (georgian language for everyone - tsibakhashvili) and самоучитель грузинского языка - натадзе (georgian self-taught - natadze). kekelia is also a good grammar reference. tsibakhashvili is one of the best imho because it tries to strike a balance between the more difficult grammatical aspects and everyday, phrasebooky things, while natadze is more heavy on grammar, but still very useful and clearly presented.
(one flaw in tsibakhashvili is that not all the dialogues are glossed and even the ones that are don't always give definitions for all the unknown words.)
scans of the last two (and other) books can be found here.

there are also some phrasebooky deals like awde's georgian phrasebook or "parlons georgien" - assatiani but these are not really meant for the serious student. the phrasebooks on nukri.org and in tsibakhashvili seem to be more complete anyway.

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Re: Let's make a list of good books for learners!

Postby zhiguli » 2009-05-07, 9:20

in case anyone cared, the long-awaited georgian beginner's course by kiziria has finally been released:

http://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Georgia ... 423&sr=1-1

i just got my copy and while it's a bit scant on grammar (you'll have to go to aronson for that) it's still a pretty good, solid course for people who are allergic to it. (and the price isn't bad, either)

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Re: Let's make a list of good books for learners!

Postby Zorba » 2009-05-08, 2:21

გმადლობთ. I may pick up a copy. I wish I had time to do this language seriously.

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Re: Let's make a list of good books for learners!

Postby Psi-Lord » 2009-05-13, 2:03

Has anyone actually used George Hewitt’s Georgian: A Learner’s Grammar? I was given a copy of its second edition, and, although I can’t say I’m studying Georgian, I was actually having lots of fun following its lessons [backed up by Howard I. Aronson’s Georgian: A Reading Grammar (corrected edition)]. However, I was taken aback by the reviews on Amazon.com.

Sure, I can’t help saying I find the rationale behind some points raised there laughable – I can’t really accept that people judge a book as plain bad just because it doesn’t expose the features of a language in layman’s terms, so to speak, when I actually think they’re the ones to blame for acquiring materials that weren’t adequate for their personal needs. And I won’t even say anything on complaints about the choice of romanisation.

I myself have just gone past page 31 (‘Telling the time’), and, so far at least, I’ve enjoyed the explanations and the way grammar and vocabulary are presented. It’s not the best book in the world in that respect, but far from bad at all, IMHO. The dialogues are a bit silly indeed, but I’ve seen worse as well.

What I’m worried about, though, is the complaints against the way the language itself is handled. According to the first reviewer, the Georgian language in the book is flawed, misused, mistranslanted, biased, and just plain wrong in many points, and that is something I myself can’t judge at all.

What’s the literal translation of ‘ბაყაყი მყაყე წყალში ყიყინებს’ <baq’aq’i mq’aq’e ts’q’alshi q’iq’inebs>, for instance? That’s a sentence the reviewer I mentioned claims to be twisted.

The same reviewer also claims the author translated two verbs as ‘to urinate’ and ‘to defecate’, when they in fact mean ‘to pee’ and ‘to take a crap’ in page 52. I couldn’t find either verb there, though, but I did find ‘to urinate’ in the vocabulary list by the end of the book as ‘შარდ: (მო)შარდავ’ <shard: (mo)shardav>. How appropriate would that be?
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Re: Let's make a list of good books for learners!

Postby zhiguli » 2009-05-13, 5:27

Those reviews are for the older (1996) edition with the blue cover; p 53 corresponds to p 57 in the newer edition, and yes, they have removed the verbs "to shit" (ჯვამ) and "to piss" (ფსამ), they have also added verses which aren't in the older edition. On cursory examination it appears the rest of the content is the same in both books.
We'll have to ask ninka whether it passes the native speaker test or not (it is available on google books preview and uztranslations) but otherwise I would be cautious with this book.


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