Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

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iattp
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Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

Postby iattp » 2009-07-08, 11:54

Outside of the obvious suggestion: Run away! I would like information on how you went about learning it, how successful you were and motivation for doing so. I decided to pick up Georgian for two reasons:

1: I wrote a paper on the screeve system in my syntax class and discovered the complexity of Georgian grammar.
2: I wrote one sentence on a mid-term (I'm an English teacher) which said: Georgian is the most difficult to learn language - What is wrong with this sentence? (the superlative needs to be moved).

I thought- is it really the most difficult language to learn? Well, is it? I am using a book I found in the library here in Regensburg. It's German-Georgian, but I have no problem with German. I love the language. The people are only a little strange sometimes.... :)

Anybody want to write in Georgian with me? A few little conversations here and there and maybe have someone who knows the language go over it and such? I'd be willing to do the same for German, should anyone be interested.

I am also learning Farsi, but that's been a 10 year long affair...

Nick in Germany

HoneyBuzzard
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Re: Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2009-07-10, 0:09

I got interested in Georgian about a year ago. I'd studied a number of languages, but none of them had ejective consonants, ergativity, polypersonal verbs, etc., even though these are all common features globally - they just aren't usually found in European or Asian languages - so I decided to find a language that would have those exact features. There's a whole slew of native american languages that fit the description, but even Navajo, the largest of the native north american languages, only has something like 200,000 speakers and no literary tradition, so unless you happen to be living in a reservation or something, that's just not practical. Then I found Georgian, which has ejectives, polypersonal agreement on verbs, ergativity, etc., so it's pretty much perfect, and with speakers numbering in the millions and a rich literary history, it is both practical and possible to study. And in addition to the features that are common globally, Georgian also has a number of rare or unique phenomena like harmonic clusters and unusually liberal phonotactics.

I have a number of books on Georgian, and my main book is Howard Aronson's Georgian - A Reading Grammar. I'm only half way through it, but it's quite thorough. What is the German book you found called?

As for the difficulty, well, I think you have to keep in mind that there's a difference between difficulty and complexity. I would say that Georgian is the most complex language I've ever encountered, but I would also say that something like Japanese, even though it has a much simpler morphology, is waaaay more difficult for someone whose native language belongs to e.g., the Germanic family or the Romance family. The Georgian future screeve has an intricate formation, but at least Georgian has one - Japanese just has a non-past form, and that's infinitely more annoying IMO.

Because I'm only half way through a beginner's textbook, I don't think I could really help anyone with their Georgian, but I wish you luck and welcome you to the forum. This place is almost as quiet as the Berber forum, so we need some more posters :D

petitchameau
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Re: Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

Postby petitchameau » 2009-08-21, 1:51

Well, I must admit I had quite a lot of motivation at first. The alphabet was easy to learn, and then I started with simple nouns & adjectives for reading and pronunciation. When I moved onto the verbs, however, I got lost. So at this point, I haven't decided whether I will continue or not :roll: The two books I used were very good, but since I didn't have anyone to practice with, it was very slow-going, which is why I am on this site :D

Good luck to you!

HoneyBuzzard
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Re: Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2009-08-21, 18:29

Yeah, the verbs are definitely the most difficult. What books are you using?

petitchameau
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Re: Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

Postby petitchameau » 2009-08-22, 15:18

I started with "Georgian : a learner's grammar" (George Hewitt) but then switched to "Essentials of Georgian grammar : with conjugation tables of 250 most commonly used verbs" (Shorena Kurtsikidze), which is a lot more beginner-friendly and the conjugation tables are really useful!

HoneyBuzzard
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Re: Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2009-08-22, 16:29

You're right, that does sound really useful. Those tables must take up half the book! Doesn't look like any of my local bookstores carry that one though.

petitchameau
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Re: Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

Postby petitchameau » 2009-08-22, 16:40

You're right, they do take up half the book :D

I had to borrow it from my university's library, but I would really like to find it to purchase somewhere.

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axaxaxasz mlö
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Re: Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

Postby axaxaxasz mlö » 2010-01-25, 4:13

"Essentials of Georgian grammar : with conjugation tables of 250 most commonly used verbs"

Is there a solution key to the exercises in this book?

petitchameau
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Re: Just Starting Georgian: Suggestions?

Postby petitchameau » 2010-01-25, 4:23

The verbs follow the same pattern of pronouns for each conjugation (i.e. I am, you are, he/she/it is, etc.) and they are in charts if I remember correctly, so each verb is conjugated at one time, and the base form of the verb is translated in English. It's not difficult to figure out.


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