Please note that the contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.
Peace Corps starts you learning the language and culture of your host country fast. Right now I'm still in orientation, so the lessons have been relatively light, just a couple hours a day in class, but it will ramp up soon enough. Despite the limited exposure, I wanted to share some things I picked up.
First, the Georgian language is one of the most beautifully written languages I have ever seen. Also, Like most languages, many of its words and phrases have special meaning based on the culture's history.
გამარჯობა (gamarjoba) is hello. It comes from the word for victory. So greeting someone is wishing them victory.
მშვიდობის (mshvidobis) is the word for peace. So Peace Corps is "მშვიდობის კორპუსის". This word also appears in the greetings good morning/afternoon/night/evening. e.g. დილა მშვიდობისა (dila mshvidobisa) is good morning. So you wish them peace when you greet them in this fashion.
Georgia is not Georgia in Georgian. It is "საქართველო" (sakartvelo). The word Georgia comes from the Greeks and means the people of the earth because the Georgians so impressed them with their agriculture.
Speaking of, Georgia invented wine abut 8000 years ago. Is it any wonder the Greeks named them for the land they worked? This also means that all you wine lovers should thank my host country.
If you are an American trying to speak Georgian in Georgia and people are smiling and laughing at you, don't automatically assume that you messed up. Georgians love it when foreigners take the time to try to learn their language. There is a good chance they are laughing because they are happy.
Georgian time is much like Cam-Time... or my mother.
The U.S. Embassy in Georgia is the largest in the world, staffing ~500 folks.
That's all for now. Need to get back to studying.