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Languages > Amharic
Most Popular Amharic Language Product Types
Baby - Kindergarten
CARRY ME Board Book in Amharic & English
Children's Books
Children's Bilingual Picture Dictionary Book of Colors English-Amharic
Amharic Newspaper Reader (4 Audiotapes) tapes only
Software - Windows
LaserAmharic for Windows
All Amharic language product types

Language Information

Amharic is the national language of Ethiopia. It is spoken in the vicinity of the capital, Addis Ababa, and the area just to the north. Its speakers number 20 million, about one-third of Ethiopia's population.

Amharic is one of the Semitic languages. Together with a number of the lesser languages of Ethiopia it constitutes the Ethiopic branch of this family. All the Ethiopic languages are descended from Geez, the ancient literary and ecclesiastic language of Ethiopia.

It is generally believed that the Semitic languages were introduced into Ethiopia from the Arabian Peninsula sometime in the first millennium B.C. The Ethiopic alphabet used in Amharic is also believed to have had its ultimate origin in Arabia. Originally written from right to left, it eventually switched, probably under Greek influence, from left to right. Two dots are placed after each word to separate it from the next.

Amharic is spoken/used in Ethiopia

Language Family
Family: Afro-Asiatic (Hamito-Semitic)
Subgroup: Semitic
Branch: Ethiopic

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


A hare lived in a country where there was no other kind of animal. "There is no animal as big as I and none whose voice can equal mine," he said to one of his friends. "That is true," replied the other, for they had never seen another. One day, hearing a lion roar, the first hare said, "I shall cry like him." "Good. I'll stay to hear you. Cry!" said his friend. "Listen," said the hare, and, swelling his chest, he cried. His friend said to him, "The lion's voice is strong; yours, on the other hand, cannot be heard." The hare became very angry and said a second time, "Watch and listen how I cry." And under the illusion of roaring like a lion, he split in two and died. The same fate awaits the poor man who vies with the rich.

—Amharic fable

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