Kartvelia: A New Name for a Proud Country
It’s time for the country of Georgia to get a new English name. It makes no sense to be constantly confused with a state of the United States especially when the name Georgia means nothing in the local language. Does it help foster national pride when the country’s Wiki page is officially known as “Georgia (country)”?
In the Georgian (Kartuli) language the root word of all things related to the country is “kartveli”. A citizen of the country is a Kartvelebi, the country locally is referred to as Sakartvelo meaning “a place for Kartvelians”. In fact Sakartvelo would be one possible alternative English name. Unfortunately it’s a difficult name to remember for most everyone else in the world. It would also mean that people from the country would end up being called Sakartvelians and that’s not right.
Kartvelia!!! It has a great “ring” to it in most European languages making it easy to remember and ideal for a tourism marketing campaign. It just sounds like an exotic country full of ancient castles and ruins yet with a European flair. As an adjective it could be Kartveli, exactly as expected. As people it would be either Kartvelian or even Kartvelebi, as one prefers. It doesn’t mean giving up the word Sakartvelo, and in fact the official name of the country in the Kartuli language should be The Republic of Sakartvelo. To the rest of the world though Kartvelia is a great name for a country with a very promising future. Long Live Kartvelia!