The Georgian alphabet
qarTuli anbani. 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 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:

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There are thirty-three sounds and the same number of letters in the modern literary Georgian language. Each letter has its own unique designation; there are no capitals. Every letter is expressed by one sound value. There are no silent letters.
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Information about pronunciation and how to write the modern Georgian letters

 
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. g (gh) 29. c'

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

The description of pronunciation (articulation) of the Georgian sounds and 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 used as a transliteration for the Georgian letter number 31 (x) does not express the same sound as the letter x in English.
It should be pronounced as glotalised ("hard") h and never as ks.

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Manana Kobaidze & Karina Vamling
Malmoe University, Sweden