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"Ethiopian Language" redirects here. For other languages of this multilingual country see Ethiopia#Talk
Soft drink bottles in Ethiopia often have their names written in Amharic. This Coca-Cola bottle demonstrates how each Amharic character corresponds to a consonant and vowel pair in English. ኮ="co" ካ="ca" ኮ="co" ላ="la".

Amharic (አማርኛ) is the main language of north central Ethiopia.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Consonants and vowels[edit]

Consonants[edit]

ህ h as in hat

ል l as in lamp

ሕ h as in hat

ም m as in mat

ሥ s as in six

ረ r as in rabbit

ስ s as in six

ሽ sh as in ash

ቅ k pronounced at the back of the throat

ብ b as in bat

ት t as in track

ች ch as in chat

ኅ h as in hat

ን n as in night

ኝ ny as in canyon

ክ k as in dock

ኽ h as in hat

ው w as in whale

ዕ i pronounced at the back of throat

ዝ z as in zebra

ዥ zh as in pleasure

ይ y as in yoke

ድ d as in dog

ጅ j as in jaguar

ግ g as in goat

ጥ t pronounced by stressing

ጭ ch pronounced by stressing

ጵ p pronounced by stressing

ጽ sound between t and s

ፅ sound between t and s

ፈ f as in fat

ፕ p as in pencil

ቭ v as in vase

Vowels[edit]

ኧ e as in commander

ኡ u as in Uzbek

ኢ i as in inject

አ a as in father

ኤ e as in beg

እ i pronounced at the back of throat

ኦ o as in orange

As in Japanese, Arabic or Hebrew, Amharic vowels are not written separately; vowels are marks attached to consonants. See this.

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Some phrases in this phrasebook still need to be translated. If you know anything about this language, you can help by plunging forward and translating a phrase.

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice

Just for the sake of being "friendly," please do not use the informal greetings with the elderly, dignitaries or generally with people who are not your friends. Respect for elderly and people with authority is paramount in Ethiopia. Therefore, in order not to give your acquaintance a wrong impression of yourself, make sure you adjust your behaviour according to the circumstances.

Hello. (formal)
Tena yistilign. (ጤና ይስጥልኝ)
Hello. (informal)
Selam. (ሰላም)
Hello. (informal between friends)
Hi. (ሃይ)
How are you? (respectful to elder)
Dehina newot? (ደህና ነዎት?)
How are you (informal, to a man)
Endemin-neh? (እንደምን ነህ?)
How are you (informal, to a woman)
Endemin-nesh? (እንደምን ነሽ?)
Fine, thank you.
Dehna Negn. (ደህና ነኝ)
What is your name? (to a man)
Simeh man naw? (ስምህ ማን ነው?)
What is your name? (to a woman)
Simish man naw? (ስምሽ ማን ነው?)
My name is ______ .
Sime ______ yibalal. (ስሜ _____ ይባላል)
Pleased to meet you.
siletewaweqin dess bilognal . (ስለተዋወቅን ደስ ብሎኛል)
Please.
Ebakih. (to a man) (እባክህ)
Please.
Ebakish. (to a woman) (እባክሽ)
Thank you (very much).
(Betam) ahmesugenalew. ((በጣም) አመሰግናለሁ )
You're welcome.
Minem Aydelem. (meaning 'no problem' 'ምንም አይደለም)
Yes.
awo. (አዎ )
No.
aye; aydelem. (አይ አይደለም)
OK.
ishi (እሺ )
Excuse me. (getting attention)
Yiqirta. (ይቅርታ )
Excuse me. Do you have a minute
Yiqirta, anda gazay (ይቅርታ፣ አንድ ጊዜ)
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
Yiqirta. (ይቅርታ )
I'm sorry.
Yiqirta. (ይቅርታ )
Goodbye
Dehna hun. (to a man) (ደህና ሁን)
Goodbye
Dehna hugni. (to a woman) (ደህና ሁኚ)
Goodbye (informal)
Ciao. (Taken from Italian) (ቻው)
I can't speak Amharic [well].
[ ]. ( [ ])
Do you speak English?
Englizegna tichilaleh? (to a man) (እንግሊዘኛ ትችላለህ?)
Do you speak English?
Englizegna tichiyalesh? (to a woman) (እንግሊዘኛ ትችያለሽ?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Englizegna yemichel sew ale? (እንግሊዘኛ የሚችል ሰው አለ ?)
Help!
! ( !)
Look out!
! ( !)
Good morning.
Dehna aderk (to a young man) (ደህና አደርክ?): Dehna aderu (Elderly man/ more formal) (ደህና አደሩ?)
Good morning.
Dehna adersh (to a woman) (ደህና አደርሽ?):Dehna aderu (Elderly woman/ more formal) (ደህና አደሩ?)
Good morning.
Dehna aderachu ( more than one person) (ደህና አደራቹ?)
Good evening.
Dehna ameshachu ( more than one person) (ደህና አመሻቹ?)
Good night.
Dehna eder. (pronounced Denadur)(to a man) (ደህና እደር)
Good night.
Dehna ederee. (pronounced Denaduree)(to a woman) (ደህና እደሪ)
Good night (to sleep)
. ( )
I don't understand.
Algebagnem. (አልገባኝም)
Where is the toilet?
Metatebiya bet yet new? (መታጠቢያ ቤት የት ነው?)

Problems[edit]

Numbers[edit]

0
ዜሮ (Zeh-Roh)
1
አንድ (And)
2
ሁለት (Hoo-luht)
3
ሶስት (Sohst)
4
አራት (Uh-Raat)
5
አምስት (Uhm-mist)
6
ስድስት (Sid-dist)
7
ሰባት (Sih-baht)
8
ስምንት (Sih-mehnt)
9
ዘጠኝ (Zat-ayn)
10
አስር (Ah-sir)
11
Asra-and (አስራ አንድ)
12
Asra-hoolet (አስራ ሁለት)
20
Haya (ሀያ)
21
Haya-and (ሀያ አንድ)
30
Selasa (ሰላሳ)
40
Arba (አርባ)
50
Hamsa (ሀምሳ)
60
Silsa (ስልሳ)
70
Seba (ሰባ)
80
Semanya (ሰማንያ)
90
ZeTena (ዘጠና)
100
Meto (መቶ)
200
Hoolet-meto (ሁለት መቶ)
300
Sost-meto (ሶስት መቶ)
1000
Shee (ሺህ)
2000
Hoolet-shee (ሁለት ሺህ)

Time[edit]

Clock time[edit]

7am
1 se'at ke tewatu(o'clock in the morning) (1 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
8am
2 se'at ke tewatu (2 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
9am
3 se'at ke tewatu (3 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
10am
4 se'at ke tewatu (4 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
11am
5 se'at ke tewatu (5 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
12am
6 se'at ke tewatu (6 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
1pm
7 se'at ke tewatu (7 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
2pm
8 se'at ke tewatu (8 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
3pm
9 se'at ke tewatu (9 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
4pm
10 se'at ke tewatu (10 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
5pm
11 se'at ke tewatu (11 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
6pm
12 se'at ke tewatu (12 አንድ ሰዓት ከጠዋቱ)
7pm
1 se'at ke'mishitu (o'clock in the evening) (1 አንድ ሰዓት ከምሽቱ)
8pm
2 se'at ke'mishtu (2 አንድ ሰዓት ከምሽቱ)
9pm
3 se'at ke'mishtu (3 አንድ ሰዓት ከምሽቱ)
10pm
4 se'at ke'mishtu (4 አንድ ሰዓት ከምሽቱ)
11pm
5 se'at ke'mishtu = 11pm
12am
6 se'at ke'lelitu (o'clock in the night) (6 ስድስት ሰዓት ከለሊቱ)
1am
7 se'at ke'lelitu (7 ስድስት ሰዓት ከለሊቱ)
2am
8 se'at ke'lelitu (8 ስድስት ሰዓት ከለሊቱ)
3am
9 se'at ke'lelitu (9 ስድስት ሰዓት ከለሊቱ)
4am
10 se'at ke'lelitu (10 ስድስት ሰዓት ከለሊቱ)
5am
11 se'at ke'lelitu (11 ስድስት ሰዓት ከለሊቱ)
6am
12 se'at ke'lelitu (12 ስድስት ሰዓት ከለሊቱ)

Duration[edit]

Days[edit]

Sunday
Ehood (እሁድ)
Monday
Segno (ሰኞ)
Tuesday
Maksegno (ማክሰኞ)
Wednesday
Erob (እሮብ)
Thursday
Hamoos (ሐሙስ)
Friday
Arb (አርብ)
Saturday
Qdame (ቅዳሜ)

Months[edit]

January
Tir (ጥር)
February
Yekatit (የካቲት)
March
Megabit (መጋቢት)
April
Miyaziya (ሚያዚያ)
May
Ginbot (ግንቦት)
June
Senay (ሰኔ)
July
Hamle (ሐምሌ)
August
Nehasie (ነሐሴ)
September
Meskerem (መስከረም)
October
Tikimt (ጥቅምት)
November
Hidar (ህዳር)
December
Tahisas (ታኅሣሥ)

Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

Black
Tiqoor (ጥቁር)
White
NeCH (ነጭ)
Red
Qey (ቀይ)
Blue
Semayawi (ሰማያዊ)
Green
Arengwade (አረንጓዴ)
Yellow
BiCHa (ቢጫ)
Brown
Buna'aynet/Buna'ma (ቡና ዓይነት/ቡናማ)
Purple
WeynTej (ወይንጠጅ)
Pink
Rose (ሮዝ)
Orange
Bertukan (ብርቱካን)
Baby blue
Wuhama semayawi (ውሃማ ሰማያዊ)
Dark blue
DemaQ semayawi (ደማቅ ሰማያዊ)

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train (አውቶቢስ እና ባቡር)[edit]

Directions (አቅጣጫ)[edit]

Right
Qegn (ቀኝ)
Left
G'ra (ግራ)
Straight ahead
QeTita menged (ቀጥታ መንገድ)
Opposite
TeQarani/Feet'lefeet (ተቃራኒ/ፊት ለፊት)
Adjacent
ATegeb/Gon (አጠገብ/ጎን)
Turn left
wede g'ra...
Turn right
wede Qegn...
For the last 2 phrases
to a man
taTef (ታጠፍ)
to a woman
taTefi (ታጠፊ)
to more than one person or to an elderly
taTefu (ታጠፉ)

Taxi (ታክሲ)[edit]

Lodging[edit]

Money[edit]

How much?
Sint new? (ስንት ነው)
fifty cents
hamsa santim (ሀምሳ ሳንቲም)
money
genzeb (ገንዘብ)

Eating[edit]

Bread (Ethiopian)
dabo (ዳቦ)
Curry
wet (ወጥ)
Meat (red)
siga (ስጋ)
Chicken
doro (ዶሮ)
Vegetable
ataklt (አታክልት)
Spicy
qmemama kemem (ቅመማማ ቅመም)
Mild
aletcha (አልጫ)
Coffee shop
bunna bet (ቡና ቤት)
I am a vegetarian
Siga albuelam (literally, "I don't eat meat") (ስጋ አልበላም)
coffee with milk
Buna b'Wetet (ቡና በወተት)

Bars[edit]

Shopping[edit]

Driving[edit]

Authority[edit]

This Amharic phrasebook is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!