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AMHARICCONVERSATION

for English Speakers - a primary book

By Befekadu Hailu Hana Wobbersu Emnet Assefa

2011

AmharicConversation For English Speakers - a primary book

All rights are reserved

First published 2011

Acknowledgement

About the Book


Amharic is [only] the most widely spoken and the Ethiopian Federal Government official language among 80 plus languages of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the only African country that has its own alphabets called fidel that Amharic is using as inherited from Geez - an ancient Ethiopian language. Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia is also referred as the capital of Africa because its the seat of the then OAU (Organization of African Union), the current AU, UNECA (the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa) and lots of delegates. Moreover, Ethiopia is a host to the most number of UNESCO world heritages in Africa, and it is believed to be the possible home for modern human ancestors as well as many natural wonders. For these and more reasons many a foreigners land Ethiopia in an increasing rate. But not everyone in Ethiopia speaks English, a language regarded as international; therefore, visitors get it easy to communicate with everyone if they can learn the basics of Amharic - - - and thats where the idea of preparing this book originated. How to do it? is the question followed. Pocket sized, audio CD supported, quick reference for tourists, and simple dictionary-like conversation book is found to be the best answer at least in primary basis. This has proved the birth of AmharicConversation for English Speakers and so is the primary book on your hand. Enjoy AmharicConversation!

Table of Contents
Introduction .................................................................................................. 1 Verbs Tens ............................................................................................. 5 Direct Propositional Suffixes ................................................................. 6 Personal Pronouns ................................................................................. 8 Interrogatives ......................................................................................... 13 Negatives ................................................................................................ 14 Basic Amharic ............................................................................................... 15 Introducing One Another ............................................................................. 18 Telephone Conversation ............................................................................... 22 Shopping Conversation................................................................................. 27 Hotel Conversation ....................................................................................... 32 Cab Conversation .......................................................................................... 42 Relationship Conversation ........................................................................... 45 Numerical Conversation ............................................................................... 48 Time Telling .................................................................................................. 50 Common commands and Requests .............................................................. 53 Common Combiners ..................................................................................... 57 Proverbs ........................................................................................................ 59 A Must Visit Places in Ethiopia .................................................................... 61 A Must Know Ethiopian Traditions.............................................................. 67 Annex1: Amharic Alphabets ......................................................................... 70

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Introduction
Amharic is a Semitic language and is the official language of Ethiopia having more than 25 millions of speakers. Amharic is written with a version of the Geez script which contains more than 300 letters. There are 26 sounds to each of which has seven and sometimes more family-sounds in the Amharic alphabet. (Please look at the complete alphabets on page-)
Example 1: la, l, li, l, l, le, lo (symbolized as , , , , , , )

To make the self-teaching activity of yours easier, in this book, we use our own way of reading Amharic words in Latin letters as mapped below.

AmharicConversation Vowel Sounds as bolded ina i e o ua accent, early cook, book tip, peak abacus, Canada caf, cafeteria learned, take cold, toad quality, dual

2011

Amharic equivalent (examples) (e.g. saw/ ~ man) (e.g. es/ ~ he) (e.g. hidg/ ~ go (for feminine)) (e.g. n/ ~ come (for masculine)) (e.g. en/ ~ I) (e.g. men?/? ~ what?) (e.g. bot/ ~ place) (e.g. esua/ ~ she)

Table 1: Amharic vowels mapped to Latin letters (only for AmharicConversation)

There are also Amharic consonants that are too slangy and difficult to make for English speakers. We have mapped these sounds to approximate common sounds so that any Amharic speaker could easily understand.
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AmharicConversation Mapped toq dg (j) jz tt ch ts pp Tsunami Ethiopia Sounds as bolded inAl-Qaeda Avril Lavign Bridge Seizure

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Amharic equivalent (examples) (e.g. qay/ ~ red) (e.g. qa/ ~ right [hand]) (e.g. ledg/ ~ child jel/ ~ fool) (e.g. gejzi/ ~ buyer (governor)) (e.g. qettal/ ~ leaf) (e.g. chak/ ~ cruel) / (e.g. tsehay/ ~ sun) (e.g. lappis/ ~ eraser)

Table 2: Uncommon Amharic sounds mapped to Latin letters (only for AmharicConversation)

The q () sound is correctly pronounced by the Arabs; whereas the Spanish people, on the other hand, could make () and the Japanese
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ts (/) sounds. However, the rest listed above are really difficult for [only] English speaking people, the sounds can easily be understood as pronounced in the above table. As we go along, we will also need to see the Amharic language sentences difference with those of English ones. To begin with, lets see the difference between the order of subject, object and verb of a sentence as it is basic. Example 2: English = Subject + Verb + Object E.g. I had coffee. Amharic = Subject + Object + Verb E.g. en bnn ttattah (bnn ttattah) ( )

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Verbs Tens The second Amharic sentence (put in braces of Example 2) avoids the subject since it is embedded in the verb. In Amharic, verbs change their forms so that they can describe the subject. Thus, the avoidance of the subject doesnt change the meaning of the sentence (also adding the subject doesnt add anymore meaning to the sentence). Example 3: Eat ~ mablt () or bal () root words in Amharic usually put in 2nd person masculine form. I ate ~ balh () We ate ~ baln () You ate (masculine) ~ balh () You ate (feminine) ~ balsh () You ate (plural) ~ balcheh () He ate ~ bal ()

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She ate ~ balach () They ate ~ bal () Direct Propositional Suffixes There is no verbs tens change in Amharic language without inscription of sex and number of subject spoken of. The suffix over the verb determines all these. One should only know the verb appropriate to the third person singular (he), and then for the others, it is only a matter of adding the suffixes in Table 3.
Subject I We You (masculine) You (feminine) You (plural) Suffix -hu (-) or chlah () -n (-) or tanl (-) -h (-) or tahl (-) -sh (-) or tashl (-) -cheh (-) or tchehual (-) Example I came ~ matth () We came ~ mattn () You came ~ matth () You came ~ mattsh () You came ~ mattcheh ()

AmharicConversation Subject He She They -ch (-) or tlach (-) - () or tawl (-) Suffix Example

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He came ~ matt () She came ~ mattch () They came ~ matt ()

Table 3: Direct propositional suffixes in Amharic

Note:- The third person singular it is denoted as either masculine or feminine usually depending on the size of the object; bigger objects are commonly sentenced in masculine sense. When you declare something you saw, you simply say it in simple past form as I saw which is equivalent to yah () in Amharic; but if someone asks if you have seen something, you usually say it in a present participle form as I have seen, which can be translated into Amharic as ychlahu (). That is the difference between the two forms of tenses.
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Personal Pronouns All the examples we have seen earlier demonstrate Subject and Verb united as one word; in Amharic, it is also possible and common to make a single word after the combination of Subject, Object and Verb. He told me can be translated as nagara () and she told me is translated as nagarache (). Most Amharic sentences are short that you can learn easily if you once understood how to make them. Table 4 and 5 guide you towards the how.
Object Pronoun Suffixes Subject Amharic Possessive (Independent) Suffixes en () nta () nchi () -(y) (-/) -(e)h (-) -(e)sh (-) Prepositional Benefactive I You (masculine) You (feminine)
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Locative or Adversative -labb (-) -labbeh (-) -labbesh (-)

-la (-) -lah (-) -lash (-)

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Object Pronoun Suffixes Subject Amharic Possessive (Independent) Suffixes e'nnta () e's () e'sua () e' () e'nas () Prepositional Benefactive You (plural) He She We They -cheh (-) -lcheh () -(w) (-) -ua (-) -chen (-) -chaw (-) -law (-) -lt (-) -lan (-) Locative or Adversative -labbcheh (-) -labbat (-) -labbt (-) -labben (-)

-lachaw (-) -labbchaw (-)

Table 4: Amharic Personal Pronouns

Subject I You (masculine)

Possessive Pronoun My ~ yan () Your ~ ynta () Me ~ enn () You ~ antan () You ~ anchen ()

You (feminine) Your ~ ynchi ()


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AmharicConversation Subject You (plural) He She We They Possessive Pronoun Your ~ yannta () His ~ yas () Her ~ yasua () Our ~ ya () Their ~ yanas ()

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You ~ enntan () Him ~ esn () Her ~ esuan () Us ~ en () Them ~ enasn ()

Table 5: Amharic Possessive Pronouns

Example 4: Possessive Suffixes My book ~ matsehaf (yen matsehaf)

( )
Your book ~ matsehafeh (ynta matsehaf) - masculine

( )
matsehafesh (ynchi matsehaf) - feminine ( ) matsehafachen (yannta matsehaf) plural
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( )
His book ~ matsehaf (yas matsehaf)

( )
Her book ~ matsehafua (yesua matsehaf)

( )
Our book ~ matsehafachen (ya matsehaf)

( )
Their book ~ matsehafachaw (yanas mastehaf)

( )
Beneficative Prepositional Suffixes I have ~ la (en la ) ( ) You have ~ lah (nta . lah) - masculine ( ) lash (nchilash) feminine ()
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lcheh (ennta..lchehu) plural () He has ~ law (es. law) ( ) She has ~ lt (esua..lt) ( ) We have ~ lan (e .lan) ( ) They have ~ lchaw (enas .lchaw) ( ) Adversative Prepositional suffixes I have to go ~ mahd labe (en mahd labe)

( )
You have to go ~ mahd labeh (nta mahd labeh) masculine

( )
mahd labesh (nchi mahd labesh) feminine
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( )
mahd labcheh (ennta mahd labchehu) plural

( )
He has to go ~ mahd labat (es mahd labat)

( )
She has to go ~ mahd labt (esua mahd labt)

( )
We have to go ~ mahd laben (e mahd laben)

( )
They have to go ~ mahd labchaw (enas mahd labchaw)

( )
Interrogatives Dont expect formal changes in interrogative sentences of Amharic language. Interrogatives in Amharic are only identified for their tones of question. he came (matt/) is a question when it is he came? (matt?/?) in the sense of Amharic language.
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Negatives Verbs of Amharic language change their forms into negative by adding negative suffixes (usually al- ~ - or ay- ~ -) Example 5: I wont come ~ almattm () I didnt have lunch ~ mes lebalahm ( ) This is not my fault ~ yeh yan sehetat aydalam


is not ~ aydalam () - - - masculine aydalache'm () - - - feminine ...are not ~ aydalm () - - - plural

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Basic Amharic
Saying Hello
Hello tenn yesttele ( ) salm () Hi tdys ()

What Language to Speak


Do you speak English?

englizea mangar techellah? ( ?) (If the second person is masculine) englizea mangar techeylash? ( ?) (If the second person is feminine)

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Language (quanqua ~ ) Languages names in Amharic are given a suffix - () next to the name of the country or people that speak the language. For example, if you say amerika (), any Amharic speaker can easily understand that you mean a language that the Americans speak. But, the English language is called englizea () because it is perceived that the English people who are called engliz () in Amharic are the speakers of the language. Citizenship (zgenat ~ ) Citizenship in Amharic is expressed by adding a suffix awi(-) in the name of the country to which the person is citizen to. Example 6: American ~ amrikawi () English ~ engelizawi () Canadian ~ cndwi () Norwegian ~ norwywi ()
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Related Words List


Bad ~ mattfo () Good ~ malkm () Excuse me ~ yeqerta () Im sorry ~ znlahu / (when something regrettable happens) No ~ y () Ok ~ eshi () Please ~ ebkh / (masculine), ebkesh / (feminine) See you ~ eneganlan () Thank you ~ masagnlahu () Yes ~ wo () Others This (masculine) ~ yeh () This (feminine) ~ yechi () That (masculine) ~ y () That (feminine) ~ ychi () These ~ enazih () Those ~ enazi () Here ~ ezih () There ~ ezi ()
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Introducing One Another


Introducing yourself
Hello. My name is [Hana]

Salm - [hnn] ebllahu ( ) Asking someones name


Whats your name?

mn lebal? ( ?)
(to both sexes)

semehen mn lebal? ( ?)
(if the person is masculine)

semeshen mn lebal? ( ?)
(if the person is feminine)

Telling ones name


Im [Bef]?

[bef] ebllahu / [bef] na ( / )


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Asking for someones country


Where are you from?

hgareh yat naw? ( ?)


(if the person is masculine)

hgaresh yat naw? ( ?)


(if the person is feminine)

Telling ones country


Im from [USA] /Im an American/

ka[Amerikka] naw yamatthut /Amerikkawi na

/
And you?

ntas? (?) - - - (if the person is masculine) nchis? (?) - - - (if the person is feminine) Asking for someones profession
What do you do?
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serh menden naw? ( ?)


(if the person is masculine)

sersh menden naw? ( ?)


(if the person is feminine)

Introducing others
Hello [Hana] this is [Bef]?

salm [hnn] es [bef] naw ( )


(if [Bef] is masculine)

salm [bef] esua [hnn] nt ( )


(if [Hana] is feminine)

Telling ones profession


Im a [teacher]

[mameher] na ( )

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List of Related Words


Mr. ~ to () Mrs. ~ wayzaro () Miss ~ wayzarit () Sir ~ gety () Madam ~ emabt () In Ethiopia there is no such thing as family name. Everyone is called by her/his name. For e.g. Hana Wobbersu is formally called wayzarit Hana Wobbersu before getting married and wayzaro Hana Wobbersu after getting married. Names in Ethiopia are written or told in order of ones given name followed by fathers given name of one and grandfathers given name of one consecutively. So, in the above example Hana Wobbersu denotes a womans full name; Hana is her given name whereas Wobbersu is her fathers given name.

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Telephone Conversation
Introducing yourself
This is [Hana] / [Hana] is speaking.

[hnn] na ( ) Asking who is on the phone


Excuse me, who is this?

yeqert mn lebal? ( ?) Asking for someone


Can I have extension [123]?

extnshen [nd hlat sost] tggana?

?
(if the person on the phone is masculine)

extnshen [nd hlat sost] tggani?

?
(if the person on the phone is feminine)
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AmharicConversation Can /May/ I speak to [Miss Hana]?

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[weizerit hnn]n mggat echellahu? ?


Is [Bef] in?

[bef] gabtual? ( )
(if the person needed is masculine)

[hnn] gabtlach? ( ?)
(if the person needed is feminine)

Connecting someone
I will put you through

gganotlahu ()
(both sexes, but supposedly for elderly)

gganehlahu ()
(if the person on the phone is masculine)

gganeshlahu ()
(if the person on the phone is feminine)
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AmharicConversation Can you hold the line? / Can you hold on a moment?

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tenesh yettabqu ( )
(both sexes, but supposedly for elderly)

tenesh tabeq ( )
(if the person on the phone is masculine)

tenesh tabeqi ( )
(if the person on the phone is feminine)

When someone is not there


I am afraid [Bef] is not available at the moment

[bef] yalam ( )
(if the person needed is masculine)

[hnn] yalachim ( )
(if the person needed is feminine) The line is busy (if an extension line is used)

masmaru tayzual ( )
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Taking a message
Can/May/ I take a message?

maleekt lot? ( ?)
(both sexes, but supposedly for elderly)

maleekt lah? ( ?)
(if the person on the phone is masculine)

maleekt lash? ( ?)
(if the person on the phone is feminine) Can/May/ I tell him who is calling?

mn dawala lebel? ( ?)

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Related Words List


Answer ~ mnst () - - - only for phone calls E.g. Answer the phone ~ selkun nsw/ (for masculine)

Introduction Busy ~ tayzual () I wanna go shopping

E.g. The line is busy ~ masmaru tayzual ( ) E.g. I wanna call ~ madawal efaliglahu ( )

gabay mahd efaleglahu ( ) ) Call ~ madawal (


I wanna buy ( [a kilo ) of coffee] Message ~ maleekt E.g. Leave me a message ~ magezt maleekt sqamttel ( ) [nd killo bunna] efaleglahu Phone ~ selk ) ( E.g. Wheres the phone ~ selku yatl? ( ?) Ring ~ mattarat ()

Shopping in Ethiopia is commonly practiced in open markets. The E.g. The phone is ringing ~ selku eyatar naw ( ) African biggest open market, named markto () is located in Addis Switched off ~ taftual () Ababa. Bargaining is also the tradition that fixed prices are not mostly E.g. The phone is switched off ~ selku taftual ( ) available. Thats why you need to study the basics of bargaining in Amharic.

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Shopping Conversation
Bargaining
How much is this?

yeh sent naw? ( ?)


Its [100] Birr*

[nd mato] birr naw ( )


How much is its real price?

macharashw sent naw? ( ?)


Take it for [90] Birr

[zattn] birr wsadaw ( )


(if the person shopping is masculine)

[zattan] birr wsadgew ( )


(if the person shopping is feminine) * Birr is the name for Ethiopian currency. 27

AmharicConversation Let me take it for [80] birr

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[samnya] birr lewsadaw ( )


Ok. Take it.

eshi wusadaw ( - )
(if the person shopping is masculine)

eshi - wsadgew ( - )
(if the person shopping is feminine)

Asking for preferences


Do you have [shoes]?

[chm] la? ( )
I want to buy [traditional clothes]

[bhlawi lebs] magezt efaleglahu

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AmharicConversation Does this cloth have [larger size]?

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yeh lebs [safi size] law? ( ?)


Does this cloth have [another color]?

yeh lebs [ll color] law? ( )


Do you have mass discount?

bejemll teqanslchehu? ( ?)
Do you sell per piece?

banattall teshattlchehu? ( ?) Paying for


Heres [80] Birr

yehew [samnya] birr ( )


Give me the change
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malsn setta ( )
(if the person is masculine)

malsn sechi ( )
(if the person is feminine) Keep the change

malsn yzaw ( )
(if the person is masculine)

malsn yjziw ( )
(if the person is feminine)

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Related Words List


Buy ~ magezt () E.g. I want to buy a traditional cloth ~ bhelwi lebesoch magzt efaleglahu ( ) E.g. I bought a necklace ~ hbel gazah ( ) Cheap ~ rekhash () E.g. It is cheap ~ reksh naw ( ) Discount ~ qensh () E.g. I want discount ~ qensh efaleglah ( ) Expensive ~ wd () E.g. Why is it expensive? ~ lamen wd hona? ( ) Market ~ gabay () E.g. Where is the market? ~ gabayw yat naw? ( ?) Pay ~ makfal () E.g. Pay first ~ qedmiy yekfal ( ) Sell ~ mashatt () E.g. I want to sell my bag ~ borsyn mashatt efaleglah

Shop ~ sq () E.g. Take me to a cosmetic shop ~ wada kosmotik sq wesada (mascu.)

wada kosmotik sq wesaji (femin.)

Bill ~ hisb () E.g. Bills, please? ~ hisb ebkeh ( )- - - masculine hisab ebkesh ( ) - - - feminine
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Hotel Conversation
While Checking In I need to make reservation qedemiy bot mayz efaleglah ( )
I have made reservation on call

baselek qedemiy bot yejz nabar


What name is the reservation under?

bamn sem naw yatayzaw? ( ?)


I have a reservation under [Hana]

ba[hnn] sem naw yatayzaw ( )


Is the hotel booked?

yahotl kefeloch tayizawl? ( ?)


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AmharicConversation Can I get a room for tonight?

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ke'fel yenorl?( ?)
How much is the room?

ke'fel wgw sent naw? ( ?)


How long will you be staying?

me'n yhel yeqoylh? ( ?)


I will be staying for [5] days and [5] nights

la[5] qan en la[5] llit (5 5 )


Your room number is [051]

ye'kefelewo qter [051] naw ( 051 )

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AmharicConversation All rooms checked in until tomorrow noon.

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hlm kefeloch eskanaga tayzawl


Here you have two room keys.

ye'haw hlat yakefl qlfoch ( )


What time is breakfast served at?

qre's sent sat naw yamiqarbaw?

?
Can I get a wake-up call at [5:00AM]?

[11:00] sat ly tedawellelcheh? 1100 ?


How do I get to my room?

wada kefel bayat bakl lehid? ( ?)


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AmharicConversation Where is the elevator?

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life't yatla? ( ?) While Checking Out


When is check out time?

mawe'ch sat sent naw? ( ?)


Are you planning on checking out tomorrow?

naga lamawettt yefelegl? ( ?)


I am checking out now

hn mawttt efaleglah ( )
Are you ready to check out?

lamawe'ttt tazagjetawl? ( ?)

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AmharicConversation What room were you in?

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yat kefel nabar? ( ?)


Im checking out of room [401]

ka[401] qtter kefel naw yawattht

401
How was your stay?

qoye'two endt nabar? ( ?)


I really enjoyed my stay

battm das yel nabar ( )


Was everything satisfactory?

hlm nagar reki nabar? ( ?)

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AmharicConversation I have a few complaints

2011

te'qit qert la? ( ?)


Can I speak to the hotel manager on duty?

yahotln staddar mnaggar echellah?

?
Do you have a shuttle to the airport?

wada yar mangad yamiwaseda makin yenoral?

?
Other Hotel Conversations
Where can I get some drink and food?

yamittat en yamibal nagar yat galah?

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AmharicConversation Is the restaurant open now?

2011

me'geb bt hn kefet naw? ( ?)


Where is the Bar?

bnn bt yat naw? ( ?)


I need to pay my bills

hisb makfal efaleglah ( )


Do you accept [credit card/Master card/Visa card/American

Express]? [krdit krd/mstar krd/viz krd/mrikn ekespras] tiqaballcheh? ( / / ?)


Can you change some money for me?

ganzab tezarazerlelcheh? ( ?)

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AmharicConversation How much is the change rate of a [dollar] for a birr?

2011

nd [dolr] sent birr naw? ( ?)


Do you have a laundry service?

le'bes ttab galegelot lacheh?


Where is the rest room?

matsadj kefel yat naw? ( ?)


Is there a travel agency in this hotel?

bahotl weset segobei derejet ala?

?
Is it safe to walk around the hotel?

hotl gebi wuset mansharshar cheger alaw?

?
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AmharicConversation Do you have an Internet access?

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ya'entarnt galgelot lcheh? ( ?)


Can you recommend a restaurant out of this hotel?

kahotl wchi ter restaurant tettaqmlcheh?

?
I need the direction to swimming pool

maw ganedw bayat bakl naw?

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Related Words List


Bar ~ bnn bt ( ) Breakfast ~ qrs () Cold ~ qazqz () Day ~ qan () Dinner ~ rt () Drink ~ mattt () Elevator ~ lifet () Food ~ megeb () Hot ~ teks () Laundry Service ~ yalebs ttab ( ) Lunch ~ mes () Night ~ meshet () Restaurant ~ megeb bt ( ) Salt ~ chaw () Sauce ~ sego () Sugar ~ sekuar () Swimming pool ~ maw () Tea ~ shy ()
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Cab Conversation
Contract Taxi Where do I get a taxi? tksi yat galah? ( ?) Please take me to[Sheraton Hotel] ebkeh wada [shartan hotl ] wsada (masculine)


ebkeh wada [shartan hotl ] wsaji (feminine)


How much will it cost to get to [Markato]? [markto ] sent ysekafell? ( ?) I need to go to [the Lion Zoo] [nbas gibi] mahd efaleglah ( )

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Please wait for me here ezih tabeqa ( ) I will be right back. hn emalaslah ( ) Is there a good Ethiopian restaurant you can take me to? ter yaEtiyopy megeb bt tsyalah?

?
How long does it take to get to [Yod Abyssinia]? [yod bisini] lamadras sent sat yifajal? ? In Public Transport Most taxis and buses provide their services to mass public in the capital of Ethiopia. The common conversations in public transportation tracks
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are to ask the cashier of taxi or bus its direction and cost of service. Where are you going? wadt naw? ( ?) How much does it cost to go to [Bole]? [bol] sent naw? ( ?)

Related Words List


Bus ~ bs () Cab/Taxi ~ tksi () [Bus/Taxi] Cashier ~ radt () / Colloquial wayl () [Cab] Driver ~ shufr () Load ~ chenat () Unload ~ mwerad ()

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Relationship Conversation
Introduction I love you ~ faqerehlah (to a masculine) faqereshlah (to a feminine) I like you ~ ewedehlah (to a masculine) ewede'shlah (to a feminie) You are beautiful ~ qonjo nah (to a masculine) qonjo nash (to a feminine)

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I hate you ~ talhh (to a masculine) talhsh (to a feminie) I want to have a date with you ka-ntag taganech machwat efaleglah (to a man)


ka-nchig taganech machwat efaleglah (to a woman)


Will you marry me? tgablah? (to a man)

?
tgabilash? (to a woman)

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Related Words List


Boyfriend/Girlfriend ~ feqera () Break up ~ malayyat () Cheating ~ mawaslat () Dating ~ maqttar () Divorce ~ fechi () Engagement ~ matachchat () Fianc ~ echo () Husband ~ bl () Lover ~ feqri () Loving ~ mfqar () Marriage ~ gbech () Relationship ~ genenat () Wife ~ mist () In-laws Anyone who is a relative to ones husband or wife is called amt () to the one; and the relatives call one who is married to their relative as amch ().
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Numerical Conversation
1 ~ nd () 2 ~ hlat () 3 ~ sost () 4 ~ rt () 5 ~ mest () 6 ~ sedest () 7 ~ sabt () 8 ~ sement () 9 ~ zatta () 10 ~ ser () ser- is the prefix for numbers eleven to nineteen. 11~ ser-nd ( ) 12 ~ ser-hlat ( ) 13 ~ ser-sost ( ) 14 ~ ser-rt ( ) 15 ~ ser-meset ( ) 16 ~ ser-sedest ( ) 17 ~ ser-sabt ( ) 18 ~ ser-sement ( ) 19 ~ ser-zatta ( )

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20 ~ hy () 30 ~ sals () 40 ~ rb () 50 ~ hms () 60 ~ seles () 70 ~ sab () 80 ~ samneya () 90 ~ zattan () 100 ~ mato () 1000 ~ shi (nd shi)

21 ~ hy-nd ( ) 32 ~ sals-hlat ( ) 43 ~ rb-sost ( ) 54 ~ hms-rt ( ) 65 ~ seles-mest ( ) 76 ~ sab-sedest ( ) 87 ~ samneya-sabt ( ) 98 ~ zattan-sement ( ) 101 ~ nd mato nd ( ) 10,000 ~ ser shi ( ) 1,234 ~ nd shi hlat mato sals rt ( )

( )

The rest like Million, Billion and Trillion are named after the English numerals

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Time Telling
It is from 6:00 oclock in the morning that Ethiopians start their day (instead of mid-night as most countries do). For example, 8:00 AM in Ethiopia is told as 2:00 oclock in the morning. The following conversation assumes the English speakers watch start to count at mid night, while the Amharic ones start to count at dawn.
What time is it?

sat sent naw? ( ?)


It is 7:00 oclock.

nd sat naw ( )
[25] past [9]

[3] sat ka[25] (3 25)

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AmharicConversation [25] to [9]

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[25] gdy la[3] (25 3)


Quarter past [5]

[11] karb (11 )


Quarter past [5]

rb gdy la [11] ( 11)


Half past [10]

[4] takl (4 ) There exists also about 8 years of difference between the unique Ethiopian calendar and the Gregorian one. According to the Ethiopian calendar, it is the fifth month of 2003 when it is January 2011.

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Related Words List


Afternoon ~ kasat () Day ~ qan () Earlier ~ qedem () Evening ~ mt () Later ~ bahual () Mid-night ~ eklallit ( ) Morning ~ tawt () Night ~ llit () Noon ~ qater () Now ~ hn () Oclock ~ sat () Watch ~ sat () Days of the week Monday ~ sao () Tuesday ~ mksao () Wednesday ~ rab () Thursday ~ hms () Friday ~ reb () Saturday ~ qedm () Sunday ~ ehd ()
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Months of the year September ~ masekaram () October ~ teqemt () November ~ hedr () December ~ thss () January ~ ter () February ~ yaktit () March ~ megabit () April ~ miyzi () May ~ genbot () June ~ san () July ~ hmel () August ~ nahss () The first month in Ethiopian official calendar is September. The new year in Ethiopia celebrates on September 11/12, of Gregorian calendar.

AmharicConversation

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Common Commands and Requests


Come (Come here)

n/ (to a masculine) nay/ (to a feminine) n/ (plural)


go

hid/ (to a masculine) hij/ (to a feminine) hid/ (plural)


Give me

setta/ (to a masculine) sechi/ (to a feminine) sett/ (plural)

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AmharicConversation Can you please give me []?

2011

[] letsetta techellah? (to a masculine) ? [] letesachi techeylash? (to a feminine) ? [] letestt techellchehu? (plural) ?
Take a seat/Please take a seat

taqamatt/ebkeh taqamatt (to a masculine) / taqamach/ebkesh taqamach (to a feminine) / taqamatt/ebkcheh taqamatt (plural) /

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AmharicConversation Welcome

2011

enkuan dahen matth (to a masculine) enkuan dahen mattsh (to a feminine) enkuan dahen mattcheh (plural)
Bon voyage

malkm gzo ( )
Happy holiday

malkm bal ( )

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List of Related Words


Execuse me ~ yeqert () Please ~ ebkeh (masculine) - ebke'sh (feminine) - ebkcheh (plural) - Thank you ~ masagenlah

What? ~ men? (?) When? ~ mach? (?) Where? ~ yat? (?) Why? ~ lamen? (?) How? ~ endt? (?)

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Common Combiners
A Few Conjunctions And ~ en () Or ~ wayem () So, Therefore ~ selazih () Otherwise ~ alabalzi () But ~ gen ()
A Few Prepositions From ~ ka- (-)

From Ethiopia ~ ka-iteyopeya ()


To ~ wada- (-)

Go to Ethiopia ~ wada-iteyopeya hid (masculine)



To ~ la- (-)

Give it to me ~ la-en setta ( )


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AmharicConversation To ~ eska- (-)

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A to Z ~ ka-A eska Z ( )
Of ~ ya- (-)

Language of Ethiopia ~ ya-iteyopeya quanqua



In ~ [ba].. wsett (. )

It is in the box ~ stten wsett naw ( )


On ~ [ba].. ly (. )

It is on the table ~ ttarappzw ly naw ( )

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Proverbs 1. A disease that wont kill strengthens ~ yamygadel bashet yttanakerl ( ) 2. 3. Little by little, an egg will walk ~ qas baqas enqll baeger yehdl ( ) 4. One can not stop sleeping in fear of bad dreams ~ helem tafarto syta yetdarem ( ) 5. One sent by a woman does not fear death ~ st yalkaw mot ayfarm ( ) 6. Persistently asking is to learn mothers death ~ tebeqo tayqi yaentn mot yiradl ( ) 7. Unknown country couldnt be missed ~ yamyweqt agar ynfekim 8. spider webs united can tie up a lion ~ der biyber nbass yser ( ) 9. She dropped what is in her armpit for what is on top.
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10. Name smells more than a rotten meat.

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A Must Visit Places in Ethiopia


Ethiopia has contributed eight world heritages for UNESCO. These heritages are dated to more than 4 million years back including the most famous Lucy, our ancestor, the magnificent castles of King Fasiledes and the miraculous churches of King Lalibela. Many historians debate that the definition of Seven Wonders of the World has to be revised, if Lalibela churches are not among; it is said to be the eighth. Ethiopian World Heritages 1. Simien National Park Massive erosion over the years on the Ethiopian plateau has created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, with jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500 m. The park is home to some extremely rare animals such as the Gelada baboon, the Simien fox and the Walia ibex, a goat found nowhere else in the world. Simien is pronounced as samn (), which means North.

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2. Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela The 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of this 13th-century 'New Jerusalem' are situated in a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia near a traditional village with circular-shaped dwellings. Lalibela is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, still today a place of pilmigrage and devotion. The rock-hewn churches (wqer biyta kerestianat/

) of Lalibela are exceptionally fine examples of a longestablished Ethiopian building tradition. There are 11 medieval monolithic cave churches in Lalibela. 3. Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Region In the 16th and 17th centuries, the fortress-city of Fasil Ghebbi ( , literally means Fasil compound) was the residence of the Ethiopian emperor Fasilides and his successors. Surrounded by a 900-m-long wall, the city contains palaces, churches, monasteries and unique public and
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private buildings marked by Hindu and Arab influences, subsequently transformed by the Baroque style brought to Gondar by the Jesuit missionaries. 4. Aksum The ruins of the ancient city of Aksum are found close to Ethiopia's northern border. They mark the location of the heart of ancient Ethiopia, when the Kingdom of Aksum was the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. The massive ruins, dating from between the 1st and the 13th century A.D., include monolithic obelisks, giant stelae, royal tombs and the ruins of ancient castles. Long after its political decline in the 10th century, Ethiopian emperors continued to be crowned in Aksum. 5. Lower Valley of the Awash The Awash valley contains one of the most important groupings of palaeontological sites on the African continent. The remains found at the
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site, the oldest of which date back at least 4 million years, provide evidence of human evolution which has modified our conception of the history of humankind. The most spectacular discovery came in 1974, when 52 fragments of a skeleton enabled the famous Lucy (locally known as denqenash / / which literally means youre amazing) to be reconstructed. 6. Lower Valley of the Omo A prehistoric site near Lake Turkana, the lower valley of the Omo is renowned the world over. The discovery of many fossils there, especially of Homo gracilis, has been of fundamental importance in the study of human evolution. The discoveries of humanoid fossils in the valley include jaw bones, quantities of detached teeth, and fragments of australopithecines. Furthermore, evidence of the oldest-known humanoid technological activity has been found in this region, as well as stone objects attesting to an encampment of prehistoric human beings that is among the oldest known today.
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7. Tiya Tiya is among the most important of the roughly 160 archaeological sites discovered so far in the Soddo region, south of Addis Ababa. The site contains 36 monuments, including 32 carved stelae covered with symbols, most of which are difficult to decipher. They are the remains of an ancient Ethiopian culture whose age has not yet been precisely determined. However, they have been interpreted as having a funerary significance, as there are tombs scattered around the stelae. 8. Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town The fortified historic town of Harar is located in the eastern part of the country on a plateau with deep gorges surrounded by deserts and savannah. The walls surrounding this sacred Muslim city were built between the 13th and 16th centuries. Harar Jugol, said to be the fourth holiest city of Islam, numbers 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines, but the townhouses with their exceptional interior design constitute the most spectacular part of Harar's cultural
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heritage. The impact of African and Islamic traditions on the development of the town's building types and urban layout make for its particular character and uniqueness. 9. Konso Cultural Landscape Konso Cultural Landscape is a 55km2 arid property of stone walled terraces and fortified settlements in the Konso highlands of Ethiopia. It constitutes a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations (more than 400 years) adapted to its dry hostile environment. The landscape demonstrates the shared values, social cohesion and engineering knowledge of its communities. The site also features anthropomorphic wooden statues - grouped to represent respected members of their communities and particularly heroic events which are an exceptional living testimony to funerary traditions that are on the verge of disappearing. Stone steles in the towns express a complex system of marking the passing of generations of leaders.
--------Source: UNESCO official website 66

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A Must Know Ethiopian Traditions


Ethiopia has been isolated from the rest of the world for many years. Historians described it as Ethiopia slept for 1000 of years locked around by its religious enemies and busy in its internal challenges. Moreover, the country has never been colonized in exception to other African countries. These factors gave Ethiopia its own strange cultures especially to westerners. Marriage ~ gbech/tedr (/) Traditionally marriage was arranged by the will of parents without the will or knowledge of parents. But this tradition now is replaced in allowing girls and boys to marry choices of their own. However, involvement of parents and some other practices still existed in general. When a couple in love decided to get married, the parents of the male partner send go-betweens (shemgel/) to ask the willingness of the female partner parents. Through this process both partners receive
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blessings of their parents about the marriage. According to their agreement a weeding day will be decided and a huge wedding party (sareg /) will be prepared. Usually a day before the wedding, the bridegroom sends via his best men a bag full of dowry (telosh/), mostly of clothes and beauty supplies, to his bride. On the wedding day, the bridegroom comes to the brides home accompanied by a crowed, receives blessing from her parents and takes his wife to his own place. Then after, honeymoon continues. This is not the end of the common wedding ceremony. It goes on for about a week. Usually after three days of the wedding day, a return (males/), another ceremony hosted by the brides family is prepared. Finally, a union (qeleqel/), probably the last party hosted by the new family is fisted to introduce the members of the two families united.

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Mourning ~ laqeso/hzan (/) Mourning times are one of the very serious periods at which social relationships of Ethiopians expressed. Ethiopians sit for mourning for at least three days after death of a family member. It is common that on the funeral of a person hundreds of people attend. However the third day (slest ~ ) of the mourning period is considered as the official closing, the 7th, 12th, 40th, 80th days and, 1st and 7th years are memorial times of the dead. Coffee Ceremony Coffee (bnn/) boosts special ceremony in its birth place, Ethiopia. A traditionally dressed woman makes coffee in a clay kettle called jabann (), and pours into cups called seni (), specially made for the ceremony and distributes to the guests. With the coffee, it is also offered some cookies, transliterated as breakfast of coffee (yabnna qres ~

), to eat while drinking the coffee. Housewives do this every day to


discuss eachother different issues on the way.
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Annex 1: Amharic Alphabets h l h m s r s sh q b v t ch h n e k h w e z


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ua

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jz y d j g tt ch pp ts ts f p

ua

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