This page is designed to provide a reader with a quick rundown of common and useful phrases/words in Amharic that they may use or overhear.
Vowels are never seen alone and are always combined with a consonant.
The typical word order is SOV (Subject-Object-Verb)
Amharic is a gendered language
Many Amharic words present with gemination. Gemination is when words are spelled alike, but their articulation differs from the other words with the same spelling. This causes for the same words to have different meanings!
Bye: Tschao (same as the Italian Ciao!)
Good Morning (M): Endemin Aderke
Good Morning (F): Endemin Adershe
Good Morning (P): Endemin Aderachu
Goodnight: Dehna Ideru
How Are You (M): Endet Neh
How Are You (F): Endet Nesh
Where Are You From (M): Kayet Ahger Neh
Where Are You From (F): Kayet Ahger Nesh
Fine/All Right: Dehna
I’m from ____: Inae Ke ____ Negn (For example: “Inae Ke Chicago Negn”)
Yes: Awo (one would respond with “Awo” if they were responding to a question”
Ok: Ischi (one would respond with “Ischi” if they being told something)
I’m Sorry: Yikirta
Thank You: Ameseginalow
Chigirillum: No problem
Please (M): Ehbakih
Please (F): Ehbakish
A Little: Tinish (in order for this word to have significant meaning, it is typically said twice – “tinish, tinish”)
Here is a link for anyone looking to learn some words/phrases that aren’t on this list or are looking for an audio example on pronunciation!
Here is a link to an extensive list of Ethiopian names with written phonetic pronunciations and name meanings.