Georgian: kontakion to St. Nino


New Member

I'm trying to figure out the correct pronounciation and translation of the kontakion. Here is the text:

მოციქული ქრისტესაგან გამორჩეული, ქადაგი სიტყვისა ღვთისა განსწავლული მახარებელი ცხოვრებისა, წინამძღვარი ქართველთა ერისა გზათა სიმართლისათა დედისა ღვთისა საკუთარი მოწაფე ნინო, შევამკოთ დღეს ყოველთა ძნობითა საღმრთოთა მეოხე მხურვალე, მცველი დაუძინებელი.
(Transcription: motsiquli kristesagan gamorcheuli, kadagi sitqvisa ghvtisa, ganstsavluli, makharebeli tskhovrebisa, tsinamdzghvari kartvelta erisa gzata simartlisata, dedisa ghvtisa sakutari motsape Nino shevamkot dghes qovelta dznobita saghmrtota. meokhi mkhurvale, mtsveli daudzinebeli.)

Here's a performance by Ensemble Basiani:

It seems that some words differ in the text and the performance, and I'm trying to find an explanation for that. In particular:

1) "ganstsavluli" is sung somewhat like "ga-na-sta-vluli", with an extra syllable and no "ts";
2) "qovelta" is sung "qo-ve-lu-ta", and there's and "i-a" after it.

Are those just archaic pronounciations? If so, what would be the correct way to transcribe them in Mkhedruli?

In addition, Google Translate does not know the words "shevamkot" and "dznobita saghmrtota" (I have found the spelling "saghvtota" in a different transcription). What do they mean :-?
  • aldodusheri

    New Member
    georgian georgia

    this is a very old processional hymn, with lots of religious and archaic words which is quite difficult to understand even for native speakers.

    shemkoba means adorn, decorate. so shevamkot will be something like - let us adorn her (st. Nino)

    dznoba is an archaic word which is no more used and 99% of Georgians will not know its meaning. I have to search for its meaning and I found out that it means - chant

    and saghvto means sacred

    so, shevamkot dghes qovelta dznobita saghmrtota will be - let us adorn (shevamkot) her with every (qovelta) dznobita saghmrtota (sacred chant)


    New Member
    Thank you for the reply, that is very helpful!

    Could you please explain how "saghvto" changes to "saghmrtota"? I don't know any Georgian, but I'm really curious about the morphology :).


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I don't know much Georgian, but ghmert-i is "god", and vowels sometimes drop out in the morphology, typically e before r, so that could easily give sa-ghmrt-o with the common circumfix sa--o. I don't know what -ta is. The consonant v sometimes alternates with the vowel u or with zero, but that seems too far from mr to be the explanation. However, it looks like I'm wrong: the Wiktionary article for ღმერთი ghmerti has a number of derived terms with ghvt-, so there must be some old alternation that's not present in normal modern Georgian.
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