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  and
Country profile by David A. Mchedlishvili.
These sites introduce general data on the geography, history and culture of Georgia.

More resources about Georgia:















Georgian Flag

More detailed  information.





Georgia's Large Coat of Arms

Georgia's Small Coat of Arms:





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 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)

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.

Additional course material:
History of the Georgian alphabet




You can listen to each sound by clicking on the small blue arrows.
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


1
2
3


1
2
3


1
2
3
1
01.mp3  ა
a
a

12
12.mp3  მ
m
m

23
23.mp3  ღ
gh
R
2
02.mp3  ბ
b
b

13
13.mp3  ნ
n
n

24
24.mp3  ყ
q'
y
3
03.mp3   გ
g
g

14
14.mp3  ო
o
o

25
25.mp3  
sh
S
4
04.mp3  
d
d

15
15.mp3  
p'
p

26
26.mp3  
ch
C
5
05.mp3  
e
e

16
16.mp3  
zh
J

27
27.mp3  
c
c
6
06.mp3  
v
v

17
17.mp3  
r
r

28
28.mp3  
dz
Z
7
07.mp3  
z
z

18
18.mp3  
s
s

29
29.mp3  
c'
w
8
08.mp3  
t
T

19
19.mp3  
t'
t

30
30.mp3  
ch'
W
9
09.mp3  
i
i

20
20.mp3  
u
u

31
31.mp3  
x
x
10
10.mp3  
k'
k

21
21.mp3  
p
f

32
32.mp3  
dzh
j
11
11.mp3  
l
l

22
22.mp3  
k
q

33
33.mp3  
h
h

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: 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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfTOTcTqf2I




The Georgian alphabet
ქართული ანბანი  kartuli anbani

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:
nvin.mp3ვინ? vin? Who?

დედა n01.mp3
deda mother
მამა n02.mp3
mama father
და   n03.mp3
da sister
ძმა n04.mp3
dzma brother
გოგო n05.mp3
gogo girl
ბიჭი n06.mp3
bich'i boy
ქალი n07.mp3
kali woman
კაცი n08.mp3
man

Group what (ra) - all animate and inanimate beings except humans:
nra.mp3რა? ra? What?

n09_15.mp3
კატა n09.mp3
k'at'a cat
ჩიტი n10.mp3
chit'i bird
ძაღლი n11.mp3
dzaghli dog
სახლი n12.mp3
saxli house
ეზო n13.mp3
ezo yard
მანქანა n14.mp3
mankana car
ქუჩა n15.mp3
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:

n16.mp3 რა არის ეს?
ra aris es?
What is this?

n17.mp3 ეს არის სკოლა. 
es aris sk'ola.
This is a school.

n18.mp3 რა არის ეს?
ra aris es?
What is this?

n19.mp3 ეს არის  მანქანა.
es aris mankana.
This is a car.

n20.mp3 ვინ არის ის?
vin aris is?
Who is he?

n21.mp3 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-.

n22.mp3 ვინ არის  ის?
vin aris is?
Who is she?


n23.mp3 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:
nlist.mp3
ერთი
n1.mp3
erti
one
ორი
n2.mp3
ori
two
სამი
n3.mp3
sami
three
ოთხი
n4.mp3
otxi
four
ხუთი
n5.mp3
xuti
five
ექვსი
n6.mp3
ekvsi
six
შვიდი
n7.mp3
shvidi
seven
რვა
n8.mp3
rva
eight
ცხრა
n9.mp3
cxra
nine
ათი
n10ati.mp3
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, find the words, and learn them!

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



Additional course material:

Exercise
Learn eleven letters of the Georgian alphabet.




Additional links about Georgian Alphabet:
http://www.aboutgeorgia.ge/language/alphabet.html
http://www.georgianweb.com/language/3dalphabet/3dalphabet.html


Additional links about Georgian Alphabet:
http://www.ancientscripts.com/georgian.html
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/georgian2.htm
http://www.aboutgeorgia.ge/language