Lesson 5 – ტ, კ, პ

We are now going to learn the most unusual feature of Georgian pronunciation: ejective consonants. When pronouncing these sounds, air does not come from the lungs but from the glottis, and they sound like they are accompanied by a short burst of air. Wikipedia has an article about this topic with recordings: listen to what [t’], [k’] and [p’] sound like. Unlike the letters we have learned in the previous lesson, these ones are not aspirated.


This is an ejective t.


This is an ejective k. Don’t mix it up with ვ (v): ვ looks more like a 3, while კ is more open at the top.


This is an ejective p. Don’t mix it up with კ (k’): the top of პ is slightly curved upwards and, in most fonts, პ rises above the baseline while კ goes under it.

Ejective sounds are represented by an apostrophe in most romanization systems, but they are usually ignored on road signs. However, თ t and ტ t’ are completely different sounds for a Georgian speaker. For this reason, the apostrophe is not optional in the exercises. If you cannot type an apostrophe, the system accepts commas instead.


When transcribing words from other language containing t, k or p, Georgian usually uses ტ, კ, პ. You can now read many country and place names.


Can you guess the meaning of the following words?

What is 3 km away? (Source)

What is this advertisement about? (Source)