Lesson 10 – წ, ჭ, ყ
We are now going to learn the last three Georgian letters. All of them represent ejective sounds (see lesson 5). These sounds are hard to describe so, again, go to Wikipedia and listen to the sounds of [t͡s’] (წ), [t͡ʃ’] (ჭ) and [q’] (ყ).
This is an ejective ts.
This is an ejective ch.
This may be the most unusual and difficult sound found in Georgian. It is similar to the Arabic qāf (ق): like a k but pronounced further back in the throat. In addition, it is ejective.
All ejective and aspirated consonants of Georgian fit into a nice table:
As you can see, there is no aspirated, non-ejective q (there used to be, but it disappeared from the Georgian language), so ყ is often transcribed as q. On road signs, it is often written simply k, but ქ, კ and ყ are very different sounds.
Here are some Georgian words.
What village does this road sign indicate? (Source)
What is written on this label?
What city does this road sign indicate? (Source)