Month: October 2015

Georgian Language: Reasons why it is so difficult for me to learn #3. Tricky consonants.

The very sounds in Georgian are confusing for  English speakers as they use glottal stops to make sounds that look like the same sound, for example p and p’ (written as ფ and პ, respectively), but which they hear entirely differently. Georgians, not terribly used to having foreigners speak their language, have a hard time understanding you before you master this difference (I have been trying for six years on and off).

Certain Georgian consonants may sound very similar to each other, but they are pronounced differently. Each consonant pair represents two similar sounds; one is aspirated the other not. An aspirated sound produces a slight waft of air coming out of your mouth. An unaspirated sound does not. Keti Chikovani explains this and makes the sounds half way through Lesson 13 of learning Georgian for Peace Corps Georgia.

aspirated                           unaspirated

თ    (t)                                         ტ  (t’)

ქ     (q)                                        კ   (k)

ჩ    (ch)                                       ჭ  (t’ch)

ფ   (p)                                        პ  (p’)

ც    (ts)                                        წ   (t’s)

პაპა  (p’ap’a) means grandfather but ფაფა (papa) means porridge

Then there are some really difficult letters for which we don’t have sounds in English:

ხ (x) is pronounced like “ch” in the German composer Bach, my wife’s name is ხათუნა (Khatuna or Xatuna)

ღ (gh) is similar to the r in French, pronounced using the middle of the tongue (!)

ყ (k’) to pronounce this Keti in the video (6:40) suggests moving the middle part of the tongue to the roof of the mouth. My tongue has problems with this, like my body has problems squatting in the Georgian way in their squat toilets….

I practise ხელი (kheli) meaning hand and ყელი (k’eli) meaning throat with my granddaughter, Ana, but I haven’t yet reached the stage where I can say hand or throat with any confidence.

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary

This week’s challenge calls on us to submit photos of “Mundane and meaningful objects. Beautiful everyday things. This week, surprise us with something or someone (extra)ordinary.”

Here is a plastic bag floating in the air giving it a kind of life of its own, changing it from the ordinary into the extraordinary. The sight reminds me of a scene in American Beauty, where a plastic bag is filmed dancing in the air.

P1350168 P1350170Other interpretations of this week’s theme can be seen by clicking this link: (Extra)ordinary

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place “The Sea”

I don’t have one specific “happy place” but I love being by the sea, or even in the sea. As a child I was excited on car journeys when we could finally see the sea. The sea has always had a magical allure. I lived by the sea at university in Aberystwyth then again when I was in Australia in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Now I live far from the sea (around 300km), and I miss it greatly. Our last trip to the beach was at the end of August to Qobuleti (Georgia) on the Black Sea.

in the Black Sea at Qobuleti

In the Black Sea at Qobuleti

standing on my hands in the sea

standing on my hands in the sea

Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet and nobel laureate, wrote lovingly about the sea.

El Mar by Pablo Neruda

NECESITO del mar porque me enseña:
no sé si aprendo música o conciencia:
no sé si es ola sola o ser profundo
o sólo ronca voz o deslumbrante
suposición de peces y navios.
El hecho es que hasta cuando estoy dormido
de algún modo magnético circulo
en la universidad del oleaje.

The Sea (English translation…it is better in the original Spanish)

I need the sea because it teaches me:
I don’t know if I learn music or consciousness:
I don’t know if it’s a single wave or deep depth
or a hoarse voice or a shining
suggestion of ships and fish.
The fact is that even when I’m asleep
in some magnetic mode I move
in the university of waves.

Other interpretations of the challenge can be viewed here: Happy Place

Seems KG who I’m following also loves beaches: Happy Place (KG)