გამარჯობა- learning Georgian!


Since explaining the basics of different versions of tea helped me a lot in understanding it, I hope that writing this article will help in the same way with the Georgian language. It's difficult to move to a completely new country- discovering the new culture, the people around you, the language… It’s even more interesting if you suddenly realize that you can not read anymore.

Georgian is amongst the 10 oldest languages in the world and apparently, Georgians decided somewhere in the very early stages of history that they want their very own everything. Therefore they came up with the Georgian language- Kartuli ena and alphabet- Georgian script. It had three different versions but the one that is used now mostly consists of letters that for me look like the Latin “M” (none of them is actually an “M”), number 6 or number 3.

M-like letters: დ (d), თ (th), ლ (l), ო (o), რ - (r, hence the Renegade logo), ფ (p), ღ (r)

6-like letters: ბ (b), გ (g), მ (m), ნ (n), ს (s), შ (sh), ძ (dz), წ (ts), ხ (kh)

3-like letters: ვ (v), კ (k), პ (p), ც (ts), ჰ (h)

The rest of them: ა (a), ე (e), ზ (z), ი (i), ჟ (zh), ტ (t), უ (u), ქ (k), ყ (k), ჩ (ch), ჭ (ch), ჯ - (j)

As you can see there are quite a lot of letters that in Latin description look the same, like the variety of letter "K" for example- unfortunately, I am not able to write down in Georgian what their differences are. You just have to come here and consult a Georgian I suppose! 😉

Letters like M, 6 or 3 cover 20 of the 33 letters in Georgian alphabet, so if you will master those, you are more or less covered- congratulations! 😊 The good news about the alphabet is that there are no small letters- all M’s, 3’s and 6’s are equally important, does not matter if they are in the end or in the middle of a word.

learning georgian

Reminding myself how it felt to learn the letters in kindergarten and loving those practising notebooks for children.

Since as an Estonian I am more familiar with different versions of O's (o, õ or ö), then it is quite a challenge to pronounce all of the letters, but I do my best to understand different "sh", "ch", "ts" and "ds" variations of Georgian and on some glorious day I will master this skill and gain back my ability to read the signs in the shops fluently.

By the sound of the language I would say that it is not that comparable with anything else- as I mentioned before, it seems that Georgians have done their very own thing here with their language. But if I would need to compare it to something, I would say it's like Turkish maybe? A small selection of the words I already know:

  • Hello! - Gamarjoba (გამარჯობა).  Fun fact- this means “victory” and is reflecting the country’s history with endless attacks and war.

  • Thank you - Madluba (მადლობა)

  • Goodbye - Nakhvamdis (ნახვამდი)

And my personal favourite:

  • I don’t understand - Ar mesmis! (არ მესმის)

We also tried to master the pronunciation skill with some of the words that are most needed for us:

 


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