Chichewa

Learning Resources

Finding useful resources for any type of language learning can be overwhelming, especially in the case of needing resources for a less commonly taught language, like Amharic. Using printed text resources is likely your best bet in finding clear and thorough explanations for learning Amharic. Using online resources in conjunction with printed resources will elicit the most effective learning. The list I’ve provided has a range of resources, including text sources that focus on grammar to casual YouTube videos that create familiarity with Amharic and are quite accessible.

Online Resources related to Ethiopian Culture:

https://linoor-bet.tumblr.com/

An amazing resources that has a plethora of posts relating to Ethiopian culture and the Amharic language. This is a great page for anyone that is interested in the country of Ethiopia, regardless of if they are learning Amharic or not. Relating to language learning, there are multiple subject vocabulary posts, Amharic phrase and expression posts, music videos with English translations, Ethiopian movies & television shows, and so on.

The twitter account of the Ethiopia’s United States Embassy. Most posts are about economic and policy change that is occurring in Ethiopia, particularly related to American involvement. This post gives insight into Ethiopian politics, but from an American perspective.

An account that updates readers on all things related to Ethiopia, politics, environmental concerns, economic development, social issues, etc.

Book Resources for Learning Amharic Fundamentals:

Teferra, A., Hudson, G. (2007). Essentials of Amharic. Cologne, Germany: Rudiger Koppe Verlag : A beginners explanatory textbook with commentary and examples for fundamental grammar/comprehension topics. Includes practice questions and interactive vocabulary exercises that gives learners experience in testing their knowledge/skill.

Leslau, W., (2000). Introductory Grammar of Amharic. Gottingen, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag : Another beginners level book that helps explain grammar and comprehension topics very similarly to, “Essentials of Amharic.” This text is very straightforward and provides clear explanations for basic topics, but is very formal and not an interactive text.

Online Resources for Learning Amharic Fundamentals

Live Lingua Project. “Amharic Basic Course-Volume 1.” https://www.livelingua.com/course/fsi/Amharic_Basic_Course_-_Volume_1/ :  A resource that provides numerous lessons and volumes from the Foreign Service Institute’s textbook. The online courses are used by the FSI to educate foreign diplomats and agents. With units from 1-50, Amharic learners can use this learning tool throughout their language development. This resource supports a learners progress as it begins with basic vocabulary and sentence structure examples and progresses to provide sentences of greater length and complexity. The lessons are written in English and translated into phonetic pronunciations of Amharic.

Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/romanization/amharic.pdf : This source is a chart of the Amharic alphabet written in Amharic script with corresponding phonetic pronunciations. Additionally, this page includes Amharic numerals. This page is a great source for getting familiar with the alphabet and how to write the sounds in Amharic script. A learner can organize their learning plan by focusing on 1st order sounds, 2nd order sounds, and so on.

Book Resources for Vocabulary Practice:

Woldegabir. S., (1969). Amharic for Foreigners. Bernhanera Selam H.S.I. Printing Press : Phrase/vocabulary book with direct translation from English to Amharic with word pronunciation in English and in Amharic script.

Online Resources for Vocabulary Practice:

“MsBissirat” Youtube. “Useful Amharic Phrases.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE4wsD9qoeU : An extremely accessible and understandable youtuber who makes learning Amharic easy. The youtuber definitely subscribes to the needs and focuses of a learner who is looking to gain skills in conversational and functional Amharic use.

Boston University, “The 200 Word Project”

Amharic

This resource is one of the most beneficial online resources from this list as it offers 16 different topic categories, each containing related vocabulary words with video of a native Amharic speaker producing the words and are written in Amharic script. A downfall of this source is that the word is not written phonetically in Amharic.

Book Resources for Writing Practice:

Isenberg.C., (1842). Grammar of Amharic Language. London. English: Crown Court, Temple Bar :  This book is a significantly aged piece of text that provides English to Amharic translation in Amharic Script. While the book is quite old, it still has great value for a learner as it provides examples of Amharic writing that learners can develop into activities for themselves.

Online Resources for Writing Practice:

Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/romanization/amharic.pdf : This source is a chart of the Amharic alphabet written in Amharic script with corresponding phonetic pronunciations. Additionally, this page includes Amharic numerals. This page is a great source for getting familiar with the alphabet and how to write the sounds in Amharic script. A learner can organize their learning plan by focusing on 1st order sounds, 2nd order sounds, and so on.

Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies, African Studies Center : This source is directed towards a more advanced Amharic learner as the text and videos are all in Amharic, although a beginner can find benefit in it as one can watch the 10 provided videos to gain an understanding for pronunciation, intonation, and body language. This page includes 10 different proverbs each with an accompanying skit, exercises, and glossary. The glossaries can be very useful in gaining new vocabulary, but the Amharic translation is written in Amharic script. A learner could take this as an opportunity to practice there alphabet and pronunciation skills.

Amharic Proverbs

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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.