Georgian Language Information – "Georgia's Always On My Mind."
When you read the phrase “Georgia's Always On My Mind” I assume you thought of Ray Charles singing about the southern American state. However, this was also used by the Beatles in the song “Back in the USSR” and when the Beatles said that Georgia was always on their mind, they weren't talking about the state in America. In fact, they were referencing a unique country seated between Asia and Europe with a population of nearly 4.7 million people - Georgia. The people of that country speak the official language of Georgia: Georgian .
Georgian is known as a Kartvelian language, a primary language family. It uses a unique text that dates back to the 5th century AD making it the only Caucasian language with an ancient literary tradition. In addition to the people of Georgia, there are significant numbers of Georgian speakers in Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Russia. In total, about 6 million people consider Georgian their primary language.
Like many languages with a significant amount of history, Georgian has several dialects that fall into two main categories: Eastern and Western. Additionally, Georgian has 33 letters in it's alphabet consisting of 5 vowels and 28 consonants. Each letter produces only one sound and spelling normally matches pronunciation. This means that spelling in Georgian is considerably easier than in a language such as English.
Writing in Georgian has seen many scripts over it's history. The almost entirely predominant method of writing is called "mkhedruli" or "military" while the other scripts are mostly only of historical and artistic value today.
The development of the language is normally broken into four historical periods. Early Georgian developed between the 5th and 8th century. Classical Georgian continued until the 11th century. Middle Georgian was in development from the 12th to the 18th century. Finally, Modern Georgian took over until the present time.
Like all languages, Georgian involves intonation, stresses, and rhythm. The stresses in Georgian are not aggressive and is syllable-timed. This means that each syllable takes the same amount of time to say. Other examples of syllable-timed languages are French, Italian, and Spanish.
Unlike French, Italian, and Spanish, Georgian does not have grammatical genders. Even the pronouns are neutral. In addition, there are no articles such as 'the' or 'a' and it is considered a pro-drop language in which classes of pronouns can be omitted from speech. However, like English, Georgian is a left-branching language in which adjectives are normally placed before the noun and objects are put before the verb.
While it is a relatively small country with a humble number of speakers, it has produced many great poets, musicians, and artists such as the great ballet choreographer George Balanchine. There were also less appealing though great and influential Georgian speakers such as Joseph Stalin. This language may be humble, but it shows no sign of disappearing.