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Amharic Language

July 16, 2010

The Amharic Language

Amharic language

The Amharic language is an Afro Asian language and belongs to the Semitic group of languages.
The Semitic group of languages includes Arabic, Hebrew and Amharic and also the ancient languages Assyrian-Babylon, Aramaic, Phoenician and Moabite.

Amharic is spoken in Ethiopia

Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia since the abolition of the old Ethiopian language (Ge’ez) and is also widely used in neighbouring countries.
The Amharic language is named after the Amharic people, who live in the North of Ethiopia.

Amharic language spoken in Ethiopia

Amharic dialects

The Amharic languages has multiple dialects and regional variations.
The main dialects are GondarGojiamWollo and Shewa.
This language region is not very well researched and it is assumed that there good be a wider number of dialects and a more complex classification of the languages.

Languages of Ethiopia

  • As mentioned Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia and is spoken by about 17 million native speakers and from a further 4 million people as a second language.
  • However the language with the most speakers in Ethiopia is Oromo with about 25 million speakers.
  • English is used in Ethiopia as the language of Education.
  • In the border areas some regions use local languages in the primary schools and local administration.

History of the Amharic language

History of the Amharic language

Amharic was until the 14th Century a relatively unimportant local dialect of the south of Ethiopia.
However it became more important as a result of the move of the Royal residence to the south.

Originally Amharic was purely a spoken language.
After Old Ethiopian died out, the Ge’ez alphabet it used was modified and used for Amharic.

Although Amharic is a Semitic language, it is written from left to right and is a syllabic language.
The vowels are depicted by annotating consonants.
The pronunciation of Amharic is however quite distinct from other Semitic languages.

Useful links for learning Amharic

We are delighted that you are interested in learning Amharic.
We are also delighted to show you a few interesting links:

  1. Wikipedia offers the following article about Amharic.
  2. It also offers an interesting article about Ge’ez.
  3. Would you like to learn how to say “Hello” in Amharic?
    Here you will find the fifty most important words from Amharic.
  4. With the Amharic Express Course from 17 Minute Languages you will learn the most important phrases of the Amharic language.
    The Amharic Express course will enable you to learn the most important vocabulary for a visit to Ethiopia.
    Or you can surprise your friends and acquaintances from Ethiopia with some Amharic words and phrases.

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