The Georgian language

The Georgian language is spoken by more than four million people who mostly live in Georgia, a small country in the Caucasus. It is the official language of Georgia.

It belongs to the small Kartvelian language family, which includes only four languages: Georgian, Svan, Mingrelian and Laz. Svan and Mingrelian are minority languages of Georgia, Laz is mostly spoken in Turkey. So whatever your native language is, Georgian is completely unrelated to it, which means the grammar and most words are alien. Its alphabet is also unique.

Georgian has a rich literary tradition and an ancient history: the first known Georgian texts are inscriptions from the 5th century. The Georgian national epic, The Knight in the Panther’s Skin (ვეფხისტყაოსანი, Vepkhist’q’aosani), by Shota Rustaveli, dates from the 12th century. Modern Georgian is considered to have emerged in the 17th century.

Georgian has five vowels, the same as Spanish. It has no tones and no vowel length. The consonants are more problematic because Georgian has a few unusual sounds. In addition, Georgian has complex consonants clusters, with words such as რძე rdze Listen (milk), ზმნა zmna (verb), მცხეთა Mtskheta Listen (name of a town) or even მწვრთნელი mts’vrtneli Listen (coach).