100% audio Georgian course - 37 lessons in English
Georgian is the official language of the Republic of Georgia, in the central Caucasus. A language of 4 million speakers (83% of the population), it is also spoken by 500,000 Georgians abroad. Georgian belongs to the Caucasian language family (polyphyletic), a branch of Kartvelian languages. Georgian grammar is very special,
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In Georgian, adjectives precede nouns, possessives precede possessions, objects precede verbs and postpositions replace prepositions. The word order is quite free due to the presence of declensions. There is no grammatical genre and no articles. Georgian has been written with a variety of alphabets but the most common is Mkhedruli. Literature began in the 4th century with the country's conversion to Christianity.
Kartvelian language is spoken by more than 5 million speakers and having an unusual alphabet (33 letters including 28 consonants and 5 vowels), Georgians are proud of their culture and tradition. The Georgian language has a declension with 7 cases. Learning Georgian will immerse you in an exciting world and allow you unforgettable encounters during your trip to Georgia .
The grammar of the Georgian language holds surprises for French-speaking speakers. Like all Caucasian languages, it is probably the verbal system that poses the greatest challenge to foreign audiences. As in many other languages, we use postpositions instead of prepositions. Just like some African languages, Georgian distinguishes three kinds of demonstrative: close to the person speaking, close to the person to whom one is speaking, and far from the two interlocutors. There are also three types of negations in the Georgian language.
Names in Georgian
The Georgian language has no articles (both well-defined and undefined). The Georgian language distinguishes between animate and inanimate beings. On the other hand, animate beings only concern human beings such as "policeman, teacher, student, director, etc." while all other names are considered "inanimate". Even animals or plants are classified in the inanimate category. This distinction between living and non-living is believed to date back to a pre-Catholic worldview.
The Georgian name has a stem and it is terminated in connection with its function in the sentence. In other words, Georgian is a case language like Russian, German or Latin.
The Georgian language has 7 cases: nominative, narrative, dative, genitive, ablative, circumstantial and vocative.
- nominative : (ending in i) subject case. This in the form that Georgian words are found in the dictionary.
- narrative : (ending in -ma) The narrative is also used for the subject of the verb but with particular verbal tenses.
- dative : (ending in -s): The dative is the case of the indirect object complement. It usually answers the question "to whom?" "Or" to what? ". In the sentence "I am talking to my sister", the word "sister" should be put in the dative.
- genitive : (ending in -is): the genitive is the complement case of the name (of belonging).
- instrumental : (ending in -it): the instrumental marks the accompaniment and has the meaning of "with".
- adverbial : (ending in -ad). The adverbial case makes it possible to express the way of being or of acting. We will say "He worked as a translator from Georgian".
- vocative : (ending in -o). The vocative exists in certain languages like Serbian and is used to call out someone like in French “Vinçent! ".
Verbs in Georgian
The verbal system is very strange and complex. Certain peculiarities make one think of Russian, such as the system of prefixes to distinguish the perfective verbs (those whose action is accomplished or completed) and imperfectives (whose action is in court or continues). These prefixes indicate, if necessary, the direction of the movement of the action, from top to bottom, towards the speaker, moving away etc ...
The most curious is what is called the pluripersonal character of the Georgian verb. Unlike French where the conjugation of verbs depends on the single subject. (I sing, we sing…). Georgian, like Basque moreover, has a more complex conjugation in which the subject and the complement intervene.
Conjugation of verbs
Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin to learn Georgian conjugations and verbs.
˃ The Georgian verbal system is one of the most complex in the world. It is nevertheless useful to know that it is very regular. Indeed the logic of Georgian conjugation constitutes a real challenge for foreigners. and mastering it requires attention and time.
˃ Persons in Georgian: verbs are conjugated according to the person (1st, 2nd or 3rd), as well as the number (singular or plural), just like in French.
˃ The Georgian language knows like all languages (present, past or future) and modes (indicative: subjunctive: imperative).
˃ Georgian verbs of movement, like their Russian counterparts, can have two distinct forms depending on whether the movement is expressed in the absolute ("the child walks", that is to say he can walk) or in a precise direction (the child walks towards the garden ").
˃ Each Georgian verb has two forms (as in Russian): perfective and imperfective verbal form: The choice of the correct verbal form is made according to whether or not the action has been accomplished. In other words, if the action is in progress or if it has been completed. Normally, the present tenses and the imperfect use the imperfective while the future tenses, the perfect, the conditional and the imperative use the perfective.
˃ Movement prefixes in Georgian: this prefix indicates in which direction the action takes place: towards the subject, away from the subject, up and down or vice versa, etc. the Georgian language has about 15 prefixes. These same prefixes are used to create the perfective form of the Georgian verb. These same prefixes are used to form the perfective.
˃ The pluripersonal character of Georgian verbs: this is undoubtedly the most confusing aspect of Georgian conjugation. In almost all the languages of the world, the verb is conjugated in connection with the subject of the sentence (ex: I speak Georgian, we speak Georgian). In Georgian, the verb can also change in connection with the complement that follows the verb. In other words, it takes into account the direct complement or the indirect complement. The Georgian verb can therefore be mono-personal (in the case where the subject alone is expressed), bi-personal or tripersonal (in the case where one or two complements of the verb intervene).
˃ Pluri-personal expression in Georgian: the process used to express the pluri-personal character of the verb is the “version”. Indeed, it suffices to affix a prefix to a vowel in front of the stem of the verb and this makes it possible to demonstrate whether the action is made for the benefit of the first, the second or the third person, or if it does not. is made for the benefit of no one.
˃ Certain verbal nuances, such as uncertainty or the “we say that…” in French are translated into the Georgian language by particular verbal forms.
˃ Most Georgian verbs are constant and are regular. There are a few that are irregular.
˃A verb like "to speak" can therefore be translated in several ways depending on its pluripersonal character and its version.
Conjugation of the verb "to be" in Georgian
The verb "to be" in the present tense in Georgian.
As in French and several other languages, the verb "to be is irregular". We also note that, in most languages, the more irregular verbs are often the most used.
me var = I am
shen khar = you are
is aris = he / she is
tchven vart = we are
tkven khart = you are
isini arian = they are
The verb "to be" in the past tense in Georgian
The verb "to be" does not distinguish between the past simple and the imperfect. Thus the "me vikavi" means as much "I was" as I was "
me viKavi = I was
shen iKavi = you were
is iKo = he / she was
tchven viKavit = we were
tkven iKavit = you were
isini iKkvnen = they were
The verb "to be" in the future in Georgian
me viknebi = I will be
shen iknebi = you will be
is ikneba = he / she will be
tchven viknebit = we will be
tkven iknebit = you will be
isini iknebian = they will be
Conjugation of the verb "to have" in Georgian
We have seen that the Georgian language distinguishes between animate beings (essentially human beings) and inanimate things (things, animals, plants, etc.). The Georgian verb "to have" therefore has two forms depending on whether it accompanies a human thing (being animated) or a non-human thing (which the Georgian language considers inanimate). Let's take a look at the form "cola" which accompanies animated beings as in the sentence "I have a Georgian teacher".
The verb "to have" in the present tense in Georgian (to be animated).
The verb "to have" in the Georgian past tense (to be animated)
The verb "to have" in the future in Georgian (to be animated)