Curious Georg[ian] gets a LIP

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/12/01 03:39 -05:00, original URI:

Many people have been curious.

I mean, there have been XP Language Interface Packs released for Mapudungunاردو, Inuktitut, മലയാളം, Qhichwa Simi, فارسی, isiZulu, ಕನ್ನಡ, नेपाली, Afrikaans, कोंकणी, Setswana, বাংলা, తెలుగుਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Lëtzebuergisch, татарча, and Nynorsk.

Many people wonder if there are any more coming, or if the announcement by Steve Ballmer of the release of Vista simply closes the door.

But clearly that is not the case, since the Georgian LIP has just been released!

Some background info about about Georgian, via Soren:

Number of speakers:  4.1 million

Name in the language itself:  ქართული

Georgian is the official language of the Republic of Georgia where it is spoken by approximately 4 million people. It has a long and rich literary tradition, with ancient texts dating back as far as the 5th century AD. Georgia's national epic, Shota Rustaveli's "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" (Vepkhistqaosani), was written in the 12th century.

Georgian is an inflected language. While its noun declension is rather simple (despite its 8 cases), the verbal system is very complex. Georgian uses postpositions - unlike the prepositions for example in English that are found in front of nouns - which are placed after the nouns they are used with, most of them as suffixes, and demanding a change of the noun's case.

Two interesting features of Georgian are the use of ejectives, sounds that are made with the air pushed out by the vocal cords instead of the lungs, and the fairly common consonant clusters. There are words that contain eight consecutive consonants: გვფრცქვნი (gvprtskvni), you peel us or გვბრდღვნი (gvbrdgvni), you tear us. Some linguists have stated that almost half of the words in Georgian begin with double consonants, and there are a few words in Georgian that begin with four contiguous consonants, like მკვლელი, (mk'vleli), murderer.

Georgian is also the liturgical language of the Georgian Orthodox church.

Fun facts:

  • Many Georgian family names end with "-dze" (Old Georgian for son), "-shvili" '(child), "-uri", "-ani", "-ia" or "-ua". These endings reveal the region where a family originally comes from: -dze for example is western Georgian, -shvili eastern. A famous example for Georgian last names is Shevardnadze (the last name of the last foreign minister of the Soviet Union).
  • The Georgian numbering system is vigesimal, i.e. it is based on 20. While it might sound confusing to say something like two-twenties-and-fifteen for 55 at first sight, the English language used to know a similar method, as the beginning of Lincoln's Gettysburg address shows: "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation..."
  • Unlike English (and many related European languages) in Georgian questions requiring a "Yes" or "No" answer are not signaled by a rising tone in the end, but by rising-falling intonation and a lengthening of the last vowel in the sentence.


Georgian is a member of South Caucasian (or Kartvelian) branch of the Caucasian language family, a small family that has no proven relationship to other language families. Georgian is the most widely spoken of all Caucasian languages.


Georgian is written with an alphabet called mkhedruli which was devised following Georgia's conversion to Christianity in the 4th century AD. The script has 38 characters of which 33 are in common use. There is no differentiation between upper- and lowercase characters.
For 1500 years Georgian - until 1989 - was the only written South Caucasian language. Speakers of Svan and Megrelian for example used Georgian as literary language.

And of course there are also all of the random times in the past I have talked about things related to Georgian....

(The several hour delay in this announcement was specifically to give me time to decide between a Curious George pun and a George of the Jungle pun; the former was finally chosen since it had a much bigger effect on my formative years (like George and like cats, I learned that curiousity never killed anything but a couple of hours!)



This post brought to you by (U+10e5, a.k.a. GEORGIAN LETTER KHAR)

# roxfan on 1 Dec 2006 7:16 PM:

The most famous Georgian name is probably Jossif Vissarionovich Dhzugazvili :)

# Mar on 1 Feb 2007 11:57 PM:

"There is no differentiation between upper- and lowercase characters."

You will read this but it isn't quite correct; Georgian does have uppercase characters but they fell into disuse and aren't formally required anymore.  Some Georgian writers now advocate their reserection and uppercase Georgian letters are appearing on some webpages and texts. The keyboard layout supplied with Windows XP supplies lowercase letters when pressing shift though, but I assume this'll never change because of standards and arcane technical reasons. A catch 22, like what the qwerty/azerty keyboard did to œ.

zurabi on 20 Apr 2008 7:48 AM:

Nice post! Sorry for my english: i tryed to instal the georgian LIP on my Xp pro but It didn't worked. windows interface became with some wild square characters no georgian at all. what i did : i downloaded Georgian Lip from microsoft and install it, during the instalation it asked me to insert Win xp cd which i did.Everything was normal no errors during the instalation. after reboot my windows interface bicame some wild characters like : [][][][][][][][]  <---that. what i did wrong? please help....

Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Apr 2008 11:22 AM:

It sounds like either the Sylfaen font or Uniscribe did not install properly.

Try going to the second tab in Regional and Language Options and looking at the "complex scripts" checkbox -- if it is not checked then check it and hit apply; if it is then uncheck hit apply then check and hit apply

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referenced by

2007/06/15 The last XP LIP? We'll head it off at the Pas[hto]

2007/06/02 Azeri zeriouz LIP releaze

2007/03/03 And it won't cost you an arm[enia] or a leg, either!

2007/02/01 You can kiss Vista if you want, because it has LIPs, too!

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