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2
Introduction
The main purpose of this book is to help you learn and im-
prove you Amharic penmanship. In addition, you will learn the cor-
rect pronunciation of the Amharic alphabets while learning new vo-
cabulary words.
Shining Star Multimedia has been providing computer based
programs called The A mharic Language Multimedia Series, an in-
teractive multimedia software that will teach you how to speak,
read, and write in Amharic since 1996. This program is divided into
four volumes labeled A mharic 101, 102, 103, and 104. In addition
to this series, we provide another program called A mharic The EZ
Way (software and audio CD). This program is designed to teach
you important and often used phrases and words.
Please visit our web site at www.Amharic.com for more in-
formation, price, and online demo.

History Of Amharic Language


Amharic (or ), is the national language of Ethiopia. Being a
Semitic Language of the Afro-Asiatic Language Group, this lan-
guage is related to Hebrew, Arabic, and Syrian. Aside from this lan-
guage, Afan Oromo (Oromiffa), Tigrinya, Somali and many other
languages are spoken in Ethiopia. It is also the official language of
the media, government, and cross-communication.
The origins of the language and its people are traced back to
st
the 1 millennium B.C. It is rumored that they are the descendants
of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Immigrants from south-
western Arabia crossed the Red Sea into present-day Eritrea and
mixed with the Cushitic population. Thus, new languages formed as
a result of this union, Ge‘ez ().
Ge‘ez was the classical language of the Axum Empire of
Northern Ethiopia. It existed between the 1st Century A.D. and the
6th Century A.D. When the power base of Ethiopia shifted from Ax-
um to Amhara between the 10th Century A.D. and the 12th Century
A.D., the use of the Amharic language spread its influence, hence
becoming the national language.

3
Amharic is a syllabic language which uses a script which
originated from the Ge‘ez alphabet. It has 33 basic characters
(groups) with each having 7 forms (families) for each consonant-
vowel combination. Unlike Arabic, Hebrew or Syrian, the language
is written from left to right.

Instruction
This book is designed to help you improve your penmanship,
learn the Amharic alphabet (with the correct pronunciation), and ex-
pand your vocabulary. Here is a brief explanation of this book’s
arrangement:

1 Typed or printed Amharic Alphabet

2 Pronunciation guide (see page 3)

Handwritten Amharic. Used as an example to


3
improve your penmanship. Remember that
this is only one person’s way of writing.
4 Commentary notes by the authors.
Writing guide. The pen indicates where to
5
start, and what motion to follow without
raising you pen/pencil from the paper.
Words that include the alphabet that you are
6 studying. This will help you learn new
Amharic words.

Another way of learning the correct


7
pronunciation of each Amharic alphabet.

Note: 3 4 5 are your guide to learning how to write the Amharic


alpha- bet. Practice you penmanship on the right page for
each alphabet group using these guides. It is better to use pencil so
that you can erase mistakes for second try.

4
Guide to Pronunciation
Correct pronunciation is an intrinsic component of this book.
For some languages, such as Amharic, Tigrinya, Swahili, etc., the cor-
respondence between orthography and pronunciation is so close that
one needs only spell or write a word correctly to indicate its pronuncia-
tion. Modern English, however, displays no such consistency in sound
and spelling.
No system of indicating pronunciation is self-explanatory. The
following discussion sets out the signification and use of the pronuncia-
tion symbols used in this book. The pronunciation symbols discussed
below corresponds to the symbols bound in the International Phonetic
Alphabet (IPA). We will describe each pronunciation symbol using ex-
amples.

Symbol Example

ŭ Used with the first family. Example: measurement (O=mŭ),


hat (A=hŭ), but (v=bŭ), church (€=chŭ), and apple (™=aŭ).

oo Used with the second family. Example: mood (P=hoo),


food (ñ=foo), would (©=woo), should (h#=shoo), and rude (\=roo).

ē Used with the third family. Example: heat (C=hē), feet (ò=fē), cheap
(€*=chē), deep (Â=dē), and sleep (H&=lē).

a Used with the fourth family. Example: mat (R=ma), cat (Ÿ=ka),
fat (ó=fa), sat (d=sa), rat (^=ra).

ā Used with the fifth family. Example: met (S=mā), went (ª,=wā),
rent (_=rā), late (H+=lā), and head (E=hā).
ə ə
ə Used with the sixth family. Example: team (T=m ), single (J=l ),
ə ə ə
curl (`=r ), stiff (õ=f ), and flow («=w ).

ō Used with the seventh family. Example: motor (U=mō),


photo (}=tō), yoga (¿=yō), hope (G=hō), dog (Æ=dō).
This symbol is an indication of high-set stress mark. When this sym-
bol is placed under a consonant, it is pronounced with great stress.
Example: t = represents Ö (a high stressed z), ch = represents Û
(a high stressed €), and k = represents m (a high stressed ), and
s = represents ç or ë (a high stressed ).

5
bŭ boo bē ba bā bә bō

Note: This group sets the basic foundation for , , and 


Group, which are coming up on the next few pages. There are
very small differences in the shapes of these letters.

v
1 1
 buggy ...
(sheep) vggy
1  buddy ...
1 1 (door) vddy
1
 bud ...
(ox) vd
1

v# v&
 book ...  debit ...
(train) v#k (knife) dev&t
 bull ...  beer ...
(coffee) v#ll (yellow) v&r
 boot...  beach ...
(south) v#t (butterfly) v&ch



w v+
bank ...  baby ...
(husband) wnk (butter) v+by
 bat ...  bell ...
(slave) wt (letter) v+ll
 band...  base ...
(bank) wnd (house) v+se



x y
 bible ...
(bomb)
bold ...
(glass/cup) bixle yld
stable ...  ball ...
 (purse)
(money) staxle yll
able...  boat ...
 (baggy
(stamp) axle yt
pants)

6
7
sŭ soo sē sa sā sә sō

Note: The only difference between this group and  is the verti-
cal bar on top of the letter, . This group sounds the same as 
(see page 46), and also sounds similar to  (see page 66).
While ç has ‘s’ sound with great stress,  is pronounced loosely.

c
2 2 cD second ...
(plate) ccond
ccH| self ...
1 (chain) clf
1 1
c™| concert ...
(watch) concrt
1

c# c&
c#] soup... c&Πcity ...
(trousers) c#p (cup) c& ty
c#o soon ... c&Ò^ silk ...
(shop) c#n (cigarette) c& lk
c#õ sooth ... ŸJc& cement ...
(suit) c#th (socks) c& ment

d c+
dz*T salad ... c+| sale ...
(coin) dlad (girl) c+le
dØ• sat ... Àc+| safe ...
(locker) dt (island) c+fe
cId sad ... c+× same ...
(thirty) dd (devil) c+me

e f
ï[e spoon ... fe| sold ...
(horse) epoon (three) fld
Oe¢| class ...  soap ...
(window) clae (plug) fap
Ø`e smooth ...  soda ...
(teeth) emooth (beam) fda

8
9
shŭ shoo shē sha shā shә shō

Note: This group has similar appearance to , with the excep-


tion of the short horizontal bar on top . The two letters
even sound similar. While  has ‘s’ sound,  has ‘sh’ sound.

h
3 3
 shelf...
2 (brick) hlf
2
 shelter ...
1 1 (bamboo) hlter
1 1 1  shirt ...
(spider) hrt
1

h# h&
 shoot... h& ship ...
(sweater) h# t (one - h& p
 shook ... thousand) she ...
(braids) h# k ›h& h&
should ... sheet ...
 (OKAY)
h# d h& t
(spoon)

i h+
 shark ... À`h+ shame ...
(luggage) irk (once I h+me
 sharp ... get there ...) shake ...
(candle) irp Hxh+ h+ke
shabby ... shape ...
 (after I get
ibby dressed ...) h+pe
(tea)

j k
 cash ...  shop ...
(apron) caj (soup) kp
 dish ...  shock ...
(flute) dij (thorn) kck
fish ... show ...
 
fij kw
(gun) (oak tree)

10
11
vŭ voo vē va vā vә vō

Note: Take away the short vertical line from top of , and
you will get this group. This group is often used in words that
are either borrowed from the English or other language. It is
mostly used to describe objects with non-Amharic names.


2
 verb ...
(university) ûrb
 vertical ...
3
1 1 (Denver) ûrtical
1 1  heaven ...
(Vermont) heaûn

 
video ...
Voodoo ...
 û&deo
(video tape)
û#doo victory ...
rendezvous   û&ctory
(mansion) vision ...
rendeû#
û&sion

 
van... vain ...
ün  û+in
vacuum ... very ...
 (Vietnam)
(neck ücuum  û+ry
tie) vacation ... (velvet) vest ...
ücation û+st

 
move... voice ...
 moý
(television) devil ...  þice
(volleyball) vote ...
 deýl þte
(Czech- cave ... 
divorce ...
oslovakia) caý (Volkswagen)
diþrce

12
13
kŭ koo kē ka kā kә kō

Note: The only thing that differentiates this Group from


the  group is pointed out by the arrow . This group sets
the


2
 curtain ...
1 1 2 (heavy) rtain
 cult ...
2
1
1 2
2
(drum) lt
 cover
2 (lips) ver

 
 cook ...  kiss ...
(cup) k (pill) *ss
 coop ...  kid ...
(lantern) p (car) d
 cool ...  monkey ...
(onion) l (doctor) mony

 
 car...  skate ...
(map) r (cake) ste
 Kansas ...  cake ...
(gum) nsas (Kenya) ke
 camp ...  cape ...
(socks) mp (my look) pe



 
 cake... coach ...
ca (hat)
(bike) ch
monk ... 
 (star)
Kodak ...
mon dak
(tank)
drunk ...  Korea ...
 drun (electric
(matches) rea
cord)

14
15
Note: Remove the horizontal bar that the arrow is pointing to .
, and you will have the group from the previous page (’s pronun-
ciation is more stressed that ). This group also sounds very similar
to …, but  is a pronounced loosely and with a lower tone.


3
 healthy ...
1 (scream) ¤lthy
1
1
 hulk ...
2 2 (here ¤lk
1
1 it is) huffy
¤ffy

 ¤&*
who ... hear ...
 ¤# ¤&r
(distur- hoop ... hip ...
bance) ¤#p ¤&p
hula ... hiccup ...
¤#la ¤&ccup

 
hat ... + hell ...
¥t (this) ¤+ll
happy ... + heaven ...
¥ppy (solution ¤+ven
harsh ... to a help ...
¥rsh problem) ¤+lp

 
hose ...
§se
horse ...
§rse
hover ...
§ver

16
17
ŭ oo ē a ā ә ō

Note: Family #1 and #4 of this group sound the same. Fur-


thermore, this group sounds the same as  (Page 54). See Am-
haric 101 for more information as to why we have these two


 apple ...
1 1
(lion) pple
2
 accident ...
1
2
1
2
2
(fish) ccident
 anger ...
2
(green) nger

 *
 Egypt ...
 oopse ... (Ethiopia) *gypt
(prince) pse
 Ethiopia ...
ooze ...
(strawberry) thiopia
ze
 enough ...
(English) *nough

 ,
 egg ...
(Eritrea) ,gg
This alphabet  Eritrea ...
sounds just (turtle) ,ritrea
like  elephant ...
,lephant

 
  orange ...
(fire) (detergent) range
  October ...
(pencil) (hell) ctber
  storm ...
(egg) (Olympic) strm

18
19
lŭ loo lē la lā lә lō

Note: The handwritten , looks like  with out the arch on


top (pointed out by the arrow). Keep in mind that typed and
handwritten Amharic sometimes look quite different (Example:
 Group,  Group, and ).

H
HeId lurk ...
1
2 (soft) Hrk
2
1
RHT lust ...
(to dream) Hst
2 1 2
HR” learn ...
1
(beggar) Hrn

HH&|

H# H&
PH# look ... list ...
(full) H#k (nightfall) H&st
H#¡ loose ... H&x¼ lip ...
(paper) H#se (Libya) H&p
loop ... H&Ø leak ...
H#p (dough) H&k

I H+
 line ... yIH+ level ...
(candy) Iine (baggy H+vel
IT luck ... pants) late ...
(cow) Ik H+w H+te
v&Iª lap ... (thief) lend ...
(knife) Ip H+nd

J H:
Jx stable … xH: loan...
(heart) stabJ (bolt) H: n
eJ¡ devil ... H:z] lobster ...
(phone) devJ (lottery) H: bster
eJd evil ... H:Q load ...
evJ
(sixty) (lemon) H: d

20
21
nŭ noo nē na nā nә nō

Note: This group sets the basic form for  and . The
groups that you have seen so far have two “legs” while the next
few groups will only have one “leg” (Example: , , , , ,

2
number ...

Š

1 (tiger) mber
nerve ...

1
(white) rve
1 nurse ...

1
(nurse) rse

‹ Œ
noon ...  neat ...
‹a n (medicine) t
(life) snoop ...  needle ...
‹²±+ sp (cup) dle
(will) noodle ...   new ...
dle (prison) w
neck ...

 Š+,
 nap ... 
(Christmas) p (courage) ck
native ...
 nasty ... 
(pineapple) sty (giraffe) tive
nation ...
 final ... 
(diesel) fil (me) tion

 
 noon ...  no ...
(ant) noo (to inhabit) 
 spoon ...  note ...
(egg) spoo (lantern)  te
 baloon ...  snore ...
(queen) baloo (Noah) s re

22
23
Note: If you remove the horizontal bar on top , you will
get
 (see previous page). The two groups also sounds a bit similar.




2 4

3 (to swim)
1 2 
1 (to find)
1 1

(to judge)



’% ’*
(he/she (formal) 
or they slept) (you (female) sleep)
 
(he/she (formal) (you (female) rule)
or they ruled)

“ ’,

(balloon) ™Ã’,
 (my savior)
(to sleep) z’,
 (distribute)
(judge)



” 

(mosquito) (Monday)
 
(fool) (Tuesday)
 T•|
(right) (hope)

24
25
hŭ hoo hē ha hā hә hō

Note: If you remove this little bar  (pointed out by the ar-
row), you will get  This Group sounds the same as  and  in
Amharic. See Amharic 101 for more information. Similar to
those two groups, Family #1 and #4 sound the same in Amharic.

2 1


2
1

1 1

…# …&
† …+
‡ ˆ
26
27
tŭ too tē ta tā tә tō

Note: This one legged Group sets the basic form for ,
, , and . It resembles the shape and sound of the Eng-
lish letter ‘ t ’.

z
2
2 1  turn ...
1
1
(student) zrn
2  stir ...
(teacher) szir
2
 stud ...
(to sleep) szud

z% z*
 too...  tick ...
(tourist) z% (tomato) z*k
 two ...  tea ...
(old cloth) z% (underwear) z*
tour ... team ...
 z%ur
 z*m
(jump suit) (electric wire)

{ z,
 tank...  table ...
(map) {nk (stamp) z,ble
 tactic ...  test ...
(taxi) {ctic (tennis) z,st
 tough ...  take ...
(drum) {gh (shirt) z,ke

| }
 first...  top ...
firs|
 (photo) }p
what ...
(school)  torn ...
wha| }rn
 rat ...
(hundred)
(pillow)  stop ...
ra| s}p
(belt)

28
29
pŭ poo pē pa pā pә pō

Note: If you move the horizontal line of  to the top,


you will get . This group is often used in words that are
borrowed from other languages (see examples below).

÷
1 1
purse ...
÷rse
2 pulse ...
2 ÷lse
2 temper ...
tem÷r

÷% ÷*
push ...  pin ...
÷%sh (pliers) ÷*n
pool ...  pick ...
÷%l (smoking pipe) ÷ick
poor ...  picture ...
÷%r (computer) ÷* i cture

ø ÷,
 part ... pair ...
(pineapple) ørt  ÷,ir
 park ... (Pepsi) page ...
(pasta) ørk  ÷,ge
 pan ... (Peru) pen ...
(Europe) øn ÷,n

ù ú
 dimple ...   police ...
(plastic) dimùle (post office) úolice
 steep ...  port ...
(tape) steeù (police) úrt
 keep ...  sport ...
(program) keeù (politics) súrt

30
31
chŭ choo chē cha chā ch ә chō

Note: If you overlay the previous two Groups ( and ),


you will get . This group also sounds similar to an unstressed
 (see page 50).


2 2
 church ...
1 1
3
(kind) €rch
3 3 3
 culture ...
(merchant) cul€re
1 1
 creature ...
1
(to rush) cre€re



€% €**
cheep ...
choose... (critic)
€*p
€%se  cheese ...
 Choo-choo (boring
(comfor €*se
train ... person) chick ...
-table) €% €% train  €*ck
(champion)


 €,,
chat ... cheery ...
(China)
t €,¡ €,ry
 child ... (check) chain ...
(saddle) ld €,in
 O€,
chart ... (when) check ...
(tolerant rt €,ck
person)

‚ ƒ
 watch ...  chop ...
(problem) wa‚ (peanut) ƒp
 catch ...  chore ...
(tomato) ca‚ (comfort) ƒre
 Dutch ...  choice ...
(puppy) du‚ (producers) ƒice

32
33
gŭ goo gē ga gā gә gō

Note: This is one of the simplest groups to write out.


1 1
1
1  govern ...
(money) Ñvern
2  gut ...
1 1 (farmer) Ñt
 gullible ...
(Christmas) Ñllible

 
 good...
 geek ...
(pregnant) Ñ#d Ñ&k
(crab)
 goose ... geezer ...
Ñ#se  Ñ&zer
(gun) (mosque)
 goofy ... gear ...
Ñ#fy  Ñ&r
(knee) (veal)

 
 gather...  gaze ...
(bed) Òather (bed) Ñ+ze
 gang ...  gate ...
(newspaper) Òng (Lord or Ñ+te
 gamble ... owner) game ...
(stagecoach) Òmble Ñ+me

 
 fragment ...  go ...
(wedding) fraÓment (brave) Ô
single ...
  gost ...
sinÓle Ôst
(food) (tire)
eagle ... God ...
 eaÓle 
(wall) (not full) Ôd

34
35
qŭ qoo qē qa qā qә qō
o o o o o o o

Note: Fold the ‘arms’ on , and you will get  It sounds similar
to  when pronounced with less stress. Since this group has such
great stress, we could not find English words with the  sound.

m
1
1
 
(red color)
3
2
3 2 
(belt)
1 1

1 (cross)

 
 
(number) (minute)
 
(shorts) (pancake)
 
(key) (fool)



 

(chili) (liquor)
 
(string) (priest)
 
(moon) (question)

o p
 
(leaf) (hat)
 
(branch) (corn)
 
(Saturday) (hook)

36
37
yŭ yoo yē ya yā yә yō

Note: This will be the last of the one-legged Groups. We


were unable to find a good English example for the letter . It
has a distinct “yé” sound.


2 1
 yes ...
(Jesus) ¹s
1  yell
2
1
1
(to change) ¹ll
 yen
1 (to see) ¹n

 
 you...  yield ...
(university) º (come here »ld
 youth ... –referring yeast...
(look -to a ºth to a female) »st
formal person) Utah ...  yippee
ºah (pebbles)) »ppee

 
 yawn... 
(christian) ¼wn (my dog)
 young ... 
(spoon) ¼ng (my car)
 yarn ... 
(ruler) ¼rn (my trousers)

 
 spy...  beyond ...
(eye) sp¾ (radio) be¿nd
wine ...
  Tokyo ...
w¾ne Tok¿
(grape) (Jordan)
fine ... yoga ...
 f¾ne 
(red) (Ethiopia) ¿ga

38
39
rŭ roo rē ra rā rә rō

Note: This group sets the basic form for .

[
ï[e rust ...
1 (horse) [st
1
[ÏT rut ...
2 (tall) [t
v[| crust ...
1 (stable) c[st
1

¡x]|

\ ]
\³ cruel ... tree ...
(rice) c\el (matches) t]
\Þ true ... Ò] free ...
(marathon) t\ (wagon) f]
h#\w fruit ... O] dream ...
(braid) f \t (steering dr ]m
wheel)

^ _
^Å¿ rat ...  great ...
(radio) ^t (ox) gt
 rabbit ...  spread ...
(lantern) ^bbit (fruit) spd
v&^ cry ...  red ...
(beer) c^y (farmer) d

` a
 fur ...  Rome ...
(ship) fu` (chicken) ame
 burl ...  role ...
(lips) b`l (cockroach) ale
 wonder …  rope ...
(Friday) wond` (butterfly) ape

40
41
fŭ foo fē fa fā fә fō

Note: If you remove the line (that the arrow is pointing at)
,
you will get the  Group. The difference between  and  is


 first ...
(horse) ïrst
1 1
2 2  fund ...
3 (lips) ïnd
 firm ...
(song) ïrm
1 1

 
 food ...
 feet ...
(whistle) ñd òt
(balloon)
 full ... feel ...
ñll  òl
(Intimidating (alphabet)
by boasting foot ... film ...
about oneself) ñt  òlm
(face)


 
(brave)
fat ...  fate ...
ót (design) ôte
 far ... fender ...
(brush) 
ór (needle) ônder
 fact ... fake ...
(Crooked/ 
óct (driver) ôke
curved)

 
 stiff ...  form ...
(love) stiõ (photograph) örm
cliff ...
  photo ...
cliõ öto
(key) (towel)
leaf ... font ...
 leaõ 
(mat) (birds) önt

42
43
hŭ hoo hē ha hā hә hō

Note: This group is often found on the first line of most Amharic
Alphabet tables. It sounds similar to  and … (see Amharic
101) Also, Family #1 () and #4 () sound the same. This
group sets the basic form for .

A
A«J| hat ...
1 1
(statue) At
1
Ax| half ...
1
(wealth) Alf
1
APe hacker ...
1 (Thursday) Acker
1

B C
BH| who ...
Cdx he ...
(two) B C
hook ... (math) hippy ...
›BÅ CÅ
(Sunday) Bk Cppy
hood ... (go – to an heat ...
Bd informal Ct
male)

E
OEÅ head ...


(to go) Ed
This alphabet Eª hair ...
sounds just (Eve) Er
like A. help ...
Oõ|E
(solution) Elp

F G
™F¼ ³G home ...
(donkey) (elephant) Gme
F³x GÅ hot ...
(people) (stomach) Gt
FJT Gz,J hope ...
(dream) (hotel) Gpe

44
45
sŭ soo sē sa sā sә sō

Note: This group looks like two s stuck side-by-side. It


sounds exactly like  in Amharic. See Amharic 101 for more
information. Since these two groups sound the same, refer to
examples for  on page 8.

W
1 1
1
1
1 1
1 1

1 1
1

W# X&
X X+
Y Z
46
47
tŭ t oo tē ta tā tә tō

Note: This group looks like an upside-down . It sounds


similar to  (page 28), but  is pronounced with high stress.
As a result, we were unable to find examples of English words
that contain this Group’s sound. It sets the basic form for 


2

1 2 (beverage)
1
2 3
1 
(lawyer)
1 
(rifle)

 
 
(muscle) (beard)
 
(horn) (pocket
 knife)
(breast)

 
 
(finger) (health)
 
(young) (teff –grain used
 to make injera)
(towel)

 
 
(teeth) (spear or
 army)
(to sit) 
 (monkey)
(black)

48
49
chŭ choo chē cha chā ch ә chō

Note: This group looks similar to  with rings on the legs. It also
sounds similar to , but with high stress (this is the same relation-
ship that we saw between  and ). Because of this high stress
sound, we were unable to find English examples for this group.

Û
2 3 2 3

1
(moon)
2 1
3
3 
1 2 (dark/night)

1 2 3
3
(wood)

Ü Ý
 
(scream) (drunk)
 
(knife/blade) (outside)
 
(chick) (incoming)

Þ ß

(shoes)
 
(yellow) (greets)

(nose)

à á
 
(head) (fat)
 
(skinny) (sun glare)
 
(mud) (to scream)

50
51
hŭ hoo hē ha hā hә hō

Note: The 1st and 4th Family of this Group sound exactly the
same. This Group also sounds the same as  and  in Amhar-
ic (see Amharic 101 for more information). Learn the correct
pronunciation for this group using the examples on page 44.

K
1
3
2 1 2

2 1 3
2

K# K&
L K+
M N
52
53
ŭ oo ē a ā ә ō

Note: This group sets the basic form for , , and . This
group sounds exactly like  in Amharic. Go to page 18 to see
examples of words that contain the letter  since these two
groups sound the same). See Amharic 101 for more information.

1 1

-
1
1 2
1
1
2

1 2

-# ®&
® ®+
¯ °
54
55
sŭ soo sē sa sā sә sō

Note: If you remove the horizontal bar from  (pointed


out by the arrow), you will get . This group sounds exactly
like  in Amharic. Go to page 66 to see examples of words
that use the letter .

1 1

ë
2
1
1
1 2
1
3

ë# ì&
ì ì+
í î
56
57
wŭ woo wē wa wā wә wō

Note: If you place two  ’s together side-by-side, you will get


this Group.


2
2 3 
1 (milk)
1
2
2 3 
1
(solder)
1

2 (bird)



 
would... we ...
(blue)
 ©ld ª**
(beauty) wood ...  weak ...
©d (Sweden) ª** k

(obesity) wool ...  weed ...
©l (religious ª**d
person)

 
 want... wake ...
(trophy) ªnt  ª,,ke
 wild ... (Kuwait) swell ...
(flute) ªild  sª,,ll
 swan ... (Norway) dwell ...
(to swim) sªn dª,,ll

 
 down ... ‚ work ...
(to talk) do«n (people) ¬rk
flow ...
 ‚ wall ...
flo« ¬ll
(dog) (chicken)
blow ... won’t ...
 blo«
(water) ¬n’t

58
59
mŭ moo mē ma mā mә mō

Note: This group seems to be difficult to write out. No-


tice that the first five letters are similar form to the Ö Group
if we simply turn the “legs” in to circles.

O
3
3 4 measurement ...
1
2 1 3 measureOnt
2
2 movement ...
3
OŠé` (eye glass) moveOnt
2
1 ÅO| (cat) enjoyment ...
1 2
OÑÅ (road) enjoyOnt

P
P±&n (music)
P³ (banana)
APe (Thursday)
moon ...
Pn
mood ...
Pd
smooth ...
sPth
Q
QÃp
(deer)
QeR`
(nail)
H:Q
(lemon)
me ...
Q
meet ...
Qt
milk ...
Qlk

R S
ReO`¼ mark ... v`SJ make ...
(ruler) Rrk (barrel) Ske
 man ...  men ...
(spoon) Rn (candy) Sn
Rez*Ÿ mat ... SÃ male ...
(gum) Rt (land) Sle

U”

T U
Te^o team ... mold ...
teaT (fool) Uld
(west)
T›^x film ... U| motor ...
filT (death) Utor
(east)
T×õ steam ... ™U^ monk ...
steaT (large Unk
(rug)
bird)

60
61
dŭ doo dē da dā dә dō

Note: This Group sets the basic form for , , and . Some
people write this group like wile others write it as . Both
methods are correct.


3
 student ...
(note book) stuÀnt
3 3
 dirt ...
(letter) Àrt
1 2  done ...
2
(blood) Àne



 *
(rebellious
do ...  dimple ...
Á (flag) Âmple
person) doom...  disk ...
 Á%m Âsk
(stick) (deaf)
duel ... deep ...
 
Áel Âp
(forest) (new)

 
 dad...  dead ...
(field) Ãd (sword) Ä,d
 dark ...  debt ...
(judge) Ãrk (outlaw) Äbt
 dart ...  devil ...
(Saturday) Ãrt (green) Ävil

 
 dead ...  dorm ...
(stone) deaÅ (chicken) Ærm
 spend ...
 door ...
(cat) spenÅ Ær
(ice)
 wood ... dole ...
wooÅ 
(one) (pickaxe) Æle

62
63
jŭ joo jē ja jā jә jō

Note: This Group is basically a  with and bar on top. Simi-


lar to , some people will write it as and others as


5
 gender ...
4 4 (to star) Ênder
3
3 6
 jerk ...
(back side) Êrk
1 2 2  just ...
1
2 2 (boat) Êst

 *
 Junior ...
 Jeep ...
(his hand) Ënior Ìp
(explosive)
 juice ... jibber ...
Ëce  Ìbber
(his friend) (copy)
 June ... jig ...
(the boy) Ëne Ìg

 
 jack...  jail ...
(porcupine) Íck (handle) Îil
 jab ...  jade ...
(steps) Íb (my lover Îde
 jump ... or friend) jail ...
(umbrella) Ímp Îil

 
 smudge...  joke ...
(hand) smudÏ (ear) Ðke
judge ...
  join ...
judÏ Ðin
(hyena) (strawberry)
fudge ... job ...
 fudÏ 
(friend) (beauty) Ðb

64
65
sŭ soo sē sa sā sә sō

Note: This group also looks very similar to . It sounds like


 , but pronounced with great stress. It is used interchangeably
with  since they sound alike in Amharic. We were unable to
find any English words that have the  sound.


1 1
1
1 
(hair)
1

1
1
1
1 (prayer)
1

 *

(clean)

(entirely)

(stone cutter)

(they carved)

 
 ™ç+
(baby) (a title, as in
 ™ç+ fH:U•
(to write) King Solomon)

(building)



 
(eye glass)

 (fasting)
(sound)

 (gender)
(to comfort)

66
67
pŭ poo pē pa pā pә pō

Note: This group looks like  with little vertical bar on top. It
also sounds like , but it is pronounced with great stress. This
group is often used in biblical words that describe names and


2 2

1 1
1

1 1
1
1
1 1 1

  
(eraser)

 

(Patriarch)

 

(Ethiopia)

68
69
zŭ zoo zē za zā zә zō

Note: This Group sets the basic form for .


 the ...
3 3 (song) ±
1 1
2 2
 father...
(guard) fa±er
weather...
 we±r
2 (nine)

 
 zoo...  zebra ...
(throne) ±# (beetle) ±&k
 zoom ...  zero ...
(many) ±#m (Zimbabwe) ±&ro
zoology ... disease...
 
±#logy di±&*se
(around) (here)

 

 
Zaire ... Zelda ...
(tree) (news)
²re ±+lda
 that ...
 zen ...
(day- (zero) ±+n
²t
dreamer)
zap ...  zest ...
 ²p (news ±+st
(scale) paper)

 
 freeze ... 
(rain) free³ (crocodile) zone ...
maze ...
  ´ne
ma³ zodiac ...
(elephant) (to turn)
daze ... ´diac
 da³ 
(diamond) (trip)

70
71
Note: This group looks very similar to  (previous page). It is
one of the least used groups in Amharic. It is also difficult to de-
scribe the correct pronunciation for it since we couldn’t find equiv-
alent English words for it. For example,  is a cross between 


1 2 1
2
3
3 
1
1
2 (nightmare)

 *

(buyer or
colonizer)

 

(frisky –
male)

(handle)

vision ...

 
 vin
(television) fusion ...
 fun
(spread elusion
sheet) elun

72
73
74