In a car heading down from Svaneti (a high mountain region of Georgia, whose inhabitants resemble the Avars in many ways) with two Americans the discussion turned to languages.
“What does Svan sound like”? – “Like the sound of stone striking stone,” I replied.
Mingrelian? – “like the watery sounds of rivers and swamps”
Abkhaz? – “like the wind whistling through the trees, or birdsong.”
“It’s very interesting how languages reflect their environment.”
And the sharp, stony cliffs themselves, shedding their rocks as we drove past, seemed to speak up in agreement.