User:Yerevantsi/Georgia's languages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Languages of Georgia
Official languages Georgian
Minority languages Armenian, Azerbaijani, Russian, Abkhaz, Ossetian
Main foreign languages Russian and English

Georgia is traditionally a multilingual country. Home to various ethnic groups, the country's official language is Georgian, a Kartvelian language, is spoken by about 80% of its population. Largest minority languages are Armenian, Azerbaijani, Russian, Abkhaz, Ossetian spoken by respective ethnic groups.

1977 Soviet Constitution

1978 Georgian demonstrations

During the Soviet era (1920-1991), the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, along with its neighboring Armenian SSR and Azeri SSR, was one of the only republics where the native language had official status along with Russian.[1]

As of today, Russian is still, by far, the best known foreign language among the Armenian population. English and French are gaining popularity in recent years. Kurdish is the largest minority language of Armenia spoken by the Yazidi minority. Other minority languages recognized by the Armenian government are Assyrian, Greek and Russian.

Status of Georgian[edit]

Map of the spread of the Kartvelian languages

The Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia states that "The state language of the Republic of Armenia is Armenian".[2]

Armenian is a major language used in education, administration and public life.[3] Armenian belongs to an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a highly inflictive language, with a complicated system of declensions. Modern Armenian is agglutinative, rich in consonants, and has no grammatical gender.[4]

Armenia has been the most successful of the South Caucasian states (others being Azerbaijan and Georgia) in shifting the native language as national language after the collapse of the Soviet Union.[5]

Foreign languages[edit]

Graffiti in English and Russian on the wall of the Russian embassy in Tbilisi

Because of political and historical reasons, Russian is the most common foreign language spoken by the majority of Armenians. English is the second and the fastest growing foreign language for Armenians.




Minority languages[edit]

A shop in Armenian-populated town of Ninotsminda in Armenian, Georgian and Russian








Assyrian Neo-Aramaic is spoken by


  1. ^ Pappas, Lee Brigance (1994). An ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 247. ISBN 0-313-27497-5.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); More than one of |author= and |last= specified (help)
  2. ^ "The Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (with amendments)". Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia. p. July 5, 1995. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ Petrossian, Gayane. "Bilingualism and language planning in Armenia" (PDF). Yerevan State University. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ CIA World Factbook, "2006 edition".
  5. ^ Pavlenko, Aneta (2008). Multilingualism in post-Soviet countries. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. pp. 18–22. ISBN 978-1-84769-087-6.