Georgian Alphabet

What is Georgia?

Georgia is a transcontinental country that has a variety of people and cultures, being at the intersection of Western Asia and Europe. Georgia is not to be confused with the U.S state of the same name, as this is a common misconception among English speakers in the west during normal conversation. Georgia is bordered by many countries in the Caucasus region, with a large influence from Russian and Turkish cultures. Roughly a third of the Georgian people live in Tbilisi, which is the capital and largest city.

Georgia is rife with a conflicting past, which was established by various independent kingdoms that came together in the classical era - most notably the Colchis and Iberia kingdoms. Georgians that are ethnic to the region have adopted Christianity as their professed and primary religion and it plays a large part in their culture. This also contributed to the political and religious/spiritual unification of the early period, which needed a proverbial glue to bind together the Georgian states. This was a common practice around Europe and influenced laws and writing forms. After the Russian revolution in 1917 which saw the rise of the Soviet Union, Georgia became an independent republic. Throughout time, the increasing yoke of their Russian overlords angered the population, which now has a large pro-west sentiment throughout its population to expel Russian forces from the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions.

What is the Georgian Alphabet?

The Georgian alphabet has had many influences and now largely adopts both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets as they are widespread and easily adaptable. However, Georgian scripts are broken into three writing systems that are used to write the ethnic Georgian language, which is called Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri, and Mkhedruli. The systems may differ in the appearance of the written letters, but they share the same name and alphabetical order, which is written horizontally from left to right.

The Mkhedruli script was once considered the civilian royal script of the early Kingdom of Georgia and was used for royal proclamations and royal charters. Throughout time, this was adopted as the primary script to write the Georgian language used by the common populace, with the other two scripts being reserved mainly for the Georgian Orthodox Church and in iconography and scriptures.

What is the History of the Georgian Alphabet?

The history of the Georgian script is widely unknown and is a topic of debate. They are extremely unique in their characters and there are some theories as to how this came to be. The predominating opinion is that the structural form of the Georgian script is related to the Greek Alphabet although there are some exceptions. A few letters in the Georgian alphabet denote unique sounds which are grouped at the end and take some patience for outsiders to learn. The original Georgian script consisted of 38 letters. There are presently only 33 letters in use because 5 of these letters are obsolete and have been replaced by other instances where they do not need to be included for pronunciation.