Howard I. Aronson

Slavic Languages & Literatures

The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois 

8 March 1988


Dear Dr Margalitadze: 

I received from your office, almost exactly one year ago, the first four fascicles of your English-Georgian Dictionary. In fact, I am currently preparing a review of these fascicles for the forthcoming issue of the Annual of the Society for the Study of Caucasia, of which I am the editor. 

I congratulate you and your group on an outstanding achievement! Unquestionably, this will be the definitive English-Georgian Dictionary and clearly far, far surpasses all previous attempts at creating such dictionaries. I am particularly pleased to see that  in addition to giving the Georgian masdar(sawyisi) for the entries for English verbs, you also give the 3rd person singular, present screeve. This makes your dictionary as valuable for English-speaking students of Georgian as it does for Georgians studying English. 

Fortunate as the appearance of your English-Georgian Dictionary is both for speakers of English and for Georgians, for speakers of English this dictionary will be a most welcome luxury. For us, the greatest need is for a Georgian-English dictionary. The only usable dictionary today is Kita Tschenkéli’s Georgisch-deutsch Wörterbuch, a brilliant, ground-breaking work and unquestionably linguistically the best work available for Georgian. But this work of genius has its weaknesses, too, the most prominent of which is the fact that it is a Georgian-German dictionary and, from the point of view of users of English, not a Georgian-English dictionary. 

For English-reading students of Georgian outside of Georgia, a Georgian-English dictionary is far and away the greatest need; without such a work, the glorious treasures of the Georgian past and the excitement and promise of the present remain a closed book for us. I do hope that after the completion of your current enormous (and enormously successful) undertaking – the English-Georgian Dictionary – you will consider producing a Georgian-English dictionary. This, too, will immensely facilitate the learning of the Georgian language and will open the doors to the wonders of Georgian culture. 

I do not want to in any way diminish the outstanding achievement that your dictionary represents by focussing on the need for a Georgian-English dictionary for non-Georgians. Obviously, just as we want a Georgian-English dictionary for entrée into the world of Georgian culture, Georgians have an equal need for an English-Georgian dictionary for an entrée into the English-speaking world. And you have brilliantly provided such an entrée. 

As I mentioned, I am writing an extremely positive review of the fascicles A-D of your dictionary for the ASSC and I shall send you a copy of this review as soon as it appears. Again, please accept my sincerest congretulations on a magnificent achievement. I very much look forward to the remaining fascicles and to the completed dictionary. 


Howard I. Aronson