Romanization of Georgian

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Mtskheta and Tbilisi romanized.

Romanization of Georgian is the process of transliterating the Georgian language from the Georgian script into the Latin script.

Georgian national system of romanization

This system, adopted in February 2002 by the State Department of Geodesy and Cartography of Georgia and the Institute of Linguistics, Georgian National Academy of Sciences, establishes a transliteration system of the Georgian letters into Latin letters.[1] The system was already in use, since 1998, on driving licenses.

Unofficial system of romanization

Despite its popularity this system sometimes leads to ambiguity. The system is mostly used in social networks, forums, chat rooms etc. The system is greatly influenced by the common case-sensitive Georgian keyboard layout that ties each key to each letter in the alphabet (seven of them: T, W, R, S, J, Z, C with the help of the shift key to make another letter).

Transliteration table

Georgian letter IPA National system
ISO 9984
Unofficial system
/ɑ/ a a a a a
/b/ b b b b b
/ɡ/ g g g g g
/d/ d d d d d
/ɛ/ e e e e e
/v/ v v v v v
/z/ z z z z z
[2] /eɪ/ ey ē ē
/tʰ/ t t' t' t' T[3] or t
/i/ i i i i i
/kʼ/ k' k k k k
/l/ l l l l l
/m/ m m m m m
/n/ n n n n n
[2] /i/, /j/ j y y
/ɔ/ o o o o o
/pʼ/ p' p p p p
/ʒ/ zh zh ž ž J,[3] zh or j
/r/ r r r r r
/s/ s s s s s
/tʼ/ t' t t t t
[2] /uɪ/ w w
/u/ u u u u u
/pʰ/ p p' p' p' p or f
/kʰ/ k k' k' k' q or k
/ɣ/ gh gh ġ g, gh or R[3]
/qʼ/ q' q q q y[4]
/ʃ/ sh sh š š sh or S[3]
/tʃ(ʰ)/ ch ch' č' č' ch or C[3]
/ts(ʰ)/ ts ts' c' c' c or ts
/dz/ dz dz j ż dz or Z[3]
/tsʼ/ ts' ts c c w, c or ts
/tʃʼ/ ch' ch č č W,[3] ch or tch
/x/ kh kh x x x or kh (rarely)
[2] /q/, /qʰ/ q'
/dʒ/ j j ǰ j j
/h/ h h h h h
[2] /oː/ ō ō

Notes and references

  1. United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (2007). Technical reference manual for the standardization of geographical names (PDF). United Nations. p. 64. ISBN 978-92-1-161500-5. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Archaic letters.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 These are influenced by aforementioned layout, and are preferred to avoid ambiguity, as an expressions: t, j, g, ch can mean two letters.
  4. Initially, the use of y letter for ყ is most probably due to their resemblance to each other.