Quick introduction to Georgian Language
Hello(გამარჯობა), in this post I will tell you why the Georgian Language is unique, about alphabets and a little history. Well, Georgian language is a Kartvelian language of which there are four languages: Svan(Spoken in Svaneti, Georgia), Megrelian(Spoken in Samegrelo, Georgia), Laz (Spoken in northeast Turkey) and Georgian itself. There have been a bunch of scientists who were researching the origins of this language. Some said it was based on Egyptian, Sumerian and so on, although, today it's mostly believed to be original, distinctive language.
There are three alphabets for the Georgian language: Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli (Used today) and they don't really look like the same * Asomtavruli
Looks awesome, doesn't it?! :D
Nobody really knows the order and when they were created. We only have a myth but we can't rely on it.
- Facts about Georgian Language:
- There are more than 4.5 million speakers of Georgian language;
- Georgian language is included in the endangered languages list;
- There are 72 synonyms of "Rain" in the Georgian Language;
- Mkhedruli(modern) alphabet's all letters are fitted in a special drawing: You can derive any Georgian letter from this drawing if you follow special patterns.
- There were some ingenious writers who made their artworks with the Georgian Language: Shota Rustaveli, Galaktion Tabidze, Vazha-Pshavela, Nikoloz Baratashvili. There is a wonderful translation of Rustaveli's poem in English published last year, by Lyn Coffin. Others are not well translated especially Galaktion because he was playing with vowels which makes it difficult to translate without losing its uniqueness.
Quick phrases you can learn in the Georgian Language: Saqartvelo (საქართველო) - Georgia Gamarjoba! (გამარჯობა!) - Hello! * Rogor khar? (როგორ ხარ?) - How are you?
Watch this wonderful video about Georgia! https://www.facebook.com/shermazana/videos/1786151521620298/
If anyone has questions about Georgia or Georgian language feel free to ask me in the comments below
Georgian is such a pretty language, however you guys have SOOOO many alphabets along with accents that I cant even attempt ahahahah However I would wish that duolingo would make Georgian, it would be the language id spend most of my time on :P Do you come from Georgia? is it nice? :) Ty for this post <3
Hello, yes I come from Georgia. Of course, Georgia is really nice, beautiful nature, various climates in such a compact country, warm and hospitable people, safe, delicious food, stunning city architecture, it's a gem of Europe! ^_^ Check out these pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/giorgiaptsiauri/22958917436/in/datetaken-public/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/giorgiaptsiauri/22348689593/in/datetaken-public/ . I took them myself. And about Georgia http://www.gotravelyourway.com/2013/11/12/8-reasons-to-travel-to-georgia-and-tbilisi/ here.
I am already excited by the photos and can't wait to see beautiful Georgia! :)
OK, while we're talking about Georgia, someone has to mention that it's seemingly the most musical country in the world.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7a12x9iMvM (OK, it's a Russian song, but with singing like that who's going to complain?)
Thank you for sharing! If you are willing to do so... please apply to create a Georgian course! \^_^
You don't have to be a specialist! You are more than qualified already if you speak the language! \^_^ I would say go for it! I would certainly be interested in learning Georgian.
Georgian Khan Academy translators just told me that a text-to-speech software is required which doesn't exist :( I think the first course will be English for Georgians and then Georgian for English speakers. That's what Georgians, in total, want first.
They've managed without TTS before a couple times - they used human speakers for the Irish course and I think Esperanto?
I agree with difficulty :D Even Georgian language teachers here don't know its nuances well.
One man told me that there was the only one person who knew complete Georgian Grammar - Akaki Shanidze, a Georgian scientist )))
Yes, even now, at schools we have books originally written and structured by him. So, that might be true :D
Mkhedruli is the best looking script by far, I am glad the Georgians picked it over the competitors!
Why are there three different alphabets?
History Fact for the day: Stalin was born in Georgia.
That question was answered up above. By ethnicity Stalin was Georgian but we, especially, I am not proud of that. You know, two days ago, in Gori, which is the hometown of Stalin, there was a protest run by communist party :( http://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/content/ori-aqcia-gorshi/27724077.html Play the video here, claiming that Stalin was a genius and soviet Union should resurrect :( that's shameful, I admit. But hopefully they are the old men who just have the nostalgy of Russian women :)))
I'm sorry, I got caught up in the whole drawing aspect. Is the grammar close to that of Russian? I don't know much about Asian/eastern European languages. Did you find English to be easy, or no?
In the USA Stalin's war crimes are not as widely known as they should be (we are taught of Gulags, and collective farms, but that's it.)
I don't any more than a couple words of Georgian, but even a casual glance shows that it has similar cases to the Slavic languages / Indo-European more broadly. That might be a simple coincidence, or it could come from contact between the two language groups long ago. However, they are totally unrelated.
Georgian exhibits a slew of grammatical features more or less completely unknown in Indo-European languages: polypersonalism (verbs are modified for not just subject but also direct/indirect object); split ergativity (in some tenses treats subjects of intransitive verbs the same as objects of transitive verbs); agglutinating morphology (separate affixes on e.g. verbs for each of number, tense, etc. rather than a single ending for say third person plural past tense).
From my point of view (Russian native speaker quite well knowing Georgian ) these two languages are not much close. There is a number of significant differences:
- polypersonal verbs (Georgian is the only one language I know with this feature)
- noun case system. Russian does not have Narrative (Ergative) and Adverbial cases. Georgian does not have Accusative and Prepositional.
- Georgian nouns do not have genders
- Georgian verbs do not have infinitive form, Russian does not have verbal nouns (more exactly - Russian verbs may have or not have a corresponding noun, Georgian verbs have it necessarily as a grammatical form)
- Russian verbs do not have grammatical Optative forms
- Russian basically uses prepositions while Georgian - postpositions
And there are many other differences.
I think Georgian and Russian grammars might be similar, at some point. Cases, structure of a sentence and so on. English was easy for me, although, vocabulary is still a problem while reading fictional books.
I was wondering if you are taught all three writing systems in school? Or are the other two not used anymore at all?
Hi, in Georgian language and literature classes we are taught about all three alphabets, although, Nuskhuri is neglected a bit because it's not a public alphabet(now and then too). It was and is still used in orthodox churches during service: psalm-reader reads everything with Nuskhuri alphabet. In grammar books, in early grades, exercise sentences start with Asomtavruli (a.k.a. rounded) letters to get them know it. Exceptionally, in high school when we are taught old texts (4th, 8th, and 10th-century writings), we study them as originals but shortened because there are lots of things a high shool student is not requered to know; the style of writing, old words are preserved in our texts; the alphabet is the modern(Mkhedruli) one; the alphabet it was written with is the same. Now we don't use the other two alphabets anymore.
That's pretty cool. How did it the three alphabets came to be? Like, was there one alphabet for everything, then some guy wanted to remake a new one to fit the language better? Or did they evolve as one being a public alphabet and the other two as strictly religious alphabets from the beginning?
Little correction: 8th, 8th, and 10th-century writings probably were written either with Asomtavruli or Nuskhuri
Well, there is no exact answer how/why three alphabets came to be but I am almost sure that Nuskhuri was for religious purposes which became dominant over Asomtavruli after the-the 9th century. In general, before 19th century both old alphabets could be used by people (who could read and write) but in the meantime as printing evolved, Mkhedruli (very civil one) became dominant over both ever since.
Switching from Asomtavruli to Nuskhuri, Asomtavruli still remained, especially for decorative purposes; the titles could've still been in Asomtavruli, on icons they might have used it and so on and since then Mkhedruli became mostly used.
In the beginning, I assume the only people who could read and write were only priests and the ones in churches, they rewrote poems, psalms, translated texts into Georgian and so on. So I think they were the people who created all three alphabets. I may even think that they could've created one alphabet (Nuskhuri), especially for churches. As a fact, Mkhedruli (literally meaning "military" derives from mkhedari - horseman, warrior), which now is in use is the easiest and takes least effort to write.
Thanks for the in-depth answer :). I'll definitely try the Georgian course once it is on Duolingo.
It's our faith in Jesus which gives us magical power :) Just kidding, that's just the Georgians genes. The guy has spectacular voice! :)
Well, here's a fun detail. Duolingo already accepts answers in Georgian! (well, the Georgian alphabet ;) Don't know if it's a "feature or a bug", but if you've got a hankering to learn those beautiful characters, apparently you can advance your studies by doing Duo in Georgian transliteration! [they've got to be reasonably correct though, I tested to make sure it doesn't just accept anything in Georgian characters as right, and it doesn't]
Don't believe me? Here you go! https://www.dropbox.com/s/a2mglzuvg5c0bw1/Catalan%20Georgian%20confusion.png?dl=0
I'm surprised you didn't mention the remarkable phonetic regularity of Georgian. One letter -> one sound. One sound -> one letter. And this correspondence has been preserved for 1600 odd years!
I spent 10ish days in Georgia three years ago. Oh, what a wonderful place to visit! My favorite country, and I've visited a decent number.
Last fall I learned the alphabet. Seems I still remember it (mostly). Still haven't quite got my head (or, better, my ears) wrapped around the ejective consonants, though. I think I get how to pronounce them (other than probably ყ - I've read what the linguists have to say about how this sound is made, I think I get it, but the sounds I hear from Georgians on forvo.com don't really match), but there are certainly limits to my certainty in this matter.
Ordered some textbooks for Georgian, but, yeah, would love for there to be a Duolingo version! Thanks for posting!
Yes, you are right, I forgot to say that. Right now I am hosting a Peace Corps Response volunteer from the USA and that ყ and ხ - are the letters he finds hard to pronounce. Could you show me what books you ordered?
I got Aronson's Georgian: A Reading Grammar and Kiziria's Beginner's Georgian with 2 audio CDs. Unfortunately, I haven't done anything with either of them, so I can't provide any useful commentary. Some of the other ones available seemed to be aimed more at professional linguist types; as I recall these were the ones that Amazon commenters viewed as best suitable for learning the language for its own sake (rather than for e.g. a linguistics dissertation)
Do you know much about, or have you heard of the Tsez language? It's apparently used primarily in the Republic of Dag(h)estan in Russia, which is just east of Georgia. I'm simply curious \^.^
are there capital and lowercase letters in Georgian?
well that's not that unique, English has no gender either
you mean there is 1 word that means both he she and it?
Georgians can speak English surprisingly well!) Lingots for the video, it is cool!
Dear Giorgi, thank you for the post. I am especially grateful to see that special drawing that may help me learn the alphabet. To tell the truth I am a bit afraid of the Georgian alphabet, but I will give it a very good try. Is there any way you may know of a good textbook to learn Georgian, the alphabet and the grammar, for English-speakers or Russian-speakers? Please let me know.
Unfortunately, I am not aware of any textbook which might be of help; there are a few on Amazon, but I don't really know which one is best. http://www.geofl.ge/#!/page_home this website has some good contents though, most of it is in Georgian however. They have very good audio recordings. Look up, I am sure you'll find other learners; they will be of greater help in that I guess. Thanks for the interest!