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I've been trying to learn Georgian for almost 9 months now but have got no where.

I do know a Georgian, even despite his undeniable skill in English he can't explain Georgian grammar to me.

Georgian has a complex case system, extremely concept verbs and generally is complex not helped by the fact that there are little text books or guides on it. There is one book: Beginner's Georgian. However, I find this book very difficult to understand because it is clearly designed for people who are doing a linguistics degree/learning Georgian to study it.

It's so difficult to even try.

So, what strategies are there to get to a respectable level in a difficult language with little documentation?

I cannot go to Georgia. I would if I could, though.

  • 4
    For those in the United States, we are talking about the country, no the state – Anthony Pham May 29 '17 at 13:34
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    Theres an excellent book called 'Georgian, a Learners Grammar' by Hewitt. I took a few short courses in unusual languages and found the whole series of those books fairly useful. – NotEvans. Jun 4 '17 at 15:23
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    I personally haven't enjoyed those books, but I have tried them @NotEvans – Daniel Cann Jun 4 '17 at 17:32
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    Is the book you refer to Beginner's Georgian by Dodona Kiziria? – Christophe Strobbe Jul 13 '17 at 16:05
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    Are answers to this question actually expected to point to additional resources? The question is tagged 'resource-request', but nothing in the question body asks for additional resources. Could you please clarify this? We would like to get rid of the ambiguity of some of our tags. – Christophe Strobbe Dec 14 '17 at 15:01
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My approach would be to utilise the two main forms of media available in most languages - TV / Movies and radio.

TV / Movies

  • Georgian TV live
  • Georgian to English movie subtitle quiz

Radio

  • Georgian radio

My go to stop for language resources is the reddit /r/languagelearning wiki. They have a Georgian resource section here

6

Go social.

Unlike the cases when learning resources are abundant, and it may be relatively easy to arrange yourself a self-learning curve, studying "rare" language is trickier.

If there is not much learning materials, literature, classes, and language proficiency assessment, your maybe only two options are:

  1. Visiting the country of interest (which is not an option, like you said), or
  2. Establishing personal contacts with people who share your interest.

For example:

  • Ask questions at Linguistics.SE. Keep in mind that language-specific Q's are offtopic there, so you will be unable to ask Q's about the usage. However, you may learn some general trends that may be helpful;
  • Don't forget to check Area 51 and create/support the language proposal;
  • Find StackExchangers who are familiar with the language of your interest. For example, there are 100+ posts about Georgian at Linguistics.SE. The site does not encourage personal contacts between the users, but a bit of searching over the Internet helped me finding Facebook contacts with several prominent StackExchangers who also study Thai (when I only began studying it). If you are friendly enough (and not boringly asking too many questions;) many would be glad to help you out.
  • If that's not enough, run a search over the social networks. Who knows, maybe there's a compact community of Georgian expats living next street or just a group of language learners straight in your town. If you never search, you never know.

Also, some other suggestions may be helpful:

  • Check if there is a Stack Exchange site for the L2 you're going to learn. If there is, there must be some Q&A about online/printed resources available for that language. Just for example, Ukrainian Language.SE has resource tag on both Main and Meta, and some posts there are quite complete.
  • As per printed resources. Although there may be few printed learning materials in your location, they quite possibly can be available in the country of the language you're about to learn. Simply googling for "learn [language] for English speakers" may lead you to their local publishers who will sell and deliver it internationally to you.
  • 1
    Great point about language communities. I was surprised to find out that there is a major Catalan language learning community and library in Kensington, Maryland, USA, a community that otherwise is a sea of English and Castillian Spanish. If you find a Wolof Language Institute in some small town in the Czech Republic, why not visit it, or even support it? – Robert Columbia Jun 6 '17 at 0:38
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In addition to previous good answers, I wouldn't say that online resources to learn Georgian are that scarce. Just by Googling "learn Georgian" you can find a handful of free courses and resources in English, and the same is true for Youtube.

Instead of Stack Exchange sites, where questions about Georgian are off-topic, I would recommend asking in https://forum.wordreference.com/forums/other-languages.20/ , where language specific questions are on topic. It seems that questions aren't answered as fast as here (example of question about Georgian grammar answered in about a week) but at least you can ask freely about the language.

I haven't tried with Georgian, but this approach has worked fine for me with Basque, for which online sources aren't more abundant. I could manage to get to (very) basic level -at least in grammar and understanding- just by using available free sources, and if I didn't go beyond that level it was for lack of time, not for lack of resources. In addition to that, you have the great advantage of being able to practice speaking with a native speaker.

5

As a start, you could try free vocabulary builder apps for Android like

Both apps keep track of what you've learnt and teaches you new words at your own pace.

3

One way of dealing with the issue is finding more resources, as several of the other responses have suggested. See for example:

(See my website for a longer list.)

Another way of dealing with this is using your resources in more ways than the authors intended. For example:

  • Use audio files as dictation exercises (you'll need the pause button). This tests both your listening skills and your mastery of spelling.
  • Convert texts into gap exercises: from every text, replace every fifth word with a gap; then fill in the gaps without looking at the text. You can then "shift" the gaps: instead of deleting the fifth, tenth, fifteenth, etc. word, delete the first, sixth, eleventh, etc. word. So each text can be used for five gap-filling exercises.
  • Use audio files for pronunciation practice by using the shadowing technique.

Find an online language partner or tandem partner. There are several sites that you can help you find language partners. This is harder for smaller languages but worth trying.

  • Don't worry :). I'm actually a decent Georgian speaker now and have overcome my problems. It took a lot of work but I can finally have conversations in my dream language ^^ – Daniel Cann Jul 17 '17 at 16:57
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    @DanielCann So you moved from "got no where" (when you posted your question) to "decent speaker" in less than two months? Please write up how you did that in an answer to your own question! – Christophe Strobbe Jul 17 '17 at 18:40
  • Haha, I started speaking Georgian every day to a Georgian that I knew, and was studying for 2+ hours each day on what I was being taught. I improved exceptionally quickly @Christophe Strobbe – Daniel Cann Jul 17 '17 at 18:52
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In addition to other answers: Maybe other Georgians will be able to explain their complex grammar better.

On language exchange websites, like mylanguageexchange.com or italki.com, there are many native Georgians trying to learn English and other languages. So if you spend some time talking to them in English, they will return the favor. Quite few of them are language teachers too. Some of them might be even outside of Georgia, in your own country.

0

As a start, you might find the Russian Information Agency's Sputnik News' Georgian edition ("Sputnik-Georgia.com") news website useful to practice-learn Georgian character recognition, and practice in reading Georgian text in news articles. One useful feature of RIA's multi-language "Sputniknews" publications is that one can open and switch between the Sputnik News publication in one's native language and RIA's Georgian edition to read a 'translation' of a news-worthy article, as many news-worthy articles are published simultaneously in most of RIA's editions.

Secondly, you can use the Google language translator (translate.Google.com) and the Russian language translator (translate.yandex.ru) to assist you in translating Georgian to your native language (to help you in setting up the Yandex translation I/O boxes "Georgian" in Russian is spelled "грузинский").

Both translation sites can help you learn Georgian vocabulary and grammar, especially if you have downloaded a Georgian keyboard and fonts. However, even if you only have your native language keyboard and fonts, you will be able to set up a native language word, phase, or sentence and read out its Georgian equivalent. Then by switching the I/O boxes around you will see what your Georgian equivalent reads like in your native language.

Both Google and Yandex provide in most languages the pronunciations of inputs and outputs, but unfortunately this feature isn't available for the Georgian language.

  • Don't worry. I can talk in Georgian at length now and have no more issues. I did it by being taught the language by a linguist. – Daniel Cann Dec 30 '17 at 14:43

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