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Georgian Notes, Doubts and Tips TAC 2013

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Senior Member
Joined 3798 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 753 of 758
08 November 2013 at 8:42pm | IP Logged 
I've noticed a considerable difference after I finished the course at .Since I
don't have to translate so much stuff as before, I'm learning in a more relaxed way -
and, I hope, more effectively too. I am also reading quickly both from the Chrestomathie
at EGS and from the book Lord of the Flies. Looks like I've improved a bit!
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 3798 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 754 of 758
28 November 2013 at 7:34pm | IP Logged 
My updates are rather sparse, but that means I've been busy with the actual study.
Today I got Hewitt's Georgian Reader!! With Basic Georgian which may arrive next month,
that means I'll get hold of virtually every resource available in the "West" (that is,
I'm excluding textbooks only available in Georgia).

At first sight, this Georgian Reader looks just like the final section of EGS: parallel
texts with a glossary. This time the source language is English, so I may expect less
trouble. Yet the focus is the same as of EGS and Georgian: a continuing course, that
is, classical literature. Not exactly what I need now. At least i'm going to have
somethig to work on before Basic Georgian arrives.

Speaking of EGS, I figured out why there are so many pages left and only 8 texts: text
61 is split into several, long excerpts, and so on. So, it's indeed over 90 pages that
awaits me, and it only gets harder. My only hope now is to finish Lord of the Flies
asap so I can alternate readers with rather obscure literary vocabulary with daily
contemporary texts.

Today I felt a sudden increase in comprehension regarding ჩემი ცოლის დაქალები , even if
I've listened to it mostly on background. I've seen improvement both at deciphering the
sounds and at actually understanding the sentences. Maybe immersion pays off somehow.
I'm getting used to the characters' voices, that helps.

I really wish more Georgian learners signed up for next TAC. I don't mind coaching
people right from the beginning.
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Senior Member
Joined 3798 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 755 of 758
10 December 2013 at 4:50pm | IP Logged 
Time for some update.

I still have some 30 study days before I finish either EGS or Lord of the Flies. OTOH,
I'm already at lesson 30 out of 40 of TYGFES, which means I need to get Basic Georgian
before Xmas so I have another textbook to continue with.

The year has been much less fruitful for Georgian than expected, but not a total
failure. I thought by this time I would already be able to read with a dictionary, but
it's far from that. I don't know exactly what happened, but maybe I wasn't reading
intensively enough, maybe I didn't have enough focus in the sense of actually paying
close attentionj and trying to memorize the words I was introduced to. Choosing Lord of
the Flies wasn't wise, it's a hard literary work. I would have started with a more
familiar book. I do see some improvement in the past weeks, though, which means the
vocabulary starts to sink in, and this thanks to the sinergy among all resources. I've
seen some texts at TYGFES which I had already come across at EGS, and this time with an
English glossary was a bit easier.

There is no safe way to evaluate my conversational Georgian, but I don't think it is
that bad. It's just that right now I'm more concerned about reading, because I want to
be able to learn in a more relaxed way through native materials, the way I'm doing with
Norwegian, after all, it's been 1 year and 11 months since I started Georgian. I'm
fully aware that my second semester was worse due to lack of good pre-intermediate
resources or even of basic resources for reviewing enough before moving on, and the
absence of Google Translate. 2013 saw the appearance of important resources such as GT
itself, the course and, now, TYGFES. I think immersion with the Georgian TV
series is finally starting to help, I'm starting to pick up conversations from the
series even though I just listen to it on the background.

I have already written some pages ago a path/order of textbooks I'd find more adequate,
that is, what I have done if I could go back. All in all, Georgian still lacks
appropriate textbooks in a way to bring you up to a B1 level in a satisfactory way. The
situation is much better than 2 years ago, though, and improving. When it comes to
native materials, Georgian is quite good: there are series, books, films. Only the lack
of subtitles either in Georgian or in English is discouraging. I'd be learning much
more if I had subtitles for the TV show I'm watching.

Next year I really want to put an end to the textbook stage, more due to lack of new
intermediate textbooks than to a mastery of the A1-B1 content. I need to work hard on
internalizing grammar, like the perfect series, but I want to do that through writing,
mostly, and reading to a lesser extent. Like I said above, it was a nice year in terms
of grammar thanks to EGS, but I still haven't acquired the knowledge on verbs I need.
For example, this week I read about the perfect series once again at TYGFES and I can't
remember its morphology anymore nor what is perfect and what's pluperfect. It's
something that needs translation exercises so maybe, if Basic Georgian doesn't cover it
the way I need it, it is time for some Aronson reviewing. I realize, though, that I
came across several grammar topics that are used much less often at both spoken and
written languages, i.e. superessive version and so many polypersonal passive voices. I
don't need to be able to use them actively that much, and passively it's always easy to
infer the meaning based on the verbal root and on translation, which I will still be
reading so far.

Can't wait to finally start reading about Georgian, contemporary fiction, life at the
country now, and I do hope 2014 will bring me the blessing of being able to enjoy
Georgian as it own, not as an abstract set of grammar sentences.
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Senior Member
Joined 3798 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 756 of 758
16 December 2013 at 8:08pm | IP Logged 
So, Basic Georgian came and brought disappointment. I still haven't got down to
studying it and won't in the upcoming days, but I already feel myself deceived for
having paid so much at that book with so improper formatting, no fonts hierarchy, no
table charts (only normal paragraphs. It makes everything more difficult: it is hard to
know where the explanations start and where is practice. It seems there is no answer
key, either, which would be good as I really plan on working with the exercises. I'll
have more to write on it when I start to use it, but for now it seems they wasted too
much time on making the first page color with graphs one could easily find at
Ethnologue (parts of which were indeed copied from there).

I had a closer look at TYGFES and it seems that, even though I'm at lesson 33 now, it
is going to take me still at least some 15 workdays to finish it. First of all, the
book has actually 45 lessons. Secondly, after the lessons there are some lengthy
reading practice, though not many texts. My situation with Georgian is as follows: I
have loads of reading resources that cover more or less the same type of subjects which
aren't even my main focus now, and I don't have means of having access to more up-to-
date vocabulary such as the one I could find at the TV series (and which I could be
using if subtitles existed). I still have some 30 pages to work on at EGS, then the
Georgian Reader by Hewitt (though I might actually start with Basic Georgian first)
then the reading excerpts at TYGFES before I finish. They all covered the same basic
type of texts from the end of the XIX century, or fairy tales rewritten by authors from
that period, which means the same to the learner, because these stories will have the
same dusty vocabulary. I really need to put an end to my textbook stage so I can attack
one competence at a time: I'd keep reading, this time interesting things; then do
immersion by listening to a TV show I can't understand yet; practice writing and resort
to grammar when necessary. I'm far from being able to have an Skype session for
speaking Georgian, just for the record.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 3798 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 757 of 758
16 December 2013 at 8:16pm | IP Logged 
- ჩემი ახალი წიგნი ჩავიდა.
- რომელი წიგნია?
- ქართული ენის სახელმძღვანელო.
- კარგია?
- ძალიან კარგი არ არის. მეგონა, უფრო კარგი იქნებოდა.
- რა საწყენია! აბა სასარგებლო ხომ არ არის?
- კი, სასარგებლოა. მომავალ წელს გამოვიყენე. ახლა სცვა წიგნის უნდა წაკითხო.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 3798 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 Message 758 of 758
20 December 2013 at 9:59pm | IP Logged 
I flipped through Basic Georgian and I actually started reading it. I read the first 2
lessons which were pretty much easy, The next lessons involve exercises for translating
into the target language, so I'd rather work on them carefully and post the tentative
answers at another community which is more active Georgian-wise. Both EGS and Lord of
the Flies are close to an end. TYGFES might take longer because it involves reading
passages without a translation. Maybe I won't even make it through them.

The way my study is scheduled nowadays is as follows:

- Working with two textbooks at once:
a) Teach Yourself Georgian for English speakers (currently at lesson 37 out of 45 plus
several pages of reading passages)
b) Einführung in die Georgische Sprachen (almost done with the practical tome)

- Doing parallel reading of novels
It all started with the Georgian translation of Lord of the Flies. It wasn't a good
choice, as the story is hard to follow, long, not centered towards daily life. I'm
taking it quite loosely. I read a paragraph in Georgian even if I don't quite get the
hang of it then I read it in English. Even in English there are several words missing,
after all it is literature from the beginning of the 20th Century. The next resource
will be much better studied, even though I still wouldn't call it 'intensive reading'
as it would take me hours to finish 2 pages. As a matter of fact, though, what I do
with EGS is technically the same parallel reading, with the difference that EGS is in
Georgian-German, so I still have to look up German words in order to make sense of the
text. In the past few days, I was glad to find a quite nice selection at EGS, with
plenty of dialogues and this has helped a lot. As for Lords of the Flies, I did see
some improvement after almost 200 pages.

- Watching a Georgian series
That's where I go blind. I watch ჩემი ცოლის დაქალები which has no subtitles, and I
really doubt I can find subtitles in Georgian, apart from a few movies I watched at
Youtube. I'm really not benefiting that much from that immersion. Ideally, I'd take 1
episode, break scenes into pieces, study sentences, preferably with translations, and
SRS them, just like emk did with Buffy (for French), but that's far from what I can do
now. I'm not even paying full attention, just letting it play on the background. I
think it does help me get used to the sounds of the language, but in order to actually
understand a conversation you have to think a lot about each verbal form, given the
complexity of the Georgian verbs. So, it's really complicated to do that at the rhythm
of a soap opera. I only hope I won't "waste" this important resource before I can
actually make good use of it, as series for Georgian are scarce and films are usually
harder because you don't have enough time to get used to each characters' background
story and way of talking.

2014 will be the last year I'm going to put so much effort into Georgian. 2 years of
struggle and I haven't reached B1 yet. The lack of resources doesn't help much, and I'm
more and more skeptical of immersion as a magic pill.I have to learn sentences on a
structural way, I may internalize them later through immersion but I don't think blind
listening alone will work for me. So, in order to reach something for Georgian, I need
to get hold of contemporary books with plenty of dialogues and start working on them.
Maybe teenagers' books, because so far I only got adults' or children's books. I'm
reading a teenagers' book for Papiamento and it has exactly what I need, it would be
great to have anything similar for Georgian.

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