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Georgian and Caucasian studies

Discovering the language

Discover the language
The Caucasian languages and civilizations themselves belong to no other known family and number thirty-eight, divided into four highly diverse groups:

  • Northeast: the many languages of Dagestan.
  • North-Central: Chechen and Ingush.
  • Northwest: Circassian, Abkhaz and Ubykh.
  • South: Georgian, Svane, Mingrelian and Laz.

Georgian is the official language of Georgia, spoken by around four million people and, along with Armenian, the oldest written language in Eastern Europe (apart from Greek). Georgian is the only written language among the Caucasian languages. Traces of it can be found in archaeological remains dating back to the early 5th century, both inside and outside Georgia. Georgian culture contributed to the emergence of three alphabets, which appeared in different periods and coexist today. The asomtavruli (or capital, uncial script) was used from its origins to around the 9th century; the nuskhuri (or religious script), conceived in the 9th century, was common until around the 11th century. The mkhedruli (or "military" or secular script), still in use today, appeared at this time. These three alphabets are superimposed in chronology; they have always been taught and embody the continuity of a culture from ancient times to the present day. This makes it possible to discover, through original or translated texts, a very rich literature in many fields of philosophy, law, religion, languages, science, astronomy, literature or poetry... In 2016, the Georgian writing system was inscribed on Unesco's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity under the title: "The living culture of the three writing systems".

Studying Georgian at Inalco

Georgian belongs to the group of South Caucasian languages, along with Svane, Mingrelian and Laze, which make up the Kartvelian language family. Georgian language and literature form the basis of this curriculum, which also includes an approach to civilization, history and the arts.

To our knowledge, Inalco is the only European institution outside Georgia to offer such a comprehensive university course in Georgian studies, leading to the award of national diplomas.

The course is open to a wide range of students, both French and foreign, and opens the door to a wide variety of career opportunities in the private and public sectors, in line with the growing development of international relations.