Georgian: thank you


Senior Member
English - British
Hi, I am trying to learn a bit of Georgian to make a holiday more enjoyable, and am confused about the different types of "thank you".

In particular:
1) Some resources tell me "thank you" words start with a "g", while others ignore the "g". What is the difference
2) What does the "a" ending signify?

Am I right in thinking that there are 6 different ways to say "thank you"?
madlob (informal?)
madlobt (polite?)
gmadlob (informal?)
gmadlobt (polite?)

(Sorry, haven't yet figured out how to type Georgian letters on my keyboard, but do feel free to use then in your reply - as long as most of the explanation is in English)
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The spelling contains a გ [g], but this is a very rare example of a letter being silent in Georgian.

    Yes, the plain form gmadlob [madlob] is singular, therefore familiar like French tu, German du and so on; and like French, Georgian uses the plural, which has the ending -t, for ordinary polite address to one person.

    I'm afraid I don't know the -a forms. (I only know a bit of Georgian. Some real Georgian will eventually reply here, but it might be months from now.)


    Senior Member
    English - British
    Thank you for the reply, entangledbank. But I have definitely seen it spelled without a g. In the Elementary Georgian book by Ani-Mdivani-Morrow for example, in the list of new words for Lesson 3. And in the Peace Corps course the g is clearly pronounced in lesson 3. But perhaps Elementary Georgian is not correct (the English is certainly not great), and the Peace Corps pronunciation is unrealistically clear?

    As a side note, it is strange that text books, and some Georgians themselves, insist that every letter is pronounced, while a careful listening to native speakers on youtube suggests otherwise to me (I have never heard the initial r in rkatsiteli). But then sometimes non-Georgians say a letter is silent, but I can clearly hear it(the first v in qvevri seems clear to me).


    Senior Member
    I'm afraid I don't know the -a forms.
    My Georgian is basic, too, but I happen to know that მადლობა (madloba) is 'thanks' as a noun. It's often used in the phrase დიდი მადლობა (didi madloba = big thanks) or even ძალიან დიდი მადლობა (dzalian didi madloba = very big thanks).

    Sorry, haven't yet figured out how to type Georgian letters on my keyboard
    You can use Lexilogos virtual keyboards, it's a great tool when you need to a type a few words or a shorter text in a non-Latin script. You can choose from loads of other languages using non-Latin scripts or special diacritics.


    Senior Member
    English - British
    Thanks, AndrasBP. So maybe we have something like
    (g)madlob = you (informal) are thanked
    (g)madlobt = you (polite) are thanked
    (g)madloba = thanks (noun)

    Thanks for the tip on Lexilogos too.


    Senior Member
    English - British
    Actually, with a bit more reading and googling, what I am going for is
    gmadlob = you (informal) are thanked
    gmadlobt = you (polite) are thanked
    madloba = thanks (noun)
    where any initial g is usually silent.

    And that is exactly what you guys said. I have certainly read and heard initial g letters being added and dropped, but now believe them either to be non-standard usage or simply erroneous.

    Thanks again.


    Senior Member
    You're welcome.
    The initial 'g' is a verbal prefix, roughly meaning 'the object of the verb is you', that's why it is not there before the noun 'madloba'. (I don't want to pretend I understand the Georgian verbal system, though. It's extremely challenging. :eek:)
    There's also the adjective 'madlobeli' = thankful. You can say 'dzalian madlobeli var" =lit. 'very thankful I am'.

    Lounger buddy

    New Member
    When you`re talking to someone and want to say thank you, you should use - გმადლობთ. ( a single person ). You can`t say მადლობა alone but დიდი მადლობა is okay. გმადლობა, გმადლობ and მადლობ aren`t correct forms. So you can say გმადლბოთ or დიდი მადლობა.
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