The Georgian Language: ქართული ენა

გამარჯობა! (gamarjoba) this mouthful is “Hello!” in Georgian.

These posts are not to teach the Georgian language as I am in no way an expert, these are more my reflections on learning this difficult tongue.

Some basics of the Georgian Language:

There are 33 letters in the Georgian alphabet, 28 consonants and 5 vowels.

Georgian is read and written from left to right like English.

There are no capital letters, which makes it difficult to determine what are names in a text.

There are many consonant clusters (this makes it difficult for me to pronounce).

მე ვსცავლობ ქართულ ენას (me vstsavrob kartul enas) I am learning Georgian!

All nouns end with a vowel, unfortunately just adding an -i to the end of an English word doesn’t make it Georgian (though it occasionally works). Here in Tbilisi,  I am always Jimi (like Hendrix) not Jim.

Georgian nouns and pronouns have no gender. My Georgian students frequently confuse “he” and “she” in English, even when they have reached quite a high level. Conchita Wurst winning Eurovision hasn’t helped.

Georgian has no articles.  (a. an and the)

The Georgian Language is one of the oldest in the world, it is believed that the Georgian alphabet was created in the fourth century BC, it is a unique language not related to any others. It is one of the kartvelian languages in the Caucasian-Iberian family.

The first letter of the Georgian alphabet is ა pronounced like the a in apple.

This can combine with მ /m/ to make მამა (mama) which is bizarrely Georgian for father. ა can also combine with ნ /n/ to make ანა (Ana) my granddaughter.

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