Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

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Fränzi
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Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

Postby Fränzi » 2011-02-03, 8:06

First off, I'm not asking this under the assumption that Russian and Georgian are in any way linguistically related; I am very much aware this is not the case! My question is rather based on the awareness that Russian is a well-known second language in Georgia and whether or not it is worth knowing given the influence of Russia on the Caucasus region in general. How greatly does Russian permeate everyday Georgian life? Are there learning resources for Georgian written in Russian that I should know about? Would I in any way be disadvantaged not knowing Russian?

Your thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated!

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Re: Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

Postby księżycowy » 2011-02-03, 21:18

There are definitely plenty of resources written in Russian for Georgian and most of the other languages of the region. Unfortunately I can't think of any specific ones right now.

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Re: Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2011-02-04, 0:30

I suspect that a prior knowledge of Russian would actually be quite useful for studying Georgian. I'm currently working my way through chapter 15 (the last chapter) in Aronson's Reading Grammar, so I'm almost done, and the book does have a lot of references to Russian particles and functions that apparently have no English equivalents. I particularly had a lot of trouble with chapter 14 for this exact reason: e.g., he compares the suffix -ღაც(ა) to the Russian suffix -то and the suffix -მე to Russian -нибудъ, and I'm still not really sure what the difference is between the two suffixes. I think I've figured it out, kinda, but it seems it would be easier for a Russian-speaker.

There are also some other similarities. E.g., I know that prefixed Russian verbs form their future conjugation with the same person markers that the corresponding non-prefixed verbs use to form their present conjugation, e.g., Читает vs. Про-читает, and Georgian uses a similar system for forming the present and future conjugations of class I and II verbs, e.g., წერს vs. და-წერს.

I've never studied Russian though, so maybe this is the full extent of the similarities. Well, this and the many loan words and calques, etc.

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Re: Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

Postby Fränzi » 2011-02-04, 3:07

It is somewhat disheartening to see so many references to Russian in Aronson's book, given that in the preface he states that no prior knowledge is assumed other than having studied a foreign language, ie. not specifically Russian. Fortunately I know German and French, and there are numerous references to those languages.

I should add that I made this thread under the assumption that German has the most resources for Georgian, which is somewhat surprising given the importance of Russia and the Russian language in Georgia. Even in Aronson's book he states that the best dictionary is in German, as are the best grammar and textbook. So I guess not knowing Russian (for the time being anyway) won't be too much of a handicap.

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Re: Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2011-02-04, 13:55

It's not like you need to know Russian. It would probably help, but it's not a prerequisite. As for the German thing, Aronson's book is from the early 80s, and a lot of things have happened since then - the fall of the soviet union and whatnot - and a lot of textbooks and dictionaries in English have been published since then; I suspect German may no longer be as important as when he wrote the book. Aronson does make comparisons to German in his book though.

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Re: Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

Postby Fränzi » 2011-02-04, 14:07

That's a good point, but I mention German specifically because some very good resources have been published in the last few years: Buske Verlag put out "Lehrbuch der georgischen Sprache" and a 3-volume, presumably unabridged, Georgian -> German dictionary came out in 2007. There's also "Einführung in die georgische Sprache" which is supposed to be the most thorough grammar/textbook ever published for Georgian, covering essentially all aspects of the language. That one did come out in the 1950's though, well before Aronson's book, but I hear it's still an extremely useful asset to one's Georgian studies.

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Re: Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2011-02-04, 16:42

You're right, those do sound like good resources. I'm afraid my German isn't that good though. :)

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Re: Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

Postby Unknown » 2011-11-07, 22:11

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Last edited by Unknown on 2016-08-08, 13:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is a prior knowledge of Russian helpful in any way?

Postby Utopist » 2011-12-18, 16:44

1) посещать (что?) Грузию
2) знание русского - преимущество
3) главное - понять, что..., хотя многие говорят по-русски.

As for the topic, there are loads of learning materials in Russian as well as thousands of Georgian people who are fluent in Russian (to some extent). That's the point. :)
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