After being SUPER side-tracked by the very sought-after dictionary, Miss Hoggy, is now trying to help you with some basic Georgian (Qartuli) lesson, with the very little that she has learnt, so you won’t get lost or get cold from sleeping on the streets and miss out on this wonderful country.
*Whisper*(Will be using Qartuli from now on, because the term Georgia/ Georgian confuses people. For some reasons, people keep thinking Georgia is in the States).
Okay, jokes aside, I’m serious now, the local people here don’t call this country Georgia; it’s Saqartvelo to them. And they call themselves Qartvelebi (pronounced as Kart-ve-le-bi) instead of Georgians. Georgia is a name given to them by foreigners anyways, from around the 11th century.
Anyhow, this is supposed to be a Qartuli lesson. Okay, let’s begin.
First and foremost, know your Georgian alphabet (you’ll want to click it). You may get some romanisation on streets signs, but bus signs and shops signs are never romanised. Knowing your alphabet is the key to get where you want to go, and know where you’re going. Just as much it is important knowing how to read it, knowing how to pronouncing it would be mighty helpful too. Not because you’ll make more Georgian friends that way (it helps, oh really), but there’re a lot throat sounds in Qartuli that only hearing it would make more sense to you than me trying to explain them.
Now with your Qartuli alphabet downpad, now it’s time to say hello. (A fair warning- lots of consonant sounds gets bunched up together in Qartuli). Are you ready? Mzad khart?
Gamarjobat – Hello.
Rogora khart – How are you?
Kargad – I’m fine
Gmadlobt – Thank you
Araphris – You’re welcome
Tu sheidzleba – Please
Ukastravad – Excuse me
Bodishi – Sorry
Batono – Mister.
Qalbatono– Maam, Miss (married or unmarried)
So you can become a tracker dog in Georgia?
Sad aris…? – Where is…?
Sast’umro – Hotel (applicable to hostel, in most cases)
Banki – Bank
Parki – Park
Restorani – Restaurant
Maghazia – Shops
Bari – Bar
Qucha – Street
You would then hear:
Pirdapir – Straight ahead
Martskhniv (Mar-ts-kh-niv) -Left
Marjvniv (Mar- j-v-niv) -Right
A necessity with Georgian taxi drivers.
Ramdeni Lari? – How much is it ( literally translation: How many Laris?)
Erti, Ori, Sami, Otkhi, Khuti, Eqvsi, Shvidi, Rva, Tskra, Ati – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Bigger numbers, hmm, calculator/phone time?
Dzviria – It’s expensive
Iaphia – It’s cheap
Bolo phasi – Final price
All right, now you know where you are, have talked to the locals and bargained with the taxi driver, you might realised that Qartvelebi are very loud. They are very passionate people, they like to be heard, so you would hear what you think is shouting, but to them, that’s normal communication. Oh and also, those hands of theirs, go everywhere. If they talk, the hands move. So be sure to give them enough space. Another warning for those of us who like personal space, they would speak close to your face, might stare at you for a little too long. But it just means that they are very curious about you.
In the next post, Miss Hoggy will try to get you fed. Till then.
Turkish bathhouses, courtesy of a travel mate, Randy.
Georgian Calligraphy, courtesy of Chaganava Studio.
Georgian 20 Lari, sculpture of King Vakhtang Gorgasali, founder of Tbilisi.
Tbilisi from Nariqala Fortress, courtesy of a travel mate, Jackson.