Dodona Kiziria's Beginner's Georgian

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Dodona Kiziria's Beginner's Georgian

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2009-05-20, 13:03

There hasn't been much traffic on this forum, so I figured I'd make a post about Dodona Kiziria's new book: Beginner's Georgian. I'm already busy with Aronson's book, but since this book was just released, I figured I'd give it a look. It has 291 pages, comes with two audio CDs and is published by Hippocrene Books.

The book has thirteen chapters. Each chapter starts with a dialog followed by a translation, a vocabulary section, notes on idiomatic expressions and culture points, grammar and exercises with the answers listed in the back of the book. The words are already inflected in the vocabulary section, so you should be able to understand the dialog even when you don't know the grammar. The back of the book has both an English-Georgian and Georgian-English glossary.

The focus in the book is clearly placed on comprehension of speech and practical use of Georgian rather than on the grammatical underpinnings of the language, so numbers, days of the week, words relating to time, courtesies, etc., are introduced right from the get-go. This makes the book, as it says on the back cover, "an ideal companion for students, travelers, and businesspeople." The downside to this practical focus is that anyone looking to understand how the Georgian language works under the hood probably won't be satisfied by this book's superficial treatment of the grammatical system and the verbal morphology in particular. The book only discusses five of the ten Georgian screeves, there is no talk of movement between conjugation classes, no nominal derivation is discussed (I may have just missed it though), no mention is made of indirect objects, the superessive, etc. She even refers to the ejective consonants as unaspirated, which, even if it is technically correct, is more of a simplification than I can really feel comfortable with.

The audio CDs and dialogs are splendid. Each lesson has several corresponding tracks on the CDs. Each dialog is read first at a fluent pace and then at a slower pace for repetition. The vocabulary lists as well as the sections on idiomatic expressions also have their own tracks. There's no background noise, the sound quality is good, and I like the voices of the voice actors and -actresses. The layout is nice, there are no pictures, and the font is consistent and easy to read.

People who have been waiting for a more easygoing book with a more practical and less theoretical approach, will want to check this book out. I'm going to stick with Aronson's book since I prefer his more thorough explanations, but I'm sure the dialogs and CDs will be able to help my listening comprehension.

(If the name Dodona Kiziria sounds familiar, it's probably because she co-authored a book with Howard Aronson and wrote an excoriating review of George Hewitt's Georgian: A Learner's Grammar.)

The book's page on

The book's page on

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Re: Dodona Kiziria's Beginner's Georgian

Postby Zorba » 2009-05-20, 13:14

Thanks for that very useful review. I'm trying to figure out whether I should return to Georgian - I studied for a year but felt as though I didn't get anywhere with it. It demands such a lot of effort. Anyway, I'm considering whether I should buy this book.

And welcome to Unilang! Danish is another of my flirtations and it's good to see a few more native speakers on board.

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Re: Dodona Kiziria's Beginner's Georgian

Postby axaxaxasz mlö » 2010-01-20, 8:03

Thank you for the review. The book got quite good criticism on amazon too (4.5 stars), so after a short hesitation I ordered it.

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