Georgian: foreign -s/z transliterated as -si/zi


Senior Member
Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
Why do final -s/z in foreign surnames (Cruise, López...) or placenames (Paris, Caracas...) get transliterated into Georgian as -si/zi (-სი/-ზი)? Is there a phonetical reason and that -i is pronounced? Or is it just a spelling feature and the i is mute?
  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    It's not just -s/z, it's any word-final consonant.
    Georgian adds -i to a name because it's the most common ending of the nominative case, and yes, it is pronounced.

    მერკელი -Merkeli
    პუტინი - Putini
    ტეილორი - Teilori (Taylor)

    Place names:
    ბერლინი - Berlini
    კიევი - Kievi
    მადრიდი - Madridi
    ზაგრები - Zagrebi
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The -i is the nominative singular ending for stems ending in a consonant. Stems ending in (other) vowels don't have this ending. For them, the case endings are added directly to the final vowel:

    nom. ena "language", dative enas
    nom. ɣvino "wine", dat. ɣvinos
    nom. kali "woman", dat. kals

    There are no common nouns whose stem ends in -i, so this is always a nominative ending on them, but some proper names intrinsically end in -i, such as Irak'li. Compare that to Mixeil, which ends in a consonant:

    nom. Irak'li, dat. Irak'lis
    nom. Mixeili, dat. Mixeils


    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    I see. So foreign names adopt declensions too. I thought it would be the case, as I didn't find anything related to it being a phonetic-spelling thing.

    Thank you very much to both!
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