Georgian Language


Georgian is one of the oldest living languages in the world, and boasts its own distinctive alphabet (one of only 14 in the world). Georgian writing first appeared in the 5th century.

According to legend, the Georgian alphabet was created in the 3rd century B.C. during the reign of King Parnavaz. Whatever the truth of the legend, the first conclusive proof of written Georgian comes from an early fifth century inscription found near Bethlehem, Palestine. An inscription from 480 above the door of the fantastic Bolnisi Sioni church, to the south of Tbilisi, is the first example from within Georgia.

The writing of the Georgian language has progressed through three forms, known by their Georgian names: Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri, and Mkhedruli. They have always been distinct alphabets, even though they have been used together to write the same languages, and even though these alphabets share the same letter names and letter order. Although the most recent alphabet, Mkhedruli, contains more letters than the two historical ones, those extra letters are no longer needed for writing modern Georgian.

Modern Georgian makes use of 33 letters, all corresponding to a single sound. Georgian is written left to right, and does not distinguish between capital and small letters.