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    The Svan language (in Svan: ლუშნუ ნინ - pronounced lushnu nin) is together with Georgian, Mingrelian, Laz and Jewish-Georgian a part of the Kartvelian language family which does not seem to be closely related to other language families.  Svan, Georgian, Mingrelian and Laz have a common origin and it is believed that Svan departed from the other Karvelian languages in the 2nd millennium BC. Of the Kartvelian languages the Svan language has kept most of the language that was spoken before the Kartvelian languages split up. The difference between Svan and Georgian today is so deep that Svan cannot be understood by a speaker of Georgian who has not studied Svan.
     
    The Svan language is spoken by approximately 30 000 people, most of them live in Svaneti, but it is believed that a few thousand live in Abkhazia and several thousand live in other places in Georgia.
     
    Svan is not taught in schools in Svaneti. Children must read and write in Georgian already from the first grade. The language has rich oral traditions, but lacks a unified written standard. When Svan is written, the Georgian alphabet is usually used although the Svan language has kept some letters that are no longer used in the Georgian alphabet.   
     
     

     

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