Georgian (ქართული)

Georgian is a South Caucasian or Kartvelian language. It is spoken mainly in Georgia, where it is the official language. In 2016 there were about 3.4 million speakers of Georgian in Georgian. There are Georgian speakers in a number of other countries, including the Russian Federation (171,000), Turkey (151,000), Iran (64,100) and Azerbaijan (30,000).

Georgian at a glance

  • Native name: ქართული(kartuli) [kʰɑrtʰuli], ქართული ენა (kartuli ena) [kʰɑrtʰuli ɛnɑ]
  • Language family: Kartvelian, Karto-Zan
  • Number of speakers: c. 3.7 million
  • Spoken in: Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran
  • First written: 430 AD
  • Writing system: Mkhedruli alphabet (previously Asomtavruli and Nuskhuri alphabets)
  • Status: official language of Georgia

Georgian is related to Mingrelian, Laz, and Svan, all of which are spoken mainly in Georgia and are written with the Georgian (Mkhedruli) alphabet.

Georgian is thought to share a common ancestral language with the other South Caucasian languages. It started to develop as a separate language during the 1st millenium BC in an area that became the Kingdom of Iberia (c. 302 BC - 580 AD). It was first referred to in writing in the 2nd century AD by the Roman grammarian, Marcus Cornelius Fronto, in a letter to the emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Written Georgian

The Georgian language first appeared in writing in about 430 AD in an inscription in a church in Palestine in an alphabet known as Asomtavruli. Before then the main written language used in Georgia was a form of Aramaic known as Armazuli (არმაზული დამწერლობა). Two other alphabets have been used to write Georgian: Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli, which is the alphabet currently used.

Georgian alphabets

The top row of letters on each line is in the Asomtavruli alphabet, the second row is in the Nuskhuri alphabet, and third row is in the Mkhedruli alphabet.

Georgian Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli alphabets

Download a Georgian alphabet charts in Excel, Word or PDF format

Sample text in Georgian in the Mkhedruli alphabet

ყველა ადამიანი იბადება თავისუფალი და თანასწორი თავისი ღირსებითა და უფლებებით. მათ მინიჭებული აქვთ გონება და სინდისი და ერთმანეთის მიმართ უნდა იქცეოდნენ ძმობის სულისკვეთებით.


Qvela adamiani ibadeba tavisupali da tanasts'ori tavisi ghirsebita da uplebebit. Mat minich'ebuli akvt goneba da sindisi da ertmanetis mimart unda iktseodnen dzmobis sulisk'vetebit.

A recording of this text by George Keretchashvili


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in Georgian

Information about Georgian | Mkhedruli alphabet | Nuskhuri alphabet | Asomtavruli alphabet | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel | Songs | Learning materials


Information about Georgian

Georgian language courses

Georgian alphabet game
Learn Georgian Alphabet Now

Georgian - a reading grammar (PDF)

Georgian phrases

Online Georgian dictionaries

Georgian transliteration and spell checkers

Georgian fonts

Online Georgian news and radio

South Caucasian languages

Georgian, Laz, Mingrelian, Svan

Languages written with the Georgian alphabet

Abkhaz, Batsbi, Georgian, Laz, Mingrelian, Svan

Page last modified: 28.12.21


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