Making Sense of Georgian Numbers

So what is new with Georgian?

user posted imageI got a basic handle on Georgian numbers. I heard from several people “oh, they’re soooo hard, they don’t make any sense”!  It takes forever to learn Georgian numbers…


They are based on groups of (or base) 20 – sort of similar to French eg:

20 =ოცი = otsi  = ( twenty )
40 = ორმოცი = ormotsi = ( 2 twenty)
60 = სამოცი = samotsi   =  ( 3 twenty )
80 = ოთხმოცი = otkhmotsi  = (4 twenty )

SO, to form the numbers between 21 and 99  you just use : 20, 40, 60, or 80, drop the final i, add da ( which means  and) and the number from 1 to 19; e.g.:

21 = ოცდაერთი = otsdaerti = (20 + 1)
30 = ოცდაათი otsdaati = (20 + 10)
38 = ოცდათვრამეტი = otsdatvrameti = (20 + 18)
47 = ორმოცდაშვიდი = ormotsdašvidi = (2 x 20 + 7)
99 = ოთხმოცდაცხრამეტი = otkhmotsdatskhrameti = (4 x 20 + 19)

100 = ასი = asi  (hundred)
1000 = ათასი = at-asi ( ten – hundred) etc. etc.
:and that’s it!  Sorry people, not that hard.

I have almost finished the Peace Corps booklet. I am on Unit 10 but it only goes up to 11. (feel free to insert your own Spinal Tap joke here)  Unit 10 is the “food” unit and I am having a really hard time listening to it without becoming ravenously hungry. Georgian food sounds delicious!  მშია = mshia = I’m hungry.

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The big news is that on the Video #8 at exactly 1:02 … Keti SMILES!! (she even almost laughs!) … for about 3 seconds. I replayed it about 5 times to make sure I was seeing it right.

It is incredible how many times I have to play the Georgian phrases over before they “click”. Yeah, that’s right; Georgian is hard. OK, got it, must keep moving on!

I have also moved on to Unit 1 of Kiziria’s Beginners Georgian. It is not nearly as intimidating as it was a few weeks ago. I do think the Peace Corps Introduction is a great way to “get one’s feet wet” with Georgian.   I would highly recommend the Peace Corps course to anyone starting out with Georgian. I’d say I know, perhaps 50-75 Georgian words now; up from zero two weeks ago.

Even though I am comfortable with the alphabet, it is still taking me a long time to read full sentences. I can really empathize with my 5 year old son who is learning to read. I feel like we are on about the same level (with my Georgian reading – I feel fairly comfortable reading English).

Moving forward this week, on to Kiziria Unit  2 where I learn how to have a Georgian phone conversation.  I imagine this will be a very, very brief conversation with my 100 word vocabulary…


3 thoughts on “Making Sense of Georgian Numbers

  1. That’s a cool aspect of Georgian numbers. Besides Georgian and (sort of) French, do you know of other languages that follow this organizational scheme? How about other Caucasian languages?

    • I’m not sure – I’m kind of new to Caucasian languages 🙂
      The only problem with it is Georgian doesn’t assimilate “vowel-like” sounds in between its strings of consonants like, say Serbo-Croatian. So, when you get something like “otkhmotsdatskhrameti” it sounds like “blblblblchchchechchspltch!” … very hard to understand when spoken quickly!

  2. Something important to note is that if you do the math wrong, Georgians will not understand you, even if the meaning of what you’re saying is obvious. For example, in the case of 75, they will not generally understand “samotsdaatidakhuti” (three-twenty and ten and 5) in place of the correct “samotsdatkhutmeti” (three-twenty and fifteen).

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