Name Georgia in Different Languages

Name Georgia in Different Languages

The country of Georgia has a variety of names in different languages, all of which have their own linguistic, cultural, or other roots.
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What Do Georgians Call “Georgia?

In the Georgian language, "Sakartvelo" means Georgia The name "Sakartvelo" has long-standing historical and cultural connections to Georgians’ own self-identification. Specifically, "Sakartvelo" comes from the ancient Georgian word "Kartveli," which means a Georgian person, and the word "Sakartvelo" literally translates as "land of the Kartvelians."

The origins of this name can be traced all the way back to when the first Georgian tribes were united under one name. For many centuries, despite various foreign invasions, occupations, and other influences, religion in Georgia country and the name "Sakartvelo" have been preserved, with both being powerful symbols of self-representation and cultural heritage for Georgians. This name, much like the Georgia language alphabet, is more than simply a geographical title or reference point; it embodies the spirit, struggle, and resilience of the Georgian people.

What Are the Other Names for “Georgia” in Other Languages?

Reflecting various historical, linguistic, and/or cultural interactions, Georgia has a variety of names, some of which honor its beauty and greatness,

The name "Georgia" likely originates from the Persian word "gorğān," derived from the older forms of Middle Persian and Old Persian, meaning "land of wolves." This title has evolved phonetically over time, influencing various exonyms for Georgia across different languages. The root of this name, "vrkān," directly translates to "wolf," and its transformation into "gorğān" is a result of phonetic changes in Persian through the generations.

Interestingly, this Persian-originated exonym for the country’s name contrasts with the native Georgian name "Sakartvelo," which stems from "Kartli," the central region of ancient Georgia. This endonym has been in use since approximately the early 9th century, initially referring to the inhabitants of Kartli, before later being expanded to encompass all regions unified culturally and politically under the medieval Georgian state.

Some notable examples of how the Country of Georgia is presented in significant world languages include the following:

  1. In Russian and some other Slavic languages, Georgia is known as "Gruzia." This particular title is likely to derive from the aforementioned Persian word signifying "land of the wolves."

  2. In Turkish, the country is called "Gürcistan," while in Persian today it is known as "Gurjistan."

  3. In Arabic, Georgia would be called جورجيا ("Jorjia"), which mirrors the English pronunciation.

  4. In Japanese, Georgia is referred to as ジョージア (“Jōjia”), having been translated from the English name and adapted to the phonetics of the Japanese language.

From "Sakartvelo" to "Gruzia" to "Jōjia," the array of appellations given to this historic country are together an embodiment of Georgian relationships with different civilizations and cultures throughout its rich and checkered history. Such a diversity of names symbolizes the many perceptions of and relations with Georgia, which is now accepted as an integral part of the global community.

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