Georgian I
Lecture 1

General country data

Georgia
is located in the South  Caucasus. Georgia borders with Turkey, Armenian and Azerbaijan in the south and with Russia, in particular, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan in the north, and with the Black Sea in the west.

The capital city of Georgia is Tbilisi.

Despite its small territory 69,700 sq km different landscape types are represented in the republic, which is largely mountainous with the Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhida Lowland opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; there are good soils in the river valley flood plains and in the foothills of Kolkhida Lowland.  Lowest point: Black Sea 0 m., highest point: Mountain Shkhara 5,201 m

Major rivers are Kura (Mt'k'vari), Rioni, Alazani, Aragvi...
The population of Georgia is 4.2 million (UN, 2010), by another estimation about 5.2 million.

Georgian has constitutional status as the official language of Georgia (Constitution of Georgia, chapter 1, article 8).


 Georgia



Three regions with special status are found in Georgia: Abkhazia, Ajara and South-Ossetia (known during the Soviet period as the Autonomous republics of Abkhazia and Ajara and the South-Ossete Autonomous region). As a result of political and ethno-political conflicts and wars in Abkhazia and South-Ossetia in particular during the post-Soviet period, a total migration of Georgians has taken place from these regions to other parts of Georgia and abroad. Russia has occupied a large part of Georgia and recognized two regions of Georgia to be independent states.






More information (non-compulsory):

1. General  overview of  the Georgian regions and history.

2.  Country profile by BBC.
These sites introduce general data on the geography, history and culture of Georgia.









 
 









Georgian Flag






Georgia's Large Coat of Arms

Georgia's Small Coat of Arms:





The Georgian alphabet
ქართული ანბანი
Kartuli anbani

There are 33 phonemes in Modern Standard Georgian: 5 vowels and 28 consonants.
The Georgian alphabet has 33 graphemes (letters) for these 33 phonemes (sounds): one grapheme for each sound. Spelling usually coincides with pronunciation.The Georgian alphabet has its own independent place among world alphabets. The oldest known Georgian inscriptions date from at least as early as the beginning of the fifth century C. E., with the latest investigations suggesting even earlier. The writing system has undergone considerable changes since then, and three stages of development may be distinguished:
          • Mrgvlovani (V-IX cent.)
          • Nuskhuri (IX-XI cent.)
          • Mkhedruli (XI-now)
Each letter has its own unique designation; there are no capitals. Every letter is expressed by one sound value. There are no silent letters.
ქართული ანბანი მარტივია kartuli anbani mart'ivia The Georgian alphabet is simple.

Additional links about Georgian Alphabet:
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/georgian2.htm

Additional non-compulsory material: History of the Georgian alphabet
 [ ] Latin letters in the square brackets show transliteration that we use in our course.
/ / Latin letters in the slashes show on which key you can find the Georgian letters on your keyboard. 
 

1.
 ა                    [a]   /a/


12.
                    [m]  /m/


23.
                   [gh]   /R/

2.
                             [b]   /b/


13.
ნ                   [n]   /n/


24.
 ყ                   [q']   /y/

3.
   გ                [g]   /g/

14.
                      [o]   /o/

25.
შ                  [sh]   /S/
4.
                       [d]   /d/

15.
                        [p']  /p/

26.
ჩ                   [ch]   /C/
5.
   ე                  [e]   /e/

16.
   ჟ              [zh]   /J/


27.
                          [c]   /c/
6.
ვ                  [v]   /v/

17.
რ                 [r]   /r/

28.
 ძ                  [dz]   /Z/
7.
 ზ                  [z]   /z/

18.
ს                  [s]   /s/

29.
წ                  [c']   /w/
8.
                       [t]   /T/

19.
ტ                [t']   /t/

30.
ჭ               [ch']   /W/<
9.
   ი                    [i]   /i/

20.
უ            [u]   /u/

31.
ხ                   [x]   /x/
10.
კ                    [k']   /k/

21.
ფ             [p]   /f/  

32.
ჯ               [dzh]   /j/
11.
 ლ                 [l]   /l/

22.
 ქ              [k]   /q/

33.
ჰ                   [h]   /h/

A very good resource and exercises for learning the Georgian alphabet: here.
If you would like to  type in Georgian, but do not have Georgian font on your computer, you can use a virtual Georgian keyboard.





Georgian  has a simple 5-vowel system: front rounded i, e, back rounded u, o, and neutral a (5-vowel systems are actually the most common vowel systems among the world's languages). There are no long vowels in standard Georgian.

Georgian vowels: a, e, i, o and u.

Sequences of two vowels are not pronounced as diphthongs. Every vowel creates a syllable.

The number of vowels determines the number of syllables. Stress is very weak and does not change the quality of the vowel.

Stress has no influence on the vowel system.  Stress is usually placed on the initial syllable of a word, and in words of more than four syllables the third syllable from the end is also stressed.


Watch this clip and learn how to spell Georgian letters






Information about pronunciation and how to write the modern Georgian letters
(Click on the letters to access words with transcription and audio files)

 
1. a 7. z 13. n 19. t' 25. sh 31. x
2. b 8. t 14. o 20. u 26. ch 32. dzh
3. g 9. i 15. p' 21. p 27. c 33. h
4. d 10. k' 16. zh 22. k 28. dz

5. e 11. l 17. r 23. gh 29. c'

6. v 12. m 18. s 24. q' 30. ch'

The description of pronunciation (articulation) of the Georgian sounds and the spelling of the corresponding letters are based on Amiran Lomtadze, We learn to write and read Georgian, Tbilisi, 1997, and Rusudan Asatiani, Georgian Language for Foreigners, Tbilisi, 1996.

Note: The letter x  used as a transliteration for the Georgian letter number 31 () does not express the same sound as the letter x in English.
It should be pronounced as glottalised ("hard") h and never as ks.




There is no grammatical gender in Georgian.
There are no articles.
The question ვინ (vin "who") applies only to human beings. Everything else, regardless of whether it is animate or inanimate, answers the question  რა (ra "what"), e. g.:
Group who (vin) - only human beings:

ვინ? vin? Who?


Listen to the whole list here:


დედა
deda mother
მამა
mama father
და
da sister
ძმა
dzma brother
გოგო
gogo girl
ბიჭი
bich'i boy
ქალი
kali woman
კაცი
man

Group what (ra) - all animate and inanimate beings except humans:
რა? ra? What?

Listen to the whole list here:
კატა
k'at'a cat
ჩიტი
chit'i bird
ძაღლი
dzaghli dog
სახლი
saxli house
ეზო
ezo yard
მანქანა
mankana car
ქუჩა
kucha street
 
All the forms listed above are nouns in the nominative case (a form used for naming things). In standard Georgian, nouns usually end in vowels (-i, -a, -e, -o or -u) in the nominative case.

A final vowel -i is a nominative case marker (k'ac-i, bavshv-i...). Other final vowels (-a, -e, -o, and -u) are not  nominative case markers. They belong to the stem.
The nominative case marker -i is attached even to loan words; e.g.:
common  nouns:
rector რექტორ rekt'ori
theatre თეატრი teat'ri
internet ინტერნეტი int'ernet'i
proper nouns:
London ლონდონი londoni
Berlin ბერლინი berlini
Thomas თომასი tomasi
Stems ending in the vowels -a, -e, -o or -u do not  require a marker in the nominative case:
Riga რიგა riga
Havana ჰავანა havana



There is one shared pronoun ის [is]for everything that is expressed in English by the pronouns: he, she, it, that, whereas the pronoun ეს [es] means the same as the pronoun this.
ის [is] - he, she, it, that
ეს [es] - this

Listen to the recordings, make sure to repeat each phrase out loud and memorize the sentences:

რა არის ეს?
ra aris es?
What is this?

ეს არის სკოლა. 
es aris sk'ola.
This is a school.

რა არის ეს?
ra aris es?
What is this?

ეს არის  მანქანა.
es aris mankana.
This is a car.

ვინ არის ის?
vin aris is?
Who is he?

ის არის  დავითი.
i
s aris Daviti.
He is Davit.

You see the difference between the Georgian and English spelling of the name. The vowel -i is attached to the end of the name in Georgian: Davit-i. The last vowel -i is a nominative case marker.
 The proper noun Davit ends in a consonant (in particular, in the consonant -t). In Georgian, it takes the nominative case marker -i
: დავით-.

ვინ არის  ის?
vin aris is?
Who is she?


ის არის ანა.
is aris Ana.
She is Anna.
The proper noun ანა ends in a vowel (in particular, in the vowel -a) and it does not take the nominative case marker -i.

Note: there are no geminated consonants in Georgian. The proper noun Anna is being pronounced and spelled ანა
[ana] in Georgian.




Learn the following numerals. Memorize the words and letters:

ერთი

erti
one
ორი

ori
two
სამი

sami
three
ოთხი

otxi
four
ხუთი

xuti
five
ექვსი

ekvsi
six
შვიდი

shvidi
seven
რვა

rva
eight
ცხრა

cxra
nine
ათი

ati
ten



Exercises:

1. Match the words (Women's names)

2. Match the words (Men's names)

3. Match the words (Men's names)

4. Match the words (Women's names)

5. Listen to the recordings and match the correct answer

6. Build the words and learn to count in Georgian! (one to ten)



Additional course material:

Exercise
Learn eleven letters of the Georgian alphabet.