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.
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,
The population of Georgia is4.2
(UN, 2010), by another estimation about 5.2
constitutional status as the official
language of Georgia (Constitution
of Georgia, chapter 1, article 8).
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.
The Georgian alphabet
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
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
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.
You can listen to each sound by clicking on the small
Column 2 shows transcription that we use in our course,
and column 3 indicates where you can find the Georgian
letters on your keyboard.
You have to install a Georgian font or activate Georgian
unicode on your computer to be able to type in Georgian
Watch the video lecture by Shorena and learn the
Georgian alphabet. Click here.
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: აa, ეe, იi, ოo and უu.
Sequences of two vowels are not
pronounced as diphthongs. Every vowel creates
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
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)
The description of pronunciation (articulation) of
the Georgian sounds and the spelling of the
corresponding letters are based onAmiran
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 (ხ) does
not express the same sound as the letter x in English.
It should be pronounced as glottalised ("hard") h
and never as ks.
no grammatical gender in Georgian.
There are no articles.
"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?
Group what (ra) - all
animate and inanimate beings except humans:
რა? ra? What?
All the forms
listed above are nouns in the nominative case
(a form used for naming things). In standard
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.:
theatre თეატრი teat'ri
internet ინტერნეტი int'ernet'i
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
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
This is a school.
რა არის ეს? ra aris es?
What is this?
ეს არის მანქანა. es aris
This is a car.
ვინ არის ის? vin aris
Who is he?
ის არის დავითი. is 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:
ვინ არის ის? vin aris
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.
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: