Brief Information

Georgian is the official language of the Republic of Georgia. It is also spoken in Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, Russia, and Israel. The total number of speakers is estimated to be at least 4.5 million (according to the estimate of 2006), with approximately 4.2 million in Georgia (according to the estimate of 2002), around 40,000 in Turkey (according to the estimate of 2002), and about 170,500 in Russia (according to the census of 2010).


The literary Georgian language is based on the Kakhetian dialect. The following dialects are distinguished: Kakhetian, Kartlian, Imeretian, Rachan, Lechkhumian, Gurian, Javakhian, Meskhian, and Adjarian. There is also a group of archaic mountain dialects in eastern Georgia. The dialects are Kheysur, Mokhev, Mtiul-Gudamakarian, Tush, and Pshav. Three dialects are spoken outside of Georgia – Ingilo in Azerbaijan, Ferejdan in Iran, and Imerxev in Turkey.


Georgian belongs to the Kartvelian language family, which also includes Svan, Mingrelian, and Laz languages.

Language functioning

Georgian does not have legal status in Russia.

Modern Georgian has 33 letters. 

The literary Georgian language is based on the Kakhetian dialect.

Language structure


Modern Georgian has 5 vowels and 28 consonant phonemes.

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The morphological structure is mainly agglutinative.

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The sentence structure is nominative with elements of active construction. The word order in the sentence is free, with the dependent usually preceding the head.

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The vocabulary is represented by both native and borrowed words.

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Исследование языка

The leading researchers of Georgian were Marr, Tsagareli, and Bross. Further research were represented by the works of Shanidze, Chikobava, Topuria, Klimov, and others.

Language experts

Testelets Yakov G.
(Moscow, Russia)

He is a specialist in the field of typology and syntactic theory, and a researcher of Caucasian languages. He is engaged in the development of the issue of word order and constituent structure in the noun phrase (based on the material of Kartvelian and Dagestanian languages), typology of ergative constructions (Kartvelian, Northeast Caucasian, Indo-Iranian, Australian languages).

Research centres


Core references

Grammatical descriptions: grammars, sketches

Marr N.YaGrammatika drevneliteraturnogo gruzinskogo âzyka [Grammar of the ancient literary Georgian language]. M.-L., 1925.

Rudenko B. T. Grammatika gruzinskogo âzyka [Grammar of the Georgian language]. M.-L., 1940.

Chikobava A.S. Gruzinskij âzyk // Âzyki narodov SSSR. IV. Iberijsko-kavkazskie âzyki [Georgian language // Languages of the peoples of the USSR. IV. Iberian-Caucasian languages], M., 1967.

Shanidze A. Osnovy grammatiki gruzinskogo âzyka. Morfologiâ. [Fundamentals of Georgian Grammar. Morphology]. Tb., 1973 (in Georgian).

Selected papers on grammatical issues

Glonti A. Issues of Georgian lexicography. Tb., 1983 (in Georgian).

Harris A. Diachronic Syntax: The Kartvelian Case. Orlando:Academic Press, 1985.

Holisky D. A. Aspect and Georgian Medial Verbs. Delmar/ New York: Caravan Books, 1981.

Работы по этнологии

Javakhishvili I. Issues of history and writing of the Georgian language. Tb., 1956 (in Georgian).


Abuladze I. Dictionary of the Old Georgian language. Tb., 1973 (in Georgian).

Sarjveladze Z. Dictionary of the Old Georgian language. Materials. Tb., 1995 (in Georgian). 

G. Klimov. Etymological Dictionary of the Kartvelian Languages. Trends in Linguistics Documentation. V. 16. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1998.

Работы по социолингвистике

Khalilov M. Sh. Gruzinsko-dagestanskie âzykovye kontakty [Georgian-Dagestan language contacts]. - M., 2004. - 286 p.


Corpora and text collections

Georgian Language Corpus
Georgian Language Corpus

The Georgian Language Corpus (GLC) is developed at the Institute of Linguistic Studies of Ilia State University during 2009-2016. At present the corpus includes two main sections, monolingual and bilingual. The monolingual section consists of New and Modern Georgian, Old and Middle Georgian.  


Bible translation into Georgian
Bible translation into Georgian

Bible translations into Georgian are available in printed and electronic form.

Other electronic resources

Data for this page kindly provided by


Dzidziguri Sh., Chanishvili N. Georgian language // Languages of the world: Caucasian languages. M., 2001.


Testelets Ya. G. GEORGIAN LANGUAGE // Great Russian Encyclopedia. Electronic version (2018).