Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Georgian Language Cognates

I’ve found that while for the most part, the Georgian language is something completely different from anything I’ve ever studied before, there are a lot of random cognates with English, and even more so, with Spanish. Here is a list of the words I’ve learned so far (Romanized) that are cognates with other languages that I know.

Georgian            Spanish            English
Biblioteka            Biblioteca             Library
Moda                   Moda                        Fashion
Istoria                  Historia            History
Matematikas       Matematicas            Mathematics
Kimika                Quimica            Chemistry
Fabrika               Fabrica                        Factory
Inglisuri              Ingles                        English
Ghvino               Vino                        Wine
Computori          Computadora            Computer
Chai                                            Tea  (ok, this is not a cognate, but we call Indian tea “chai” 
                                                                  In English.)
Torti                   Torta                        Cake
Televisori           Televisor            Television
Biologia             Biología            Biology
Aut’obusi           Autobús            Bus
Klasi                   Clase                        Class
Skola                  Escuela            School
Kaphe                 café                        café                       
Bari                     Bar                        Bar
Politsia                 Policia                        Police
T’ualet’i              Inodoro                 Toilet
Parki                    Parque                        Park
Muzeumi            Museo                        Museum
Rest’orani            Restaurante            Restaurant
Ophisi                  Oficina                        Office
Banki                   Banco                        Bank
Es                         ésta                        This
Kat’a                    Gato                        Cat
Mobiluri               movil                        mobile/cell phone
Kontsert’I            concerto            Concert
Konphrentsia        Conferencia            Conference
Eqskursia              Exurción             Excursion
Pikniki                  picnic                         picnic
T’aqsi                    Taxi                        Taxi
Ena                        Lengua                        Language/Tongue

And of course, every language has its false cognates; here are some that I especially like
Deda- Mother
Mama- Father
Bitchi- boy
Chika- cup
Kino- cinema (this comes from Russian I think)

I wish I could say that all these cognates help me speak Georgian, but unfortunately Georgian verbs are like some kind of alien language to me, long strings of consonants that don’t belong together and which are conjugated in a manner that still mystifies me despite having been explained several times now. To give you some idea of what I’m up against, I’ll conjugate the verb “to like” in the present tense for you.

Momts’ons                        Mogvts’ons
Mogts’ons                        Mogts’ont
Mots’ons                        Mots’ont

Anyway, I’ll continue to study, though now I have only a little more than 1 months left of my stay, so I don’t know how much I can improve in one month. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. I recently spent a month in Georgia and will start a PhD focused on the country next month. I'm right in the middle of writing a textbook on the Georgian language and boy is it hard work. Anyway, I've kind of "stolen" your idea and put a section on cognates and false cognates in my book. Thanks for the inspiration!