A very good read for those chastising themself for not being able to master Georgian as quickly as they did other languages, great for explaining to non Georgians what the Georgian language is like, and for those considering coming to Georgia. Great piece of prose, thanks for sharing.
The Georgian language is old. It’s unrelated to other languages. It has an aorist tense, whatever that means. “Mankana” means both “car” and “machine”. These are things you can learn from books. But the first thing you really notice about the Georgian language, after the briar-and-burdock alphabet, is that it’s impossible to pronounce.
Until you hear the Georgian language — Kartuli– spoken by a native, and sometimes even afterward, you almost can’t believe they’re not playing a prank on you. When learning a foreign language, the key to good pronunciation lies usually in mastering the subtleties of the vowel sounds. The five Georgian vowels are the clipped European versions of our own familiar sounds, making them mercifully easy for English speakers: long and short e, long and short o and long u.
But with the consonants – usually the part of a new language where we can feel confident…
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