Amharic is a Semitic language and the national language of Ethiopia (ኢትዮጵያ). The majority of the 25 million or so speakers of Amharic can be found in Ethiopia, but there are also speakers in a number of other countries, particularly Eritrea (ኤርትራ), Canada, the USA and Sweden.
The name Amharic (ኣማርኛ - amarəñña) comes from the district of Amhara (አማራ) in nortern Ethiopia, which is thought to be the historic centre of the language.
Amharic is written with a version of the Ge'ez script known as ፊደል (Fidel). There are a number of ways to transliterate Amharic into the Latin alphabet, including one developed by Ernst Hammerschmidt, the EAE Transliteration system, developed by Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, and the BGN/PCGN* system, which was designed for use in romanizing names written in Amharic characters and adopted by the UN in 1967.
*BGN = Board on Geographic Names (USA)
PCGN = The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use
More details: http://www.pcgn.org.uk/Romanisation_systems.htm
The BGN/PCGN Amharic romanization system and the EAE Transliteration system are shown on the left of each column. Where there are two transliterations, the one of the right is the EAE one. IPA transcriptions are given under each syllable.
The syllables with the vowel transliterated as (i) are pronounced [ə], except in final position when the vowel is not pronounced.
Hear a recording of the Amharic syllables:
Corrections by Josh S
Download a spreadsheet containing the above charts
Yäsäwə ləǧə hulu siwälädə näs'ana bäkəbərəna bämäbətəmə ʾəkulənätə yaläwə näwə. Yätäfät'əro masətäwaləna həlina səlaläwə ʾänədu lelawənə bäwänədəmamačənätə mänəfäsə mämäləkätə yəgäbawalə.
Listen to a recording of this text by Zaynaba Nuru
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about Amharic | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel | Learning materials
Information about the Amharic language
Online Amharic lessons
Online Amharic dictionaries
Amharic / Ge'ez fonts
Online news in Amharic
Online Amharic radio
Akkadian, Amharic, Arabic (Algerian), Arabic (Bedawi), Arabic (Chadian), Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Gulf), Arabic (Hassaniya), Arabic (Hejazi), Arabic (Lebanese), Arabic (Modern Standard), Arabic (Moroccan), Arabic (Najdi), Arabic (Syrian), Aramaic, Argobba, Assyrian / Neo-Assyrian, Canaanite, Chaha, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, Ge'ez, Hadhramautic, Harari, Hebrew, Himyaritic, Jewish Neo-Aramaic, Maltese, Mandaic, Nabataean, Neo-Mandaic, Phoenician, Punic, Qatabanic, Sabaean, Sabaic, Silt'e, Syriac, Tigre, Tigrinya, Turoyo, Ugaritic, Western Neo-Aramaic
Aari, Amharic, Argobba, Awngi, Bench, Blin, Chaha, Dizin, Ge'ez, Hamer(-Banna), Harari, Inor, Silt'e, Tigre, Tigrinya, Xamtanga
Page last modified: 31.03.22
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