Ethiopian Adoption Travelogue

May 6, 2011

AHOPE Fundraiser in DC

Filed under: Giving Back to Ethiopia — by sackrosanct @ 11:07 am

I’ll be going to a fundraiser being held in DC for AHOPE.  I would be super delighted if as many people could come as possible!

April 17, 2011

How to Make Injera

Filed under: Giving Back to Ethiopia — by sackrosanct @ 11:10 pm

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/you-can-make-injera/15262902

Over the last four years, I have tried on numerous occasions with numerous recipes/instructions to make injera.  Always big failures.

Then, I made injera following the instructions in this book. FANTABULOUS! 

Quite honestly, I had resigned myself to serving shiro and doro wat with Italian bread or pita bread for the rest of my life.  No more!!!  Now, I can whip it up like a professional.

My Ethiopian husband loves it.  He says this injera is better than the restaurant injera (from Ethiopian restaurants in America).  He said it has beautiful eyes.  (Yes, most girls would get all woozy from their husbands remarking on *their* beautiful eyes.  Not me.  I was delighted by my injera’s beautiful eyes.)

I’m still not a pro at the swirl technique.  However, I just pour four small injera (like I was pouring pancakes) and then tilt the pan.  This makes the injera all even thickness.  And, since we are a function-before-fashion family, we don’t really care too much that our injera aren’t perfectly round.

That being said, since we use a lefse cooker to make the injera (and not the big injera cooker), I have made big injera beautifully using the pancake pour/tip/pan rotate method too. 

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/you-can-make-injera/15262902

So, go to this website and order the book for yourself.  You will not regret it. 

As an added bonus, profits from your purchase go to support Clinic at a Time, an organization that is working to improve health care in underprivileged areas in Ethiopia. 

I know this totally sounds like an infomercial, but I’m a total believer in both the recipe and the cause.

(more…)

August 21, 2007

Amharic Phrases

Filed under: Misc — by sackrosanct @ 8:01 pm

Last time I was in Ethiopia, all I could say was Selam, Ciao and Amsegenalehu. I decided to be a little more considerate and learn more Amharic this time. These are the phrases I learned. I’m pretty sure they are correct. If not, it’s close enough to probably get people to understand you.  Just don’t put up your home up as collateral on wager that these words are exactly correct.

Also, Amharic has different letters. So, the words are written phonetically here. If you see Amharic words written differently with Roman letters, it’s just however the speaker sounds out the words.  So, I wrote the word only phonetically.  It probably will not match with how you will see it written other places.  Example: I wrote “Eh-MY-ay” for mother.  However, if you see it written down in other places, it will probably be written emaye.

All R sounds should be rolled. There are also other sounds that are not the same as in English. For instance, tenkahra or terths. The T sound is made by putting your tongue between your top and bottom front teeth and saying “T”. Don’t put the tongue behind your top teeth and say T like we do in English. (And make sure you still roll the R!) The K in Katell or Kai is a very hard K. It starts way back in your throat and sort of sound like you’re trying to get a hairball out. The best thing is to get someone to demonstrate the sound for you. 

I tried to write phonetically, but I may have missed a few words.  In general,

  • AH is pronounced like AH
  • A is short a.
  • AY is long a.
  • EE is long e.
  • E (or EH) is short e
  • I is long I
  • IH is short i.
  • O  (or OH) is long o.
  • OU is like in ouch.
  • U (or OO)  is ooo.
  • G is a hard G.
  • EW is eh followed by the consonant W sound (not oo).
  • R is rolled R (like in Spanish)
  • ñ is the Spanish N or like the French gn sound or ny (consonant Y) in English
  • OE is kind of like the U sound in PUT (or the oo sound in HOOF if you pronounce it the Wisconsin way).
  • SS just to emphasize the soft S sound.  (Just because otherwise I might’ve read it with the hard S sound).
  • Y as a vowel by itself will be the long I sound otherwise it is the consonant Y
  • If a word ends with EHU (like Ewedehalehu), slur the eh and oo sounds together.  They are not distinct syllables.
  • There are different words/word endings sometimes depending if you are talking to a male, female, plural or formal (important person).I also found some vocabulary at the AAI website. I didn’t retype those words here.Get ready to Learn Amharic (my ferengi version of Amharic, anyway).  If there are other words and/or phrases you’d like to add to my mini Amharic-English Dictionary/Phrase Page, add your request to the comments section.  You can be anonymous if you wish.The right-hand column may have M, F or Pl listed.  This indicates the version you should use based on who you are speaking to (not yourself).Words in blue were added most recently.Also, if you go to this entry, there is a file of words that are typically used in the photo albums sent to the children (mom, dad, brother, sister, dog, house, etc.).  The downloadable/printable file has the words in English and Amharic.  The Amharic is written phonetically with Roman letters and with Amharic letters so the non-English speaking  staff at your child’s Ethiopian care center/orphanage will be able to talk to your child about the photos). 

Pronunciation

Meaning
 
     
THE ESSENTIALS (in my opinion)      
Ah-woh (or OW!) Also, you can do a little intake of breath while you lift your eyebrows to “nod” yes. Yes  
I-deh-LEHM (starts with long I sound) Also can say Iyyyy. No  
Shin-TEH-BAYT? toilet?  
Chigger yeh-LEM No problem.  
GO behz Clever (or “Good Job!) Often said to a child who does something to please you or succeeds.  
Seh-LAHM Hello (Peace) – standard greeting  
chou (like ouch) Bye (just like in Italian)  
AH-mah-say-guh-NAH-loh Thank you.  
WOO hah Water  
     
     
     
     
GREETINGS/PLEASANTRIES      
Seh-LAHM Hello (Peace) – standard greeting  
Seh-LAHM neh way? Are you in peace? (a greeting)

M

Seh-LAHM nesh way? Are you in peace? (a greeting)

F

in-DEM-min ah-DEHRK? How did you spend the night? (greeting)

M

in-DEM-min ah-DERSH? How did you spend the night? (greeting)

F

in-DEM-min walsh? How was the day?

F

in-DEM-min wahlk? How was the day?

M

in-DEM-min neh? How are you?

M

in-DEM-min nehsh? How are you?

F

in-DEM-min NAH-choo? How are you? This is used for plural casual OR plural formal.

Pl

in-DEM-min NOHT How are you? This is formal singular.  
Deh-na-NEHSH? Are you fine? (greeting)

F

Deh-na-NEH? Are you fine? (greeting)

M

Deh-na-NAH-choo? Are you fine? (greeting)

Pl

Deh-na-ñAY I’m fine.  
DEH-na Fine  
If someone asks you How are you? (A sentence that starts with in-DEM-min) then answer Dehna. If they ask you Are you fine? (sentence starts with Dehna) then answer Dehna-ñay. Formal should be used with old people (grandparent age), people in any job that requires a college degree, politicians, priests, ferengi, etc. However, the “formal people” may tell you to go ahead and use casual with them.  
chou (like ouch) Bye (just like in Italian)  
NOHR-ee You arrived! It is a greeting said when you enter a room.

F

NOHR You arrived!

M

Bugs ear. Response to someone saying Noor. “By God” This is actually a contraction/slur of Exabier.  
SIH may ___ My name is ___  
SIH meh mah no? What is your name?

M

SIH mesh mahn no? What is your name?

F

Hah geh REH-heh yeht NO? Where do you come from?

M

Hah-geh REHSH yet no? Where do you come from?

F

In KWAHN deh-na meh TASH Welcome

F

In KWAHN deh-na meh TAH Welcome

M

Yah-YAY-roo hoo-NAY-tah in-DEHT-nehwoo? How is the weather?  
AH-mah-say-guh-NAH-loh Thank you.  
ih BAH kesh Please (to a female)  
ih BAH keh Please (to a male)  
AHZ nah lehu Sorry  
YAH suh deh GEH Blessing said for a child that sneezes. (or just a general blessing)

M

YAH suh deh GEHSH Blessing said for a child that sneezes.

F

Yeh mah REH Blessing for an adult that sneezes

M

Yeh mah RESH Blessing for an adult that sneezes

F

AH-bit Said after someone calls your name. Kinda like “yes?” or “What?” or (in my house) “Hunh?”  
     
     
     
     
PEOPLE      
Bahl OR bah-lay Husband  
Meest Wife  
Wehn-DIHM Brother  
uh-HEHT Sister  
GAH-shay uncle (or a term for man whose name you don’t know)  
Feh-REHN-jee Non-black Foreigner  
tih-KOOR Black (used for a black foreigner)  
AH-beh-shah Ethiopian (and maybe or maybe not the Eritreans)  
AHN chee Hey You (don’t be surpised if you hear this yelled at you)

F

AHN teh Hey You!

M

AH kist aunt  
ah GOHT uncle  
Shih- MAH-geh-LAY Old man  
Ah-roh-GEET (hard G) Old woman  
YEH nay LEEJ my child  
YEH nay WEHN deh LEEJ my son  
YEH nay SEHT LEEJ my daughter  
hih TSAHN LEEJ baby  
lee JOHCH children  
IN-nay Me  
eh reh deht helper
Mah-no yeh-nay eh-reh-deht? Who is my helper?  
     
     
     
PLACES    
BAYT home  
mehn yah TAH bayt bedroom  
shihn teh bayt bathroom  
KOO shihn uh kitchen  
SAH lohn dining room  
SAH lohn living room  
yeh-MAHK-ee-nah BAYT garage (but if you say garage to an English speaker in ET, they will likely think you are referring to a auto repair place)  
yeh-MAHK-ee-nah MUHN-gehd driveway  
basement basement  
 tihn-nihsh meh-NAH-feh-SHAH backyard/grassy area (small park)  
postah sah-TEHN mailbox  
teh MEHR teh BAYT school  
yeh-meh-GIHB mahg-JEE-yah-BOH-tah food store  
yeh-lihbs mahg-JEE-yah-BOH-tah clothing store  
MAH deh yeh  (try to make the consonant y sound the last sound, kind of drop of the last eh) gas station  
yeh-meh-GIHB BAYT restaurant  
library library  
sah-GOOR ahs-tah-kah-kY hair salon/barber  
yeh-SIH-RAH BOH-tah work (job place)  
meh-NAH-feh-SHAH park  
meh-WAHN-yah BOH-tah swimming pool  
BAYT-tah Christian church  
meh KRAHB synagogue  
mahs-GEEDT mosque  
pohs tah BAYT post office  
keh TAH meh city  
geh TEHR countryside  
yeh-ihn-seh-SAHT BAYT barn  
tehl-ihk yeh-EHR-shah BOH-tah farm  
MEHR cah doh open market  
hah-KEEM BAYT hospital  
SOOK local shop (small, small)  
     
FOOD/DRINK/EATING      
Waht Stew  
DOH-roh Chicken  
SHEE-roh Yellow peas  
Yeh-meh-SIR Lentils  
SIH-guh Beef  
DAH-boh Bread  
Ah-NAH-nahs Pineapple (Fanta Ananas soda is tasty)  
LOH-mee Lemon  
BIR too kan orange (color and fruit and name)  
Lohz Nuts  
Oh choh LOH nee Nuts  
KEE tah Flat crispy bread kinda like a pizza crust  
WOO hah Water  
MAH her ber AH wee Mixed platter (when you order a meal)  
beh KOH loh corn  
bah KAY lah beans  
FAHN deh shah popcorn (or a nickname for a smiley girl)  
shy tea  
BOO nuh coffee  
BIH lah EAT!

M

bee EAT!

F

SHOO kah fork  
SOO kwahr sugar  
SIHND eh Wheat  
TAH-Fahch (try to emphasize syllables equally) sweet (or delicious – doro wat can be tafach)  
meh RAHB hungry  
eh REH boh hahl Are you hungry?

M

eh REH boh shahl Are you hungry?

F

eh REH boh AH cheh hwahl Are y’all hungry?

Pl

meh TEH maht thirsty  
TEH-geh-kuñ I’m full.  
koh loh roasted barley (a snack)  
meh sah lunch  
     
     
     
COLORS      
BIR too kan orange (color and fruit and a girl’s name)  
KI. Long I sound, you really need to force the K sound from your throat. Red  
Seh-MY ah wee Blue  
BEECH ah Yellow  
Ah rahn GWAH day Green  
Nehch White  
boo NEE Brown  
ti KOOR black  
WAY ehn tehj purple  
     
     
ANIMALS      
AH-zoh Crocodile  
AHN-behs-sah Lion  
Goo MAH ray Hippo  
lahm cow*  
beh RAY beef (ox)  
behg sheep  
fee YEHL goat  
fah RAHS horse  
ah HEE yah donkey  
behk LOH mule  
DOH roh chicken  
WOO shah dog  
dih MEHT cat  
WOEFF bird*  
     
     
     
CLOTHING    
Koh FEE yah cap
yeh shoo RAHB koh FEE yah hat  (sweater cap)
mah nehs sir glasses
yeh tseHI   mah nehs sir sunglasses
yahn get libs scarf
shirt shirt (t-shirt style)
sheh mees button up shirt
kah nah TEE rah short sleeve shirt
shoo RAHB sweater
yeh TOOTS mah see YAH zhah bra (boob holder)
yehj gwahnt gloves
moo TAHN tee underwear (girl or boy)
goord KEH mees skirt (half dress)
KEH mees dress
moo loo KEH mees long dress
soo ree trousers
goord soo ree shorts
jeans jeans
kahl see socks
NEH teh lah   CHAH mah flip flops
adidas / sneaker athletic shoes
yeh SOOF     CHAH mah dress shoes
kahr ah vaht tie
SOOF suit
yeh bah hel LIBS cultural clothes
yeh moh wah nyah LIBS swimsuit
ye suh HAHT wristwatch
kuh BAHT toh belt
yeh leh leet LIBS pajamas
yeh shint    meh teh beh kee yah diapers
jacket jacket
mah lee yah soccer jersey
yeh zeh nah LIBS rain coat
KEES pocket
zih NAHB ring
yahn get necklace
zip zipper
yeh jeh BOHR sah purse
yeh JOH ROH get earrings
yeh KES LIBS priest clothing  
     
     
     
     
     
     
NUMBERS      
Ahndt 1  
HOO let 2  
Sohst 3  
AH-raht 4  
AH-mist 5  
SIH dist 6  
SAH Baht 7  
SIH mint 8  
zeh TEHñ (make up some crazy sound between the short e and the long i sound. I can’t figure out how to write it.) 9  
AH sir 10  
AH sir ah ANDT 11  
AH sir ah HOO leht 12  
AH sir ah SOHST (keep going for the rest of the teen numbers) 13  
HI ah 20  
HI ah ahndt 21  
HI ah HOO leht 22  
Seh LAHSS sah 30  
Seh LAHSS sah AHNDT 31  
ahr BAH 40  
HAHM sah 50  
SIHL sah 60  
SAH bah 70  
sah MAH nee yah 80  
zeh TEH nah 90  
MEH toh 100  
HOO leht MEH toh 200  
ahnd eh SHEECH (the CH sound is like the CH in German Ich liebe dich.) 1000  
HOO leht SHEECH 2000  
     
     
SIMPLE COMMANDS      
Tew Stop it. (Like “don’t do that anymore”)

M

Tay Stop it.

F

Nah Come

M

Nay Come

F

TOH-loh na! Come quickly.  
Tehn ya Sleep!  
Ah tin KAHñ No touching me. (said to a male)

M

Ah tin KEEñ No touching me.

F

Ah tin KOU No touching him. male to male  
In-eh-HEEDT Let’s go.  
HEED TEHN yah Go to sleep!  
heed go!  
wu TAH get out!  
Koom stop (like stop walking) – there is some difference between when to use Koom and when to use tew, but I can’t understand it.

M

KOO-mee stop

F

mah RAHM ehd Walk!

Pl

teh RAHM ehd Walk!

M

teh RAHM eh JEE Walk!

F

SAH-meñ Kiss me! (Use this at the orphanage!)  
MEHM-taht Kick! (casual kick)

Pl

MIH-tah Kick! (the same word is used for kick and hit. somehow you are just supposed to know which one you are referring to)

M

MIH-chee Kick!

F

Kwahss MEHM-taht Kick the ball!  
MAY-ahz Catch!

Pl

YAHZ catch

M

YAH-ZHJee catch

F

MEH-wehr-WEHR (don’t forget to roll all the Rs!) Throw!

Pl

wehr WEHR Throw!

M

wehr WEHR-EE Throw!

F

mahn-keh-bah-LEHL Roll!

Pl

AHN-keh-bah-LEHL Roll

M

AHN-keh-bah-YEE Roll

F

meh-ROHT Run!

Pl

eh-ROOT run!

M

eh-ROO-chee run!

F

Beh LOOT KICK! (power kick)

Pl

BEH-la-ohw (slur the last 2 sounds together, put the w sound at the end) KIck! (power kick)

M

beh LOO waht KICK (power kick)

F

Bell Say (Sort of like Speak Up!)  
zihm Bell Don’t say (be quiet).  
Sahk Smile!  
Ah-tuh SAHK Don’t smile!  
BIH lah eat! M
BEE eat! F
     
     
     
ENDEARMENTS      
Lehb Heart  
YEH-nay hae-waht my life (term of endearment)  
Beh-teh-leh-ku Ewedehalehu I love you big

M

TAH-Fahch (try to emphasize syllables equally) sweet (or delicious – doro wat can be tafach)  
yeh-nay tahfach My Sweet (term of endearment)  
yeh-nay tseh-HI (long i) My Sunshine  
FAHN deh shah popcorn (or a nickname for a smiley girl)  
Meh CHEM Ahl rehs SAH shem I never forget about you.

F

Yeh-NAY woo-ehd My treasure  
Beh TAHM Too much, a lot, very  
AHN-chee yeh-NAY nehsh You are mine

F

AHN-teh yeh-NAY neh You are mine

M

AHN-chee NEHF-say nesh You are my soul.

F

AHN-tay NEHF-say neh You are my soul.

M

YEH-nay AHN-teh GOH-behz LEEJ-neh You are a smart boy.  
eh wed eh HA lehoo (slur the last part together) I love you.

M

Eh wed eh SHAH lehu I love you.

F

ah FIHK er HAH lehu I love you – ROMANTIC! (Don’t say to your kids.)

M

ah FIHK er SHAH lehu I love you – ROMANTIC! (Don’t say to your kids.)

F

yeh-nay FIHK-er My Love
yeh-nay MAHR my Honey  
wair -AYN-yah Chatterbox  (Ok, not really an endearment but it is a nickname.)
yeh-NAY nih-gist My Queen
yeh-NAY nih-gooss My King  
OUTDOORS    
tseh HI sun
DAH mehn nah cloud
koh KOHB star
CHAH rah KAH moon
seh MY sky
sahr grass
zahf tree
ah behb bah flower
ze nahb rain
wehnz river
HYK  (long I) lake
tah rah rah mountain
ah fir dirt
beh reh HAH desert
mahn get road
CHAH kah forest
koot kwah toh bush
yah til kilt boh tah garden
beh reh doh snow  
     
HOLIDAYS/CELEBRATION    
ah dees   ah met New Year’s
en koo tah tahsh New Year’s
fah see kah Christian – Easter
geh nah Christian – Christmas
yeh lih deht kehn Birthday
mehl kahm lih deht Happy Birthday
tim kaht Orthodox – baptism 
may day Liberation from Italians (May 23 – ET calendar)
gehn BOHT hI ah first day of new governmental regime (ehadige)/ end of Dergue
mes kel Orthodox cross was found Day
eid al adha Muslim – Festival of the Sacrifice
eid al fitr Muslim – end of Ramadan
   
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
ADJECTIVES/DESCRIPTIONS      
Tin-nish Small (a little)  
Tell-ick Big (a lot)  
MEHT-foh Bad  
ehbdt-deh-SOU Crazy (psychiatrically) Don’t use jokingly!  
Tehr OO Good  
Tehr OO Beh-TAHM Very good!  
TOH-loh Quick/ly  
Mook Hot  
MAH zihn sad  
meh KOH taht mad  
dih KAHM tired  
HI lehn yah wide awake (have strength)  
I nah fahr shy  
KOO roo proud  
meht-FOH SHIT-tah stinky (Bad smell)  
MAH fer embarrassed  
KAHZ kah zah cold (temperature)  
Tehn-KAH-rah Strong  
Dess TEHN ya Funny or Happy  
DEHS tah Happy or funny  
Kuhss Slowly (Patiently)  
KOHN-joh Beautiful  
GO behz Clever (or “Good Job!)  
ah HOON now!  
     
     
     
     
     
BODY PARTS      
tsah GOOR hair  
RAHS head  
I-n (long I) Eye  
Ah FENCH uh Nose  
CUHM for Lips  
ahf Mouth  
Terths Teeth  
Goonch Cheek  
JOH-roh Ear  
ahn GEHT neck (front)  
ehj arm  
meh DAHF palm  
yehj eh TAHT fingers  
Lehb Heart  
Hoed Stomach  
jahr BEH back  
KU lah Circumcised penls (adult)  
KEET butt  
eh GIHR leg (includes leg and foot)  
eh GROHCH legs  
yeh gihr TAHT foot  
TAH tohch toes  
Hoed ayn ah meh MEHñ My stomach hurts.
_____ ayn ah meh MEHñ My ______ hurts (is sick).
yeh TOOTS b00bs
KOH dah skin
ahn GOHL brain
meh LAHSS tongue
mahn JEH RAHT  neck (back side)
ahn JET intestine
gool beht knee
ehmss girl privates  
     
     
     
     
     

MISCELLANEOUS
   
ZAHR ay Today  
NEH geh Tomorrow  
teh LAHN teh nah yesterday  
Kan (short a) Day  
ah HOON now  
Kah -tell-OH Next  
Ehn-DEHG-uh-nah Again  
ChAH mer More  
BECK ah Finished (enough)  
eh REHF Drop it/Leave it/It’s over (used when having a conversation that you want to be finished)  
In NUH And  
Kayss Orthodox priest  
Soft Toilet paper (even in English it is called “Soft”)  
ah-MOHN-yahl I feel sick.  
BIHCH uh Only  
Yet? Where?  
  If you are playing the Battleship:  
AHL-tah meh TAHM He was Missed.  
Tem-meh-TWAH He got Hit (actually Kick)  
YAHN-tah-TEH-rah Your turn  
Tah-kah-TAH-tah-yaht Watch her (if she is cheating!)  
Tah-kah-TAH-tah-yewu Watch him!  
LIB-dahsh F.U. (male to female) Apparently this can only be used in the mode of actual physical command for the specific action, (someone will F you, not a general “sod off”)

F

Menalsh? What did you say?

F

Menalk? What did you say?

M

Chigger yeh-LEM No problem.  
Chigger AH-leh There is a problem.  
en DEHT How?  
AHL geh-BAHN yehm I don’t understand  
HOO loom all  
MAH-kee-nah Car  
gih deh GIH dah Wall  
teh MER teh bayt school  
OW toh boos bus  
dih BOOL bool circle  
ahr rah toom gohn eh kool yeh hoh nah (OR you can just say SQUARE) square  
sost mah EH zehn triangle  
guhn ZEHB money  
kwahss ball (but everybody knows this refers to a soccer ball or toy ball – but not volleyball or tennis ball)  
  balloon  
eh-GEHR Kwahss chah-WAH-tah Soccer (directly translated it means Feet-Ball-Play)  
     
WAY-yah Ah-beh-sha neh-gehr Oh, the ways of the Abesha!!  
WAY-yah Ferengi neh-gehr Oh, the ways of the foreigners!  
EH shee OK (you’ll hear this a lot)  
EHM bee Not OK  
LEH mehn tah lihk SAH leh (exhale a heavy H sound at the end) Why are you crying?

M

LEH mehn tah lihk SHAH lesh Why are you crying?

F

IN-nay ih-FEHL-ih-gah-loh… I want…  
mihn tih-FEHL-ih-gah-leh What do you want?

M

mihn tih-FEHL-ih-gee-ah-lesh What do you want?

F

MIHN ihm Nothing.  
GO behz Clever (or “Good Job!)  
eh-nih-GEH-nah-ñAH-lehn We will meet.  
MEHL-kahm GOO-zoh yeh-HOON-eh-lih Have a good trip.

M

MEHL-kahm GOO-zoh yeh-HOON-eh-lesh Have a good trip.

F

beh AH mah REEN yah in Amharic
geh neht heaven
 
     
SCHOOL    
teh-MAIR-teh-BAYT school
ahss TAH mah REE teacher
keh fill class
teh MAH ree students
hee sahp math
ehn glee zee ñAH English
science science
tah reek history
ah mah reen yah Amharic
hah bah rah TEH seb geography
moo zeek ah music
sport sports/gym
eh rehft break (recess)
keh fill gee zee class period
black-board chalkboard
chalk chalk
meh seh hahf text book
err sahss pencil
eh skrih bee toh (sounds like Spanish to me!!) pen
shahn tah backpack
mahss-tah-wah-shah   dehb-ter notebook
yeh BAYT seh RAH homework
yeh dehm beh libs uniform
ah leh kah monitor
gwah dehn yah friend
gwah dehn yohch friends
meh geh rehf beating with a stick after making a mistake  
     
QUESTION WORDS    
Mah no? Who is that?
Mah no goh-behz/tehn-kah-rah/kohn-joh?Start with Mah-no and fill in an adjective afterwards. Who is clever/strong/beautiful?  substitute whatever adjective you want after who is
Yeht no? Where is it/he? (male or objects) M
Yeh TAH lah? Where is it/he?  (I can’t figure out the difference of when to use yet no or yet tahla.  They seem to be interchangeable.  If you want to ask about a person, start with his name or position first.  e.g. M
Abaye yeht no? Where is Dad? M
yeh-nay mah-KEE-nah yet no? Where is my car?
Yeh TAH lehch? Where is she? F
Mommy yeh-TAH-lehch? Where is Mommy?
Yeht neh? Where are you?  (Like if you are talking to a person on a cell phone) M
Yeht nesh? Where are you? F
mah chay When?
leh mehn Why?
sint no? How much?
yeh-HAY min-deh-NO What is this?
YAH min-deh-NO What is that?  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

Update 1/19/09:  Here’s another good resource for learning Amharic online.  http://ethiopia.limbo13.com/index.php/amharic/

August 20, 2007

Ethiopia or Adoption Related Books

Filed under: Observations — by sackrosanct @ 8:00 am

My reviews of some of the books I’ve read are given below. I’m no literary scholar. I don’t want to have to concentrate too hard when I read a book at home. Keep that in mind when you determine the value of my reviews. And, these are all MY opinions. Generally the books have gotten positive reviews from others (otherwise I wouldn’t have read them in the first place).

Fafi’s Sheep by Netsanet Kidnemariam. A children’s book. It was OK. It took an awfully long time to get through the book and the life lessons that seems to be, “listen to your mother!” I think because it took so long and wandered, it lost its potency. Recommended after you finish the others.

Held at a Distance: My Rediscovery of Ethiopia by Rebecca Haile – The author immigrated to America as a child and the story is of her return to Ethiopia for the first time twenty-five years later. She does a great job of incorporating a lot of different things into the story. She gives historical information (political and religious), her life as an Ethiopian child in Minnesota, her life as an Ethiopian child in the American School in Addis, the contrast between her father the historian/academic and her uncle the engineer/road builder. I think one of the most impactful aspects of the book is what seems to be the conflict within herself about being an Ethiopian returning to her home and having been in America for so long that she is sometimes a Ferengi in her home country. I think the reason I like this is because this resonates so greatly with me about fears, concerns, and hopes of how it will be for my son to return to Ethiopia as an adult and/or teenager. Really recommended.

Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker – A couple’s process of adopting a child from Zimbabwe. I enjoyed this book. It was a quite easy read. I had a lot of “oh yeah” type of moments from my time in Zimbabwe…from mannerisms to references to geographical features. It also had the side benefit of making me appreciate the ease of an Ethiopian adoption. Recommended.

Silly Mammo by Gebregeorgis Yohannes. A children’s book. I hated it. Not recommended.

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu – An Ethiopian immigrant’s experience in America. I don’t understand why this book got good reviews. Usually I read a book in 2-5 days, depending on my life events that week. This book took 4 weeks. Why? Because every time I picked it up, I put it back down shortly thereafter due to boredom. Maybe I don’t understand the literary aspect of it, but I expect a book to evoke emotion. The only emotion I got out of this was apathy. Even the narratives about violence barely made me react. Not recommended.

The Beekeeper of Lalibela by Cristina Kessler. A children’s book. I liked it a lot. It had 2 great lessons for kids to learn. And it is written in Amharic and English. Really recommended. Get it from www.Ethiopiareads.org.

The Hospital by the River by Dr. Catherine Hamlin – The story of the Hamlins, both doctors, who eventually build the Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa. I know this book was written as a pseudo-autobiography, but the title of it made me think it was supposed to be mostly about the Hospital. The first few chapters retelling the Hamlins’ geneaology bored me a bit, but I really enjoyed how historical events of Ethiopia were made more real by presenting her take on them. Examples of this include an account of weekly forays of food delivery to the people that were thrown in jail by the Derg or hiding to avoid being his by bullets flying during the seizures of people/buildings. The best part of the book, for me, was the stories of the women (and pictures) who had fistulas and how the repairs affected them. I’m very glad she didn’t candy-coat everything and told of some of the women they were unable to help due to the severity of the fistulas. The name dropping (I knew Ambassador XX, we had dinner with Princess YY, we stayed at the home of Gajillionaire ZZ, etc.) was tiring. Recommended, but don’t put it on your priority list.

There is No Me Without You by Melissa Faye Green – The story of a woman, Haregewoin, who works to take care of HIV+ children in Ethiopia. This book was easy to read and did a good job of presenting facts about HIV/AIDS by humanizing them into one person’s story. There were some instances of poor editing. I actually had to check my spot in the book to see if I had accidentally lost my page or if I was reading the same thing twice. Beware, though, this book will make you want to go and scoop up all the kids you can. I got this book as a gift from a friend, a very good choice for a gift. Recommended.

Tsehai Loves Learning. OK, this is not a book, but… This is a DVD of some puppets that sing and dance in a low-budget version of Sesame Street. I think it’s a good deal for the money. And, mostly because of this DVD, my 2-year old can count to ten in Amharic. They do have a clip on the internet that you can watch as a preview.

Let me know if there are other books you think I should read. I’m pretty frugal, so the books really need to be worth it (or available at the public library).

Added 8/14/07:

28 Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen. Very powerful book. The author does an amazing job of giving uniqueness and similarities to each person’s story. She makes each person’s life and life experience matter. It was hard for me to stop reading even though I was overcome with a huge range of emotions. Best book I’ve read this year, by far. Most recommended.

Added 8/20/07:

Digging to America by Anne Tyler. This is the story of two American families (one is American WASPy-like, and one is of Iranian heritage) that adopt two Korean baby girls. The story hits on a lot of different subjects, adoption, first generation immigrants, second-generation families, and a lot of relationship stuff. I found myself smiling about the different types of people I recognized from the book in our own adoption journey. If you read the book and don’t know anybody who is a Bitsy, then it’s you! Recommended.

Exotic Ethiopian Cooking by Daniel Mesfin. This is a cookbook of Ethiopian recipes. It is written, I think, for Westerners. There is a lot of really interesting stuff in the beginning of the book about Ethiopian culture related to food, coffee, and social situations. (I actually think that is the best part). The book also has a lot of vegetarian recipes. It must be a good book because I was just planning to show my friend the book, but then she appropriated it as her birthday present (that’s fine, I just expect some homemade treats from the book’s recipes in return). I have 3 other books with Ethiopian recipes, one in Amharic that my husband somehow thought would be helpful to me (?), one that is basically a Home Ec book for Ethiopians (has a few good recipes but also includes how to prepare Cornflakes), and the Frugal Gourmet on our Immigrant Ancestors (I like the variety of international recipes and the few Ethiopian recipes are pretty good). Plus, I also look up stuff online. I think I will buy a few more of the Exotic Ethiopian Cooking though, with the intent to keep one for myself (with my name written on the book edges!) and the rest to give as gifts. Recommended.

July 20, 2007

Shinshicho and Hadero Photos

Filed under: Travel — by sackrosanct @ 10:05 am

Links below will take you to full-size photos of images taken in the towns of Shinshicho and Hadero in the Southern Region of Ethiopia.

Hadero photos were taken in October 2006.    When opened, click on the link “Hade.”  32 photos available.

Shinshicho photos were taken in May and October 2006.  When opened, click on the link “Shin.” 18 photos available.

January 25, 2007

Amharic Words for the Photo Album

Filed under: Misc — by sackrosanct @ 11:54 pm

The linked documents list common words that you might want to use to label the photos in the photo album for your new child.  (Link is at the bottom of this entry.)

Left column is the American word, middle is the phonetic pronunciation of the Amharic word and the right column is the word in Amharic letters.

You will find the Amharic words for

Mom
Mother
Dad
Father
Brother
Sister
Grandma
Grandpa
Aunt
Uncle
Cousin
Our Family
Our Home
Your Bedroom (M)
Your Bedroom (F)
Our dog
Our cat
Your new school (M)
Your new school (F)
We love you. (M)
We love you. (F)

It should make it easier for the nannies with limited English skills to explain your photos to your new kids.
MS Word Version:

https://ethiopianadoptiontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/amharic-words.doc

Adobe Acrobat Version:
https://ethiopianadoptiontravelogue.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/amharic-words.pdf

If you have other words you’d like to see, leave a comment and I’ll ask my husband to translate.

(And, yes, I know one column is entitled “American word.”  Sorry, I can’t help it.  I’m an egocentric American. )

Update 9/18/07:  I was given the wrong translation for grandma and grandpa before.   (The old version was actually step-mother and step-father).  It is corrected now.

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