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Phrasebook.pdf

Basics.pdf

Alphabet

The georgian alphabet ( Mkhedruli ) is the most recent georgian alphabet and the one in use nowadays.

It is used only in Georgia and in Kartvelian languages, so it won't be of big help out of Georgia, and all the rest of the lessons in georgian will be written in english and georgian alphabet, so you don't really need to learn it ; but it is a quiet easy alphabet to learn as each letter correspond only to one sound and vice versa, that means that if you can read letters in georgian you can pronounce it ( not as in english or french ), as long as you manage with the pronounciation of some very tricky consonants and the difficulty to pronounce some words containing sometimes up to 8 consecutives consonants.

I advise you to start to learn the vowels, as it is fast to learn and you will find them in any word you see, and keep the consonants for later, especially the tricky ones.

 

Vowels :

  • : pronounced as in "hat"  ;  transcription : a

  • : prounouced as short e in "pet" ; transcription : e

  • : prounouced as short i in "hit" ; transcription : i

  • : prounouced as short o in "hot" ; transcription : o

  • : prounouced as oo in "hook" ; transcription : u

Consonants :

 

  • : pronounced as b in "bet".  ; transliteration : b

  • : pronounced as g in "grey".  ; transliteration : g

  • : pronounced as d in "diamond".  ; transliteration : d

  • : pronounced as v in "volt".  ; transliteration : v

  • : pronounced as z in _"zero_".  ; transliteration : z

  • : pronounced as t in "turtle".  ; transliteration : t

  • : pronounced as english _k but ejective ( see tricky consonants );_ transliteration : k'

  • : pronounced as l in "luck".  ; transliteration : l

  • : pronounced as m in "mother".  ; transliteration : m

  • : pronounced as n in "none".  ; transliteration : n

  • : pronounced as english p but ejective ( see tricky consonants); transliteration : p'

  • : pronounced as s in "pleasure".  ; transliteration : j

  • : pronounced as the rolled spanish r ; transliteration : r

  • : pronounced as _sin "set".  ;_ transliteration : s

  • : pronounced as english t but ejective ( see tricky consonants ); transliteration : t'

  • : pronounced as p in "place".  ; transliteration : p

  • : pronounced as k in "kit".  ; transliteration : k

  • : pronounced as the french r in "rouge".  ; transliteration : gh

  • : pronounced a bit as english k but articulated further back in the mouth, a bit like the arabic letter qaf ق accompanied with a strong friction; transliteration : q'

  • : pronounced as sh in "shirt".  ; transliteration : sh

  • : pronounced as ch in "church".  ; transliteration : ch

  • : pronounced as ts in "pits".  ; transliteration : ts

  • : pronounced as english _dz_; transliteration : dz

  • : pronounced as english ts but ejective ( see tricky consonants ); transliteration : ts'

  • : pronounced as english _ch but ejective ( see tricky consonants );_ transliteration : ch'

  • : pronounced as the scottish ch in "Loch", or the german ch in "Bach" ; transliteration : kh

  • : pronounced as dge in "edge".  ; transliteration : dj

  • : pronounced as h in "house".  ; transliteration : h

Tricky consonants

Georgian distinguishes between aspirated and non-aspirated (ejective) consonants. An aspirated consonant is accompanied by a puff of air when you say it. In Georgian, there is even more of a "puff" of air for aspirated consonants than you would hear in English.

A non-aspirated ( ejective ) consonant in Georgian, however, actually contains no puff of air whatsoever. Georgians close the back of their throat, similar to what you do before you cough or the closed throat moment between uh and oh in "uh-oh." They then pronounce the non-aspirated consonants without any exhalation at all. Don't worry if you have trouble producing this type of sound, though, in context you will be understood!

Numbers

Here is a table to remember for numbers in georgian :

10 + .. ...0 ...00 ..000
0 nul-i at-i tens hundreds thousands millions billions
1 ert-i t-ert-met'-i at-i as-i at-as-i milion-i ert-i miliardi
2 or-i t-or-met'-i ots-i or-as-i or-at-as-i or-i milion-i or-i miliard-i
3 sam-i tsa-met'-i ots-da-at'-i sam-as-i sam-at-as-i ... ...
4 otkh-i t-otkh-met'i or-m-ots-i ... ... ... ...
5 khut-i t-khut-met'-i or-m-ots-da-at-i
6 ekvs-i t-ekvs-met'-i sa-m-ots-i
7 shvid-i shvid-met'-i sa-m-ots-da-at-i
8 rva t-vra-met'-i otkh-m-ots-i
9 tskhra tskra-met'-i otkh-m-ots-da-at-i

Then you just have to add numbers one after another, example : 2.748.169.513 : ori miliardi, shvid-as-or-m-ots-da-rva milioni, as-sa-m-ots-da-tskhra at-as-i, khut-as-tsa-met'-i.

As you can see, from 20 to 99, the system is based no units of 20, so that 50 is literally "(2 x 20) and 10", and 59 is "(2 x 20) and ( 10 + 9 more )" ( or-m-ots-da-tskhra-met'-i ).

From 11 to 19 the forms are analysable as "10 + unit(s) more", so that 11 is literally "10 + one more".

Ordinals are produced by the addition of me-root-e on the number, except of first which is said p'irveli, second me-or-e, third me-sam-e, etc...

For halfs, you can use ნახევარი [nakhevari] after the number to express the preceding half : erti nakhevari -> half one ; ori nakhevari -> one and half

Grammar, general rules

Sentence structure :

Georgian is a left-branching language, in which adjectives precede nouns, possessors precede possessions, object normally precede verbs, and postpositions are used instead of prepositions. If the Subject-Object-Verb structure is the most common in georgian, a Subject-Verb-Object can be used when the focus is on subject.

Genders :

There is no grammatical gender, "he", "she" or "it" are expressed in the same way.

 

Agglutination :

Georgian is an agglutinative language. There are certain prefixes and suffixes that are joined together in order to build a verb. In some cases, there can be up to 8 different morphemes in one verb at the same time. An example can be ageshenebinat ("you (pl) had built"). The verb can be broken down to parts: a-g-e-shen-eb-in-a-t. Each morpheme here contributes to the meaning of the verb tense or the person who has performed the verb.

 

Articles :

Georgian has no articles. Therefore, for example, "guest", "a guest" and "the guest" are said in the same way.

 #### Negation :

There are a three ways to express negation :

  • the simple "no" answer to a question is არა [ara]
  • to express negation of an action, არ [ar] must be used before the verb, like "not" in english.
  • ვერ [ver] express the inability, "cannot"
  • ნუ [nu] could be translate as "do not" and is used with imperative forms.

Pronouns and particles

Personals and possessives pronouns :

Here is the list of the personal and possessive pronouns in georgian :

Case english ქართულში
singular plural
1st 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 3rd
Nominative pronouns I მე [me] შენ [shen] ის [is] ჩვენ [chven] თქვენ [tkven] ისინი [isini]
possessive pronouns mine, my ჩემი [chemi] შენი [sheni] მისი [misi] ჩვენი [chveni] თქვენი [tkveni] მათი [mati]

By adding -ც [ts] at the end of the pronoun, you can express "too", example :

mets momtson : I like too

shents midikhar ? : you're going too ?

 

demonstrative pronouns :

ის [is], ეს [es] are the 2 demonstratives prounouns in Georgian, es is used for something close ( this ) and is for something further ( that ).

example : is gogo dzalian lamazi aris : that girl is very beautiful ;

es ramdeni lari ? : how much this cost ? ( lit : "this how much money ")

 

Interrogative pronouns :

One of the most important things to learn in any language are the interrogative pronouns, how to say who, what, where, etc... :

  • რა [ra] ? : what ?
  • როგორ [rogor] ? : how ?
  • რამდენი [ramdeni] ? : how much ? / how many ?
  • სადან [sadan] ? : from where ?
  • სად [sad] ? : where ?
  • სადა [sada] ? : to where ?
  • როდის [rodis] ? : when ?
  • რატომ  [rat'om]? : why ?
  • ვინ [vin] ? : who ?
  • რისთვის [ristvis] ? : for what ?
  • რომელი [romeli] ? : which ?

 

Conjonctions :

These are the main conjonctions in georgian, they are used in a similar way than in european languages :

  • ან [an] : or
  • და [da] : and
  • მაგრამ [magram] : but
  • თუ [tu] : if
  • იმიტო [imit'o] : because

 

Postpositions :

As we saw, georgian is build with postpositions rather than prepositions, so words like "in", "to", "from", "at" are expressed with suffixes attached to the words ; here are some of this suffixes :

  • -ზე [-ze] : on
  • -თან [-tan] : at, near
  • -ში [-shi] : in, to
  • -დან [-dan] : from ( a place )
  • -გან [-gan] : from ( a person, a thing )
  • -თვის [-tvis] : for
  • ერთად [ertad] : with
  • გარეშე [gareshe] : without

Examples : tbilischi vtskhovrob : I live in tbilisi

me Saprangetidan var : I am from France

me chemi dzma ertad batmuchi midivar : I go to Batumi with my brother ( lit:'I my brother together to batumi I-go')

Possibility :

The possibility can be express with შეიძლება [sheidzleba], it is comparable to можна in russian

example of uses : sheidzleba ik midivart ? : Is it possible that we go there ? ( lit : "possibility, there we go ?" )

Or you can just use sheidzleba alone to ask for any kind of permission.

Nouns and adjectives

Plurals :

Plurals of names are simply formed by adding -ebi at the end of a noun ( after removing the final i ), but it is not used when the noun is preceded by a quantifier of any kind. By example : katsi -> man ; katsebi -> men ; khuti katsi -> five men

 

Comparative and superlative :

Are expressed with უფრო [upro] ( more ), უფრო ყველაზე [upro q'velaze] ( the most ) and are located before the adjective :

  • k'argi : good
  • upro k'argi : better
  • upro q'velaze k'argi : the best

The suffix -ზე [-ze] ( on ) is used to compare between subject and object : Tbilis-i Batum-ze dzalian upro lamazi aris : Tbilisi is much more beautiful than   Batumi.

To express equality you can used როგორთს[rogorts] : like, as.

Examples :

sakartvelochi, khinkali upro q'velaze k'argi sachmeli aris : In Georgia, khinkali is the best food ( lit : "Georgia-in, khinkali the most good food is" )

kartveli ghvino prangi ghvino rogorts aris : georgian wine is like french wine

Verbs

Verb to be :

The verb "to be" is the georgian copula, it declines as the following table :

Singular 1st ვარ [var]
2nd ხარ [khar]
3rd არის [aris]
Plural 1st ვართ [vart]
2nd ხართ [khart]
3rd არიან [arian]

* the (s) in the 3rd person of singular is often omitted.

 

Verb to have :

The verb "to have" declines as the following table :

Singular 1st მაქვს [makvs]
2nd გაქვს [gakvs]
3rd აქვს [akvs]
Plural 1st მაქვთ [makvt]
2nd გაქვთ [gakvt]
3rd აქვთ [akvt]

Conjugaison :

The georgian verbal system is extremly complex, verbs are divided in 4 groups : transitive verbs, intransitive verbs, medial verbs and indirect verbs ; each class uses different strategies to build the verb complex and there are many irregular words, moreover, verbs are not only conjugate according to the subject but also according to the object and the indirect object ! By example : მიყვარხარ [m-i-q'var-khar] means by itself "I love you", while მიყვარს [m-i-q'var-s] and გიყვარვარ [ g-i-q'varvar] mean respectively "I love him/her" and "you love me"...

...

We won't learn how to conjugate verbs here, the purpose here is to have something easy to learn, and to not spend hours of study ; so to make it more easy I just wrote down a serie of verbs conjugated in the 1st person singular in the basic vocabulary section, so you can just use this form with the corresponding pronouns ; thus, to say "you love me" we will use shen me miq'var [you I I-love], helped by the gestual language you should be understood.

Here is also a table that can give you an idea of how to conjugate verbs according to the 1st person conjugaison, thus if the 1st person begins by v, you can conjugate it as in the first table, if the 1st person begins with m, you can conjugate as in the second table.

  Singular Plural Singular Plural
S1 v-... v-...-t O1 m-... gv-...
S2 ∅(/kh)- ∅(/kh)-...-t O2 g- g-...-t
S3 ∅-...-s/-a/-o ∅-...- en (-nen)/-an/-n/-es O3 ∅- ...-t

Here are two exemple of verb conjugaison, you can follow this pattern to conjugate the verbs, there are many exceptions and rules that I'm not speaking about but following this pattern should be correct in most of the case.

To do : To want :
Singular Plural Singular Plural
S1 v-ak'eteb v-ak'eteb-t O1 m-inda m-inda-t
S2 ak'eteb ak'eteb-t O2 g-inda g-inda-t
S3 ak'eteb-s ak'eteb-en O3 unda unda-t

So by example, I buy : vq'idulob, knowing this you can conjugate as following :

  • me vq'idulob : I buy

  • shen q'idulob : you buy

  • es q'idulobs : he buy

  • chven vq'idulobt : we buy

  • tkven q'idulobt : you buy

  • isini q'iduloban : they buy

Orelse if you really want to know more about verb conjugation you can check the wikipedia page about it.

We won't learn about past or future here, if you want to express past or future, you can just use beforeწინ [ts'in] and after : შემდეგ [shemdeg] / მერე [mere].