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[edit]

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. It is also used by BGN and PCGN since 2009.

Unofficial system of romanization[edit]

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).

ISO standard[edit]

ISO 9984:1996, "Transliteration of Georgian characters into Latin characters", was last reviewed and confirmed in 2010.[2] The guiding principles in the standard are:

  • No Digraph (orthography), One latin letter per Georgian letter (apart from apostrophes )
  • Apostrophe ’ marks aspirated consonants, ejectives are unmarke, e.g.: კ -> k, ქ -> k’
  • The only extended characters are latin letters with caron (haček) (with the exception of "g macron" ღ -> ḡ)
  • No capitalization, both as it does not appear in the original script, and to avoid confusion with claimed popular ad-hoc transliterations of Caron characters as capitals instead. (eg. შ as S for š)

Transliteration table[edit]

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
/w/ v v v v v
/z/ z z z z z
[a] /eɪ/ ey ē ē
/tʰ/ t t' t' t' T[b] or t
/i/ i i i i i
/kʼ/ k k k k
/l/ l l l l l
/m/ m m m m m
/n/ n n n n n
[a] /i/, /j/ j y y
/ɔ/ o o o o o
/pʼ/ p p p p
/ʒ/ zh zh ž ž J,[b] zh or j
/r/ r r r r r
/s/ s s s s s
/tʼ/ t t t t
[a] /w/ w w
/u/ u u u u u
/pʰ/ p p' p' p' p or f
/kʰ/ k k' k' k' q or k
/ʁ/ gh gh ġ g, gh or R[b]
/qʼ/ q q q y[c]
/ʃ/ sh sh š š sh or S[b]
/t͡ʃ(ʰ)/ ch ch' č' č' ch or C[b]
/t͡s(ʰ)/ ts ts' c' c' c or ts
/d͡z/ dz dz j ż dz or Z[b]
/t͡sʼ/ tsʼ ts c c w, c or ts
/t͡ʃʼ/ chʼ ch č č W,[b] ch or tch
/χ/ kh kh x x x or kh (rarely)
[a] /q/, /qʰ/ q'
/d͡ʒ/ j j ǰ j j
/h/ h h h h h
[a] /oː/ ō ō


  1. ^ a b c d e Archaic letters.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g These are influenced by aforementioned layout, and are preferred to avoid ambiguity, as an expressions: t, j, g, ch can mean two letters.
  3. ^ Initially, the use of y letter for ყ is most probably due to their resemblance to each other.


  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. ^ ISO 9984:1996, Transliteration of Georgian characters into Latin characters 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Transliteration web utility for the National and ISO transliteration of Georgian