Most people prefer studying popular European languages like Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, or French. Here, however, are a few reasons to convince you to learn the Georgian language.
First of all, I would like to introduce Georgia to people, who still confuse my country with a state in the U.S.A. Georgia is Saqartvelo! It’s not a state, but a small independent country located between Europe and Asia where there are snowy mountains in Winter and sandy beaches during the hot, sunny Summer. I believe that tourists who love adventure should visit here -- and let’s not forget about the Georgian language! When visiting a country, it is much better when you know the country’s native language. Therefore you should learn Georgian in order to truly feel the soul of Georgia.
The Georgian word გამარჯობა (Hello) is a word which every visitor should know. The word comes from the Georgian word for victory. You’ll be pleased to see how Georgians respect and love guests. In fact, you can ask to anyone on the street როგორ ბრძანდებით? (How are you?) or, if you want to be less formal, simply say როგორ ხართ? (How are you?, informal). Normally, you will be greeted back with a smile!
So if the pictures aren't enough, here are some reasons for you to start learning Georgian
The Georgian alphabet is very different from all other languages
Georgian does not use the Latin alphabet and our letters are unique in their appearance. There are three historical Georgian scripts or writing systems used to write the Georgian language: Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri, and Mkhedruli. Nowadays, however, we only use the Mkhedruli system.
Mkhedruli is a more well-rounded and freer writing system. If you take a look at the picture of the Georgian alphabet below this paragraph, you will probably agree that it really is wonderful. The modern Georgian alphabet consists of 33 letters. The most important aspect to remember, which makes it easier to read the Georgian language, is that you read and pronounce the words the way they are written compared to other languages.
The Georgian language allows you to clearly and artistically express yourself
I personally believe that the more words there are in a language, the more developed and prosperous it is. The Georgian language is one of the most varied languages in the world when it comes to its vocabulary and the means to create new words. Take, for instance, the many words produced from the word დიდი (big). And some of these are:
- მოდიდო (bigger )
- უდიდესი ( the biggest )
- სიდიდე (magnitude)
- გადიდება (enlarge)
- დიდებული (great)
- ადიდებული (burst )
- გამდიდებელი (a person, who enlarges something)
- გასადიდებელი (plumping)
- სადიდებელი (praising)
- გადიდდა (increased )
The Georgian language is also full of synonyms and antonyms. With this language you can create new words and express your every point, sense, and opinion with pinpoint accuracy along with distinct artistry. So, if you hear some unusual words coming from Georgians, don’t be astonished: it is simply because Georgians use the language to express their emotions, and you will be able to understand the meaning of the word easily based on its pronunciation.
At the same time, Georgian words are very interesting. For example, in Georgian, the words faithful or loyal can be translated as ერთგული. But this word literally means one-hearted. The word ორგული (literally two-hearted) means unfaithful. Sometimes, by attaching two Georgian words with each other we get a new word, which is really fun!
Georgian language includes one of the greatest works of literature
There are a lot of languages, and among them, Georgian is one of the oldest. What’s more, the Georgian alphabet and Georgian literature go back for centuries. Our works of literature are wonderful: if you enjoy reading, then you should get to know Georgian books. The oldest preserved inscriptions and manuscripts in Georgian was written in the 5th Century.
The world renowned poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin (literally translated as The One With a Skin of a Tiger) was written in the 12th Century. The poem focuses on human relationships and emotions such as friendship, loyalty, love, and passion.
Though it has been translated into many languages, there is no denying that books read in their native language are more interesting and exciting than translated ones. Although it’s written in old words (which are a bit hard to understand), this particular book comes with its own dictionary. So, if you know the Georgian language, you will be able to understand everything.
Alongside this classical literature, there are many contemporary poets and authors whose works won’t leave you disappointed. Modern Georgian canon contains many literary bodies of work about topics ranging from love to friendship to nature. In fact, if you adore nature, you must get to know Georgian writer Vazha-Pshavela. The writer, who I feel describes nature perfectly, attempts to express the thoughts and feelings of plants and animals and truly brings nature alive. You can’t miss Withered Beech, which is one of his greatest works, or A Roe-Deer Fawn’s Story in which he sets out the feelings of an orphan roe.
What’s more, you can even read Georgian history in the Georgian language, which is truly impressive: Georgia has a long and very interesting history. Along the process of learning Georgian, you can get to know Georgian kings as well as our old culture and traditions.
You will be able to communicate with the Georgian people
Georgian people are very hospitable, and you’ll be well respected in their eyes if you try to speak the language. They will guide you and introduce the country with great pleasure. The natives love guests and will try to do their best to please you while you’re in their country. So, learning the Georgian language may grant you many benefits upon your travels.
To sum up, I would like to tell you that although Georgian isn’t a language that you can use in many different countries, it is a language which will bring you joy and greatly help you in getting to know Georgia and the Georgian culture. Knowing the Georgian language will also help you a lot while travelling in Georgia because most of the population speaks in Georgian, so not everyone knows English. So, sometimes, speaking English won’t be much help when trying to communicate with a native Georgian.