Today I had my first official Georgian lesson.
I learned that I will never, ever, ever be able to explain to anyone what I am doing in Georgia because I absolutely cannot pronounce the word for “teacher.”
It doesn’t necessarily look that easy, but it doesn’t necessarily look that difficult either.
It is. I swear.
I can sound it out, slowly, one syllable at a time. Kind of. But put it all together? Pronounce it at a normal, conversational speed? Definitely not.
Say it three times fast.
Or just say it once.
Or please don’t… Because then I’ll feel worse about the fact that I can’t say it at all.
Here’s what happens:
- First, the “s-t-s” throws me off.
- Then, because I’m thrown off, I get the v-l-b-l sounds of “vlebeli” all out of order and get lost somewhere in the middle of the word.
- In the end, I just start throwing in extra consonants, just for fun. Or just because I’m confused, perhaps. Either way, I make a complete mess of the word 🙂
My Georgian teacher is fantastic though. Her name is Tako and she teaches English at a local private English school. I was connected to her through the Peace Corps volunteers, several who are taking lessons with her as well. My friend Betty (who arrived in Georgia around the same time as me) and I are taking lessons together once a week.
Even though I can’t pronounce “მასწავლებელი” (yet?), I do feel like the lesson was already helpful. We reviewed the alphabet and then went over pretty basic and foundational stuff like “I am,” “you are,” “he/she/it is,” etc. We also learned how to form basic sentences in order to have a simple conversation. To have our conversation, in addition to the word for “teacher,” we also learned the words for “volunteer” and “director.” Our conversation went something like this:
Betty: Are you a direktori?
Melanie: No, I am not a direktori. … I am a ma-s-t-s-tstsavlbvevlvlebvkleleelbvii-beli. … And you?
I think I’m gonna get this! 🙂