Ethiopian Adoption Travelogue

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

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:

Adobe Acrobat Version:

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.



  1. Hi- I found your site several months back when we started trying to learn some amharic words as we started the process to adopt from Ethiopia. We got our referral for a little girl, Rukiya, in April (yeah!), and now as the days tick by (SO SLOWLY), I’ve been trying to distract myself from “the wait.” So, like any graphic designer, we in need of distraction, I decorate or design… With Ethiopia on my mind I decided to put my hand to making t-shirt designs for Ethiopian adoptees and their families. Decorating and pretty things always calms the nerves.

    Anyway, I’m wondering if you might help me on a few additional words? I’ve made a group of shirts for family members to wear and wanted to know if you could look them over to check them for me (I used the “pronunciation spelling” and the amharic script I’ve found in a couple of places including your site)…I’ve come across a couple different ways to spell things… I am also missing the typed version for the word “brother” (I only have a handwritten one)… do you have access to an amharic font (I noticed that the grandparents are in an amharic font… how’d you find that? I’d love to have your input… send me your email and I’ll forward the designs so you can see what I’m talking about (perhaps it will actually make sense that way?) Thanks for your help and your blog… blogs are my other favorite way to kill the wait time! Liz Robertson S

    Comment by Liz — May 27, 2008 @ 10:56 am |Reply

  2. i love this best !!!

    Comment by Ahmed — August 14, 2008 @ 8:58 am |Reply

  3. plaice send me any other heir style photo and vidio if any other sejution will come

    Comment by netsanet — December 31, 2008 @ 1:33 am |Reply

  4. good love in amharic and other love picture

    Comment by sead — January 13, 2009 @ 3:07 pm |Reply

  5. I am looking for the translation of “I love mommy” I am writing something for a friend of mine that is adopting from ethiopia. Thanks

    Comment by Stacie — February 27, 2009 @ 7:36 pm |Reply

  6. Hello. I just adopted 4 1/2 year old Birtukan. Could you send me her name in Amharic lettering?

    Thank you so very much.


    Comment by Jenni — June 22, 2009 @ 7:38 pm |Reply

  7. Jenni-
    It should be on her Ethiopian birth certificate.

    Comment by sackrosanct — June 23, 2009 @ 4:03 pm |Reply

  8. I am working on a photo album for the birth mother of my new daughter and I would like to be able to label the picture of her new bedroom. The phrase in the list above only has “your bedroom”, but I want to write “Her bedroom” or use her name and write “Semahel’s bedroom”. Could you help me with that?


    Comment by Marisue — December 15, 2009 @ 8:13 pm |Reply

  9. hi ,
    ik heb een zus die hier al een tijdje bij ons is.
    nu ben ik op zoek naar het woord ” zus” of “zuster” .
    ik vond dit in de lijst maar ik had dit graag in de schrijfwijze gevonden en niet hoe je het uitspreekt.
    al vast bedankt

    Comment by joris — January 8, 2010 @ 4:08 pm |Reply

  10. Hello,
    Could you please give me the translation for “My Family”?
    Please and Thank you! 🙂

    Comment by Laurie — March 25, 2010 @ 10:24 am |Reply

  11. Hi,

    Appreciate your blog. I was wondering if you could help me translate a few things into the English Amharic not the phonetic translation as I am using it on a bookmark that I am making for friends and family:
    A big miracle
    Cousin – what would you suggest using?

    Do you have the list of all the words above without the phonetics but just the correct spelling in Amharic.

    Thank you so much for your help!!

    Comment by Sheryl — July 14, 2010 @ 7:11 am |Reply

  12. Could you please tell me how to write the word friendship in Amharic, and how do you say it?

    Comment by Devon — August 17, 2010 @ 11:34 pm |Reply

  13. it is good. in my self i accepted.

    Comment by hiluf mesele — April 1, 2011 @ 11:09 am |Reply

  14. I love your site, I am getting a tatoo and making fake tatoos for my girls, we adopted a baby girl from ethiopia and are going to our court date next fri, would love to have these made for them to wear on that day can you please send me (in amharic font) the word:

    baby girl
    sisters forever

    thanks so much- Liz

    Comment by Elizabeth Shin — September 15, 2011 @ 4:06 pm |Reply

  15. We are just wrapping up our photo album and found this list. PERFECT!!! That was a great thing you have done to help our family and so many others!

    Comment by Tim — December 4, 2011 @ 11:13 pm |Reply

  16. Gursha is for friendship

    Comment by Joebird — January 2, 2013 @ 2:01 pm |Reply

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