Georgian is a South Caucasian or Kartvelian language spoken by about 4.1 million people mainly in Georgia, and also in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran.
Georgian is related to Mingrelian (მარგალური ნინა), Laz (ლაზური ნენა), and Svan(ლუშნუ ნინ), all of which are spoken mainly in Georgia and are written with the Georgian (Mkhedruli) alphabet.
Georgian is thought to share a common ancestral language with the other South Caucasian languages. Svan is believed to have split from this language during the 2nd millenium BC, and the other languages split up around 1,000 years later.
The Georgian language first appeared in writing in about 430 AD in an inscription in a church in Palestine in an alphabet known as Asomtavruli. Before then the main written language used in Georgia was a form of Aramaic known as Armazuli (არმაზული დამწერლობა). Two other alphabets have been used to write Georgian: Nushkhuri andMkhedruli, which is the alphabet currently used.
The Georgian language first appeared in writing in about 430 AD in an inscription in a church in Palestine. At that time it was written with an alphabet known as Asomtavruli(ასომთავრული - "capital letters") or Mrglovani (რგლოვანი - "rounded"), which was used until the 9th century. Asomtavruli was probably modelled on the Greek alphabet, and Georgian scholars believe that King Pharnavaz I (ფარნავაზი) of Kartli (Iberia) created it.