A Russian-English dictionary

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My mom emigrated from the Republic of Georgia to the United States in 1998. Georgia was part of the Russian Empire approximately for two centuries and after temporarily gaining independence from it, later was invaded by Soviet troops. Georgia went through a tumultuous period of time after the collapse of Soviet Union. Economy was getting destroyed, factories were closing down and people were losing jobs. 1990’s were the time of political riots and instability in Georgia. In order to support me and my sister, my mom decided to immigrate to the United States. Since Georgia has been controlled by Russians; Georgian language was oppressed and substituted with Russian by authorities. An object that represents my mom’s immigration story is Russian-English dictionary that my mom brought to the Unites States. My mom carried this dictionary everywhere that she went. Even though she has been taught English at school, her knowledge of language was nowhere near fluent. She carried this dictionary everywhere she went just in case she needed to translate something or try to communicate to someone. She arrived at her destination by using this dictionary; she also used it during job interviews and in all aspects of everyday life. After a year of vigorously staring at and studying this dictionary, she was able to speak and understand English well. She also stated that having a contact with native English speakers also played an important role in her learning process.

Place(s): Republic of Georgia
Year: 1998

– Ana Jangirashvili

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant