Compiled by the UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems
Version 4.0, February 2013


No romanization systems for Georgian have been put forward at the United Nations conferences on the standardization of geographical names or at sessions of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names.

In February 2002 the State Department of Geodesy and Cartography of Georgia and the Institute of Linguistics, Georgian Academy of Sciences jointly adopted a romanization system that employs digraphs and the apostrophe for the expression of specific Georgian sounds. This system had been utilized already earlier on e.g. driving licenses (1998).

Systems of romanization

The national system of romanization (2002) is as follows:

1 a
2 b
3 g
4 d
5 e
6 v
7 z
8 t
9 i
10 k’
11 l
12 m
13 n
14 o
15 p’
16 zh
17 r
18 s
19 t’
20 u
21 p
22 k
23 gh
24 q’
25 sh
26 ch
27 ts
28 dz
29 ts’
30 ch’
31 kh
32 j
33 h

The previous BGN/PCGN 1981 System (retired in 2009 in favour of the Georgian national system) was almost identical to the national system above but differed radically in the use of the apostrophe. While in the national system the apostrophe signifies an abruptive sound in contrast to the respective aspirated sound, in the BGN/PCGN system the apostrophe marked the aspirated sound vs. the unmarked abruptive sound. The differences were as follows (the national equivalents are in parentheses):

თ (t) t’
კ (k’) k
პ (p’) p
ტ (t’) t
ფ (p) p’
ქ (k) k’
ყ (q’) q
ჩ (ch) ch’
ც (ts) ts’
წ (ts’) ts
ჭ (ch’) ch

The transliteration standard ISO 9984:1996 gives, as a single block, different Roman equivalents to the following Georgian characters (the national equivalents are in parentheses):

თ (t) t’
კ (k’) k
პ (p’) p
ჟ (zh) ž
ტ (t’) t
ფ (p) p’
ქ (k) k’
ღ (gh)
ყ (q’) q
შ (sh) š
ჩ (ch) č’
ც (ts) c’
ძ (dz) j
წ (ts’) c
ჭ (ch’) č
ხ (kh) x
ჯ (j) ǰ