Ethiopian Adoption Travelogue

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). 


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  
Seh-LAHM Hello (Peace) – standard greeting  
Seh-LAHM neh way? Are you in peace? (a greeting)


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


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


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


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


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


in-DEM-min neh? How are you?


in-DEM-min nehsh? How are you?


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


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


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


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


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.


NOHR You arrived!


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?


SIH mesh mahn no? What is your name?


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


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


In KWAHN deh-na meh TASH Welcome


In KWAHN deh-na meh TAH Welcome


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)


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


Yeh mah REH Blessing for an adult that sneezes


Yeh mah RESH Blessing for an adult that sneezes


AH-bit Said after someone calls your name. Kinda like “yes?” or “What?” or (in my house) “Hunh?”  
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)


AHN teh Hey You!


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?  
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)  
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!


bee EAT!


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?


eh REH boh shahl Are you hungry?


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


meh TEH maht thirsty  
TEH-geh-kuñ I’m full.  
koh loh roasted barley (a snack)  
meh sah lunch  
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  
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*  
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  
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  
Tew Stop it. (Like “don’t do that anymore”)


Tay Stop it.


Nah Come


Nay Come


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


Ah tin KEEñ No touching me.


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.


KOO-mee stop


mah RAHM ehd Walk!


teh RAHM ehd Walk!


teh RAHM eh JEE Walk!


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


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)


MIH-chee Kick!


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


YAHZ catch


YAH-ZHJee catch


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


wehr WEHR Throw!


wehr WEHR-EE Throw!


mahn-keh-bah-LEHL Roll!


AHN-keh-bah-LEHL Roll


AHN-keh-bah-YEE Roll


meh-ROHT Run!


eh-ROOT run!


eh-ROO-chee run!


Beh LOOT KICK! (power kick)


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


beh LOO waht KICK (power kick)


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
Lehb Heart  
YEH-nay hae-waht my life (term of endearment)  
Beh-teh-leh-ku Ewedehalehu I love you big


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.


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


AHN-teh yeh-NAY neh You are mine


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


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


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.


Eh wed eh SHAH lehu I love you.


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


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


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  
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  
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
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!  
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  

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”)


Menalsh? What did you say?


Menalk? What did you say?


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)  
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?


LEH mehn tah lihk SHAH lesh Why are you crying?


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


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


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.


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


beh AH mah REEN yah in Amharic
geh neht heaven
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  
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.



  1. This was very good as I am trying to learn Amharic. Hope to see more. Thank you!

    Comment by tigist — October 30, 2006 @ 1:35 am |Reply

  2. Thankyou very much for this ,I will be travelling to Etiopiia and this will be very useful


    Comment by cheri — November 4, 2006 @ 9:38 am |Reply

  3. Awesome– great blog!!!

    Mary, mom to many

    Comment by Owlhaven — November 12, 2006 @ 9:05 pm |Reply

  4. Thanks, a lot, I’m Ethiopian raised in America, trying to learn more!

    Comment by Tamara — December 8, 2006 @ 1:11 pm |Reply

    • I am in the same position. This was very helpful!

      Comment by dagem — April 13, 2016 @ 8:55 pm |Reply

  5. Thank you. I want to learn Amharic & this is a good starting

    Comment by Beno John — December 23, 2006 @ 12:27 am |Reply

  6. I loved the variety of phrases here. I work with many Ethiopians and one of them is going back to Ethiopia for a few months. Do you know how to day “Have a good trip?” or something close to “Bon voyage”?

    Comment by Josie — December 28, 2006 @ 6:29 pm |Reply

    • “Melkam menged” and or you can say “melkam guzo”

      Comment by shime — December 7, 2014 @ 12:33 pm |Reply

  7. Josie- I added it for you. See above.

    Comment by sackrosanct — December 29, 2006 @ 11:20 am |Reply

  8. crown hotel is the best i know every body will love it it is every relaxable place and you will feel right at home

    Comment by tarik — December 30, 2006 @ 1:21 pm |Reply

  9. I thank you every one trying to learn amharic and trying to teach amharic in this site. I am an ethiopian man living in a
    ustralia-melbourne. A father of four daughters who are currently trying to learn amharic. This site helps a lot.

    Egexiabher yestelen amesegenalu

    When you have spare time to practice amharic and to taste Ethiopian food come to 205-207 nicholson st. footscray 3011 vic Australia HARAMBE Restaurant.
    btam-teru-new qetlubet

    Comment by Dershaye — January 10, 2007 @ 10:37 pm |Reply

    • I’m starting to learn Amharic…my boyfriend is an Ethiopian…so I really want to know how to speak Amharic

      Comment by taylor3688 — February 10, 2019 @ 12:37 pm |Reply

  10. i have fallen in love with a lady from Ethiopia and i really want to be able to speak her language. i think it is impolite not to so this is really good. although Ethiopian is spoken very fast. I am from northrn ireland and have a very hard acsent to understand. hopefully this will be overcome

    Comment by jeff — February 22, 2007 @ 4:13 pm |Reply

    • That’s extremely sweet!! i hope it works out!!!

      Comment by Lulu Melke — February 2, 2012 @ 11:01 pm |Reply

  11. wow this is great since im hispanic and my boyfriend is ethiopian and now i can sort of speak to him..he is soo impressed!!

    Comment by crystal — March 7, 2007 @ 1:49 pm |Reply

  12. This was pretty cool, I need it in a project I’m doing on Ethiopia.

    Comment by M.J — March 29, 2007 @ 7:58 pm |Reply

  13. Hi. Looks great. Does “ee” sound like as in “Hee-haw” ? – or an extended short-e sound?

    Comment by Karl — April 10, 2007 @ 4:08 pm |Reply

  14. thank you very much i really need to learn my country language

    Comment by sammy — April 15, 2007 @ 10:00 am |Reply

  15. ee is the long E sound (like see or free)

    Comment by sackrosanct — April 16, 2007 @ 10:01 pm |Reply

  16. Great information. Going to Ethiopia for the New Year (Millenium). I want to surprise my husband and his family with my knowlege of the language……….It will give me something to do on the flight as well. Thanks.

    Comment by TMM — May 19, 2007 @ 7:51 pm |Reply

  17. This is profoundly helpful!!! I’m forwarding this link to several colleagues here at the college. We receive many international students from Ethiopia. A few phrases, particularly for the older applicants and/or parents will be very, very helpful.


    Comment by Soraya — May 27, 2007 @ 5:39 pm |Reply

  18. Peace, I would like to thank those who put the website together. I am ethiopian, but I have lived in the U.S mostly all my life and I feel some what disconnected from my culture because of my lack of language. So this has given me the opportunity to able to learn it and in a affordable way, “its hard to get things free now a days. Thank you Abyssinia(GODS helper)

    Comment by Abyssinia — July 5, 2007 @ 9:28 pm |Reply

  19. We as a family are about to adopt 2 children from Ethiopia and we want to know atleast a little bit of Amharic so that we can communicate with them before they have had time to learn english. We got a CD-rom program that really helps, but it only says the words out loud. Your site has been really helpful in showing us the visual phonetics of the words so that we can slowly sound them out. Betam amasegenallo!

    Comment by The McLain Family — July 6, 2007 @ 11:35 am |Reply

  20. This is a great quick reference. Thank you!

    I see which are Female, Male, and Plural, but which are “Formal”?

    Comment by Adam — July 11, 2007 @ 7:23 pm |Reply

  21. This is the best website for Amharic phrases. I’ve only been able to find about 5 other ones. “Amesegenalehu”

    Comment by Chovexani — August 1, 2007 @ 9:33 pm |Reply

  22. I would love to learn more Amharic,this is extremely helpful my goal is to speak Amharic fluently.

    Comment by Clair Rudison — August 8, 2007 @ 10:05 pm |Reply

  23. god bless you thank you so musch my friend i am abesha

    Comment by sammy — August 10, 2007 @ 9:43 pm |Reply

  24. Man, I just printed this not long ago and now you’ve added more! Cranking up the printer again…. thanks for such a great list.


    Comment by June — August 19, 2007 @ 6:45 pm |Reply

  25. Thanks for the new material! Awesome.

    Comment by esperandoaiyasu — August 27, 2007 @ 8:54 pm |Reply

  26. i need more romantic phrases

    Comment by keith — August 31, 2007 @ 6:21 pm |Reply

  27. YOU ROCK!!!! Your list is absolutely invaluable!! I have purchased a DVD and a book, and all they do is confuse me. I found a tutor to help me with Amharic pronunciation, and your list will BE our textbook. Thank you so much for sharing. : )

    Comment by mamamia — September 10, 2007 @ 1:17 am |Reply

  28. Thanks a lot!! We are adopting siblings from Ethiopia and wanted to learn enough of their language to be able to communicate with them!
    Thanks so much

    Comment by Juli — September 14, 2007 @ 10:04 pm |Reply

  29. Hi,
    I am heading to Sasiga Ethiopia on Friday. I have been studying abroad with Food for the Hungry since August. Spent most our time in Uganda and Rwanda but now i have a practicum in Ethiopia. I will be Teaching Engligh to 8th graders and I would really like to start learning Amharic. I copied your Amharic Phrases blog but I was wondering if you had anything else that would help me out.
    This site has helped thanks.

    Comment by Katelyn Wolfe — October 15, 2007 @ 2:31 am |Reply

  30. The more you post, the more I memorize. It’s truly the most beautiful language on earth. It’s surprising how much I’ve learned in less that a year. Amesegenall’o. 🙂

    Comment by Alisa — October 18, 2007 @ 3:23 am |Reply

  31. This is excellent!! Do you happen to know the word for “vegetarian”? That’s an important one for us and I can’t seem to find it online. Thanks again!!

    Comment by jen — October 28, 2007 @ 8:15 pm |Reply

    • yemaybela

      Comment by brian — August 25, 2011 @ 3:51 pm |Reply

      • It is “Atikilt bicha yemi’bela” or “Siga yema’ybela”

        Comment by peniel — January 9, 2012 @ 5:43 am

  32. I am trying to impress my dear friend and am looking to find as many words to write him a note, before he is leaving to Ethiopia in seven days to visit home he has been at in a long time. I wanted to write a lil’ poem and on this site I found the most words to put something simple, yet meaningful together. I thank you very much! I however realize, being a native German speaker that I am not sure to write it appropriately as all the words are phonetically written. I would luv’ to see it how you would write it alongside the phonetic writing. I am very thankful to have found this nonetheless.

    Comment by Manu — December 5, 2007 @ 10:12 pm |Reply

  33. Wow-as soon as I was finished writing this, my very same friend called me……….
    No words necessary- but that I got all flustered.

    Comment by Manu — December 5, 2007 @ 10:43 pm |Reply

  34. Thank you for this wonderful glossary! We are planning to bring 2 siblings home from Ethiopia next year and have heard horror stories about the plane trip. Can you suggest any words or phrases to use if they panic or get upset? Like “you are safe” or “we are going home” or anything else you can think of? Thank you so much!

    Comment by Jody — March 27, 2008 @ 1:45 pm |Reply

  35. This was fantastic. I have a friend who frequently refers to me as she gee tu (not sure how to spell the pronunciation) or che(long a) gee tu. Do you know the meaning?

    Comment by Lynell — April 26, 2008 @ 9:08 pm |Reply

  36. Lynell-
    Shigetu is an Oromia word meaning beautiful.

    Comment by sackrosanct — May 9, 2008 @ 10:01 am |Reply

  37. oh my dat was helpful.. i was actually writting down da ones i can use.. iam mixed ethiopian and arabic but sum house my parents speak amharic. n i don’t iam more of the arabic side. anywyas iam trying say thanx alot.. iam leaning dat was helpful… dis was fo ma best friend who is of cuz habasha

    Comment by nas — July 3, 2008 @ 12:35 am |Reply

  38. I found this website offering what seems like an excellent product to teach Amharic. Check out the demos on the website and see for yourself. I plan to get this.

    Comment by Robin — July 6, 2008 @ 9:32 pm |Reply

  39. Love this pag, im from Germany and there are alout of Habesha people back home .
    put some sentences and ca-netting words, i see (and) ,but i just wont to know how to make a sentences
    from the bigging.

    this truly is the best web pag on Amharic out there .
    ps. i love Habesha weman.

    Comment by Ahmed — August 14, 2008 @ 8:51 am |Reply

  40. This is an AWESOME list……to many sites spell the word, but don’t really give you the pronunciation. Thank you so much for taking the time to make and post this list….it will be indispensible, I am sure.

    Comment by Jenny — October 9, 2008 @ 9:27 am |Reply

  41. how do you say choosen one?

    Comment by sean — November 6, 2008 @ 2:33 pm |Reply

    • AHND tem-er toh-WAHL (the last four syllables typed here are a contraction of a bunch of individual sounds that wouldn’t make sense if I typed them individually.)

      Comment by sackrosanct — January 28, 2011 @ 11:35 pm |Reply

      • It is “Yetemerete “~ to choosen one, if it is choose one – that is “And miret” or if it is “one person is choosen” AHND tem-er toh-wahl would work

        Comment by peniel — January 9, 2012 @ 5:49 am

  42. Tanx a lot,,, i wished my dear friend in ehtiopia, she was surprised to hear all these words,,
    thank you,,

    Comment by Santhosh — January 15, 2009 @ 12:35 pm |Reply

  43. hey i m from lebanon
    since i was a kid the housekeeper (ethopian) talks with me amharic
    that s how i m good in language
    ps: in spelling the “h” is not always required! thank u
    anche betchey biya dergelli
    bye 😉

    Comment by elie — March 20, 2009 @ 12:51 pm |Reply

  44. chosen one: (yeh-nay mer-chah) this actually means “my choice”

    don’t be afraid: ah-tih-frah (male); ah-tih-free (female)

    we are going to y/our new home: weh-deh ah-dee-soo bay-tah-chihn now-yeh-mehn-hay-doh

    vegetarian: aht-kilt bih-cha yeh-mee-beh-lah (eats only vegetables) else you can ask for “fasting food” which is Vegan food that the Orthodox religion people eat on special days throughout the year (about 200+ days of the year) It is easy to find on menus.

    fasting food: yeh-sohm meh-gib

    Comment by sackrosanct — June 15, 2009 @ 8:09 pm |Reply

  45. Could anyone tell me how to write, “God Bless the Children” in Amheric? Thank you for your help…Patrick

    Comment by Patrick — July 15, 2009 @ 9:42 pm |Reply

    • Egiziabher Lijoch-hun yibark

      Comment by peniel — January 9, 2012 @ 5:52 am |Reply

  46. You can check if want to learn how to write in Amharic.

    Comment by alem — July 29, 2009 @ 7:52 am |Reply

  47. thank you for this info… and the link someone posted too… I’m going to Ethiopia very soon and I needed this to become a little familiar at least ! Wonderful. If you know anywhere i can go to get invovled in ceramics while in Ethiopia let me know thanks

    Comment by Crystal — August 21, 2009 @ 2:33 pm |Reply

  48. thank you for this info… and the link someone posted too… I’m going to Ethiopia very soon and I needed this to become a little familiar at least ! Wonderful. If you know anywhere i can go to get invovled in ceramics while in Ethiopia let me know thanks

    Comment by BALOCHI ZINADINI — August 29, 2009 @ 12:57 am |Reply

    • Hi everyone I’m also a leaner,I just need a teacher I’m love Amharic.

      Comment by Haile Egziebher Selasie — December 16, 2013 @ 5:25 pm |Reply

  49. can you please translate this for me ( wedashalaw butam emicignalaphoae) iam not sure about the spelling thanks your site is nice

    Comment by judi — November 14, 2009 @ 1:19 pm |Reply

    • I think what you’ve written is “I love you very much, thank you.” Said to a female.

      Ewedeshahlo betam, ah-meh-say-geh-nah-lo.

      I don’t know what the phoae at the end of the word is spelling. Is it ph like the f sound or like a soft p? Are the o a e separate sounds?

      Comment by sackrosanct — November 16, 2009 @ 11:09 am |Reply

  50. Oh my, thank you sackrosanct! This site is very impressive. What perfect timing, for I travel to Ethiopia next week 🙂 Kudos on updating words that people have asked about, such as vegetarian and vegan!

    Comment by Nathan — January 5, 2010 @ 7:56 pm |Reply

  51. Just a little note, saying old man and old woman as you listed above is pretty rude, so you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face. You have to be very respectful to older people; that’s what I was told when I was being raised.

    And when saying my name is _____, you have to add a “no” at the end. So, Semayn Isabelle no.

    And meh RAHB and meh TEH maht don’t necessarily mean I’m hungry or thirsty. I think they more closely translate to hunger or thirst. To say I’m hungry is “Rah bayn” and to say I’m thirsty is “Tem mine”

    Oh and pink is rose, so you can add that if you like.

    Comment by Isabelle — January 10, 2010 @ 1:12 pm |Reply

    • Very helpful and incredibly accurate! Are you Ethiopian or Eritrean??

      Comment by Selome — April 12, 2014 @ 9:25 pm |Reply

  52. im ethiopian and i was raised in america and dis iz veri helpful thanks

    Comment by wubit — March 5, 2010 @ 3:26 pm |Reply

  53. Hi. I’m trying to learn some simple Amharic greetings but am very confused as I found many versions of the greetings from different sites.

    Hello: salem (peace), tenayistillin/ teanaste’lle’n (literally, may health be with you, can be used for hello/goodbye), tadiyass (informal)

    Please: e’bake’h (male) e’bake’sh (female), another spells it as i’bakih (male) i’bakish (female), and i’bakkiwo/ i’bakwon (with respect)

    Thank you: found 3 different spellings amesege’nallo, amasagnalahu, ameseginalehugn

    Goodbye: teanaste’lle’n (hello/goodbye), ciao (casual)

    Comment by Cathryn — May 18, 2010 @ 3:30 am |Reply

    • they use different letters in Amharic. therefore, the translations you read are based on the linguistic/phonetic translation.

      for amesegenallo and amasagnalahu they are the same word. some of the sounds are kind of a slur between a short e and a long a. for the end of the word, the ahu is pronounced quickly as (basically) one syllable. so “ahu” basically gets contracted verbally to “o”. those two mean “I thank you.”

      ameseginalehugn/ameseginalen means “we thank you” (think of the lehugn contracted to l’en)

      Comment by sackrosanct — January 28, 2011 @ 11:31 pm |Reply

  54. hi ? whatz the meaning of atibaliki in english

    Comment by maitele — June 25, 2010 @ 2:08 am |Reply

    • don’t be rude

      Comment by peniel — January 9, 2012 @ 5:55 am |Reply

  55. awesome,i have lent a lot from this website,i say it again thanx to the founder keep it up.

    Comment by mytel — June 29, 2010 @ 12:45 am |Reply

  56. just printed stuff and now I’m off!!!!

    Comment by rebekah — August 19, 2010 @ 8:54 am |Reply

  57. Very enjoyable. I too, need to learn more. Thank you. Jim of Alexandria, VA USA

    Comment by James Larsen — August 22, 2010 @ 11:17 am |Reply

  58. woow this is very god words so thank you for all who was prebaired these wors amahsagannalahu

    Comment by bashka — October 2, 2010 @ 6:27 am |Reply

  59. thank u very much for the efforts, betam usefull information

    Comment by Osman — October 18, 2010 @ 8:35 am |Reply

  60. Greetings!
    I love your blog, some great things on here, I’ll definitely study your Amharic phrases and vocab before I go back to Ethiopia next time! I just wanted to tell you about another AWEsome organization that’s also planting trees in Ethiopia, hiring the nationals to do the work, and truly changing lands and lives. Eden Reforestation Projects ( is planting over 1 MILLION trees per MONTH in Ethiopia and Madagascar. The more places we can post the link on the web the more land and lives can be changed. Would you please post the web link with your other links? THANKS and keep up the good work!

    Comment by Nolan — October 28, 2010 @ 10:37 pm |Reply

  61. Looking at how to say
    Praise the Lord
    in Amharic
    anyone know?

    Comment by christine — November 3, 2010 @ 10:06 pm |Reply

  62. its more of a question than a comment, I am ethiopian ancestry but do not know much amharic, I was talking to a lovely lady the other day and when I was leaving she said “broohk ma’lti” does anyone know what that means

    Comment by Ras Lion — November 3, 2010 @ 11:32 pm |Reply

    • biruk is a bit like “blessed.” don’t know the ma’lti.

      Comment by sackrosanct — January 28, 2011 @ 11:23 pm |Reply

      • that is not amharic —- that is tigrigna and it means “blessed thing ” i guess but it is not amharic.

        Comment by peniel — January 9, 2012 @ 5:59 am

    • Broohk is Blessed and ma’lti is day, it means Blessed day, And its Tigrigna Not amharic

      Comment by semere — October 21, 2012 @ 11:14 am |Reply

  63. Hello, and thanks for this site and translation help. I appreciate the wealth of information here.
    How would a person say “have a happy, safe, and prosperous new year” to a woman in Amharic?
    Will someone please be kind enough to translate and write phonetically also.

    Comment by Uni — December 30, 2010 @ 6:40 pm |Reply

    • Addissu Amet,Ye-tena,Ye-selam ena Ye-Biltsigina Endihonili-sh Emeg-nale-hu. አዲሱ አመት የሰላም የጤና እና የብልጽግና እንዲሆንልሽ እመኝልሻለሁ
      “i wish you health ,peace and prosperity for the new year” this is what we say

      Comment by peniel — January 9, 2012 @ 6:11 am |Reply

  64. God bless you is Zaviere barkesh (to a female) Zaviere barke (to a male) Zaviere Barko to an older person (shows great respect).

    Comment by Julie — December 31, 2010 @ 12:19 pm |Reply

  65. Just adopted a son from Ethiopia (sidama) region he (3 years old) speaks a little Amharic and Sidamo … He keeps repeating somthing that sounds like ah-tah-fah-bello when we r outside. I have no clue what this is. Can u help? Thanks

    Comment by Brian — January 5, 2011 @ 4:09 pm |Reply

    • If you’re going to take a child from his native land, should at least learn some of the language before adopting!

      Comment by id — August 21, 2013 @ 3:57 pm |Reply

      • Just reading through this and that is an awful thing to say. Breaks my heart that you have the nerve to say it. Blessings to those who have chosen to adopt and I hope that you, id, have had a change of heart in the past year and a half.

        Comment by c — January 29, 2015 @ 10:56 am

  66. Ok figured it out, lol it’s a song on his CD and I misspelled it. a-ta-li-fim-bilo thanks anyway

    Comment by Brian — January 5, 2011 @ 5:20 pm |Reply

    • he refused to let me (or him) pass – “a-ta-li-fim-bilo”

      Comment by penny — September 13, 2012 @ 11:47 am |Reply

  67. My dear friends just brought home their precious Ethiopian prince s couple weeks ago. And sweet Jadon keeps saying something that sounds like EL LA MA TOE SA. Phonetically that’s how it sounds. He says it all the time at no particular time. So no one can quite figure out what he’s saying or means??!! Any thoughts??

    Many thanks!!

    Comment by Pamela — January 27, 2011 @ 11:15 pm |Reply

    • don’t know. maybe it starts with alem. is his first language Amharic or a different language?

      Comment by sackrosanct — January 28, 2011 @ 11:21 pm |Reply

  68. this is a good way . I would be thankfull if ireceived more material on my email.

    Comment by shilaibi — February 18, 2011 @ 8:05 am |Reply

  69. Ethiopia, my 2nd nation. i love the culture.

    Comment by Selam — May 12, 2011 @ 7:00 am |Reply

    • whats ur first nation?

      Comment by aswomeethiopian — January 31, 2012 @ 7:02 pm |Reply

  70. Hello I’m trying to figure out the correct spelling for Queen of queens. Also for Empress Lioness-I please help me. It would be greatly appreciated

    Comment by Heidi — May 19, 2011 @ 1:30 pm |Reply

  71. i am am an “americanized” ethiopian child with ethiopian (amarhic speaking) imagant parants. When i was more younger, my parents did not bother to teach me the language. i only knew ‘dene egzabier mesken’ until i was in 2 grade. i only knew how to count to 10 (aser) in amaringya. my parents still dont teach me. my 25 year old sister knows so much. when i went to ethiopia when i was 8, i learned alot compared to what i used to know, but still not enough. i turn to websiters for help. but i usualy cant get any proggress because i am not allowed to do down load any thing, or buy any thing. my sunday school has an amharic teaching class, but i only pass because i understand feidels. and apparently nothing else.maybe thanks to this people will stop shaking their heads at me when i enter an ethiopian populated place with shame and disgust. no more of my mom saying secret stuff about me when i am sitting right next to her. maybe i can talk to my family and they will be proud. maybe my ethiopian friends will stop looking at me like i am stupid. or i will be able to make secret codes in amharic. it seems so fun to be bi lingual. if only i could expierience it. thanks to you i can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by girlinblue#101 — May 21, 2011 @ 1:02 pm |Reply

  72. oh and ps. if any of you would like to comment on what i siad above this comment, feel free. i would like to here peoples suggestions o n what i should do

    Comment by girlinblue#101 — May 21, 2011 @ 1:04 pm |Reply

  73. this didnt help me at all it suck i dont need the pronouncing part i just need the spelling dont get me wrong theres tons of info but it wasnt helpful

    Comment by snoop — May 22, 2011 @ 12:19 pm |Reply

  74. hey, sorry i didnt type lately, but if your not going to pronounce right dont ruin the language. ethiopia is wonderful and your only going to look like a fool. and, “snoop” learn some thing. americian people make fun of forien accents.- oh and get a new name “snoop” because that name isnt even creative- just unintellegent. others, dont let dogs like this dude ruin you persistance to come here and learn.

    Comment by girlinblue#101 — June 3, 2011 @ 1:53 pm |Reply

  75. Hi This is a great list -thank you so much, Now I wil print it and learn and learn!!

    Do you know what this means please?

    biye neber leka anchi nesh

    Thanks x

    Comment by Lin — June 9, 2011 @ 4:49 pm |Reply

  76. well, neber means like a wild cat, a nd anchi means you, for a girl, so it is probobly talking about something realted to that.

    Comment by girlinblue#101 — June 18, 2011 @ 6:46 pm |Reply

    • Not really dear !!!! Neb’ir is wild cat but Neber is for past tens it is like “was” it means “I said so,it is you” biye neber ==== i said so
      leka is like aha or it doesn’t have equivalent in English when u are aware of somthing u say “leka” and Anchi ==== you for female and Neshi is “It is ” for female so together Anchi Neshi ==== it is you ….. this is when it is translated literaly. all in all it is said to mean that some one said somtn before about what you did and they were right…….. i said so ,it is you

      Comment by peniel — January 9, 2012 @ 6:24 am |Reply

  77. 😀 :U

    Comment by girlinblue#101 — June 18, 2011 @ 6:49 pm |Reply

  78. Hi! m married to ethiopian nd hav 2 kids, your blog hs bn vry helpful coz nw im able to use words in amharic also with ma children which is reali kewl

    Comment by Lee-anne — August 14, 2011 @ 12:30 am |Reply

  79. Thanks girlinblue! Lin

    Comment by Lin — August 23, 2011 @ 5:02 pm |Reply

  80. Thank you!! this is gonna help me a lot!

    Comment by Yonathan — September 6, 2011 @ 12:56 am |Reply

  81. why, your welcome!!! so i would like to say thax so much for all of you gyz for learning amharic pluuuuus, peace!! 😀
    YOU ARE AWESOME—-and so am i !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by girlinblue#101 — September 18, 2011 @ 5:45 pm |Reply

  82. This is so helpful. I am dating an Ethiopian guy right now and the even tho English is our common language which we use, knowing a little bit of Amharic is helping our relationship with getting to know each other more! Thanks for the phrases they are extremely helpful! You’ve done a great job!

    Comment by flyingbird — December 5, 2011 @ 1:18 pm |Reply

  83. Thank you alot

    Comment by Alhosani Eisa — December 20, 2011 @ 6:03 am |Reply

  84. Hi there, I discovered your web site via Google while searching for a related matter, your web site got here up, it appears to be like good. I’ve added to favourites|added to my bookmarks.

    Comment by Play Station 3 — January 5, 2012 @ 11:31 pm |Reply

  85. it’s cool,,but if u can’ve a real translator that would translate from english to amharic or vise versa it could have been better,,keepup with gud work!!!

    Comment by Nadia — January 7, 2012 @ 5:00 am |Reply

  86. I’m sure this will help me Learning Amharic, If I do my best.
    so I thank the Web Masters

    Comment by Abdi Ahmed — January 7, 2012 @ 12:21 pm |Reply

  87. this is very helpful! im going to ethiopia during the summer ( if god is willing) and scince i dont know Amaryenyah i will study this! Is there usally wifi at homes in Ethiopia?

    Comment by kidest — January 31, 2012 @ 6:57 pm |Reply

  88. tikoor is not used towards people. it means the colour. and habesha is a term ethiopians-eritreans use to refer to eachother. non-habeshas don’t use it.

    Comment by Yord — February 1, 2012 @ 2:22 am |Reply

  89. this is really awesome!!

    Comment by mary — April 10, 2012 @ 2:17 am |Reply

  90. there is something good here too.

    Comment by mary — April 10, 2012 @ 2:20 am |Reply

  91. I am just begining to learn AMHARIC to better communicate with a young lady that I’m interested in and this will be very helpful in getting me started.
    Thank You.

    Comment by phil — April 14, 2012 @ 12:31 am |Reply

  92. I applaud you for tis information as it is very helpfull even though it’s hard to learn I am never the less learning it just so I can communicate with a young lady from ethiopia that I’m very interested in.

    Comment by phil — May 5, 2012 @ 11:31 pm |Reply

  93. It is very helpful.. thank you so much….

    Comment by Sanu.K.S — May 29, 2012 @ 11:44 am |Reply

  94. trying to find out what ah man yay stands for. ANybody out there have an idea ???

    Comment by sheila cuttell — May 29, 2012 @ 2:25 pm |Reply

  95. I should fill in the blanks here. Have a little 5yr old that has only been here for a short period of time and whenever she doesn’t want to eat or go to bed or something like that she just keeps repeating Ah man yay, ah man yay. Can’t seem to find anything on this.

    Comment by sheila cuttell — May 29, 2012 @ 2:30 pm |Reply

  96. hi,how do i ask a girl out for a coffee in amharic,,or is it something i should refrain from,,,,thanks,,dmg

    Comment by david mcgrath — June 10, 2012 @ 7:34 pm |Reply

  97. Thanks 4 teach me amheric i love this language .pls add me by fb this is my id.

    Comment by Vicky baudh — June 11, 2012 @ 9:36 am |Reply

  98. Hi there,
    I have an Ethiopian boyfriend. He speaks amarbic and Ive always wanted to say something flirty to him in his language. Can you help me out here? Words would be helpful if you know.
    Thank you

    Comment by Benazir — July 8, 2012 @ 10:59 pm |Reply

    • Just ask your boyfriend. Why would you ask another man to teach you that? Doesn’t make sense.

      Comment by id — August 21, 2013 @ 4:02 pm |Reply

      • I wanted to know the same thing. I just want to say something that tells him I care about him and his culture.

        Comment by Patricia H — April 6, 2015 @ 6:22 am

      • I think she is right… when a woman care and just wanted to say some special words to her boyfriend in his language… it’s a nice thing…so what the point of doesn’t make sense?

        Comment by taylor3688 — February 10, 2019 @ 12:07 pm

  99. Awesome blog! How do you say “I live in…..”, different from “I am from….”. Ke Canada.

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  100. Excellent site. Lots of helpful info here. I’m sending it to some pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you to your sweat!

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  101. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted at this web site is truly pleasant.

    Comment by big brother — August 9, 2012 @ 3:28 am |Reply

    • are u versed in amharic?

      Comment by rarly — September 18, 2012 @ 8:44 am |Reply

  102. good site I try always

    Comment by mercy — August 29, 2012 @ 4:46 am |Reply

  103. tank guys for this. i just meet an Ethiopian girl and this would really help me communicate with her.

    Comment by rarly — September 17, 2012 @ 7:27 am |Reply

  104. Words itself cannot express how thankful I am. I have an Ethiopian friend and my first Amharic word to him was “Amasegnalehu” and guess what! He was impressed. Now yebelete memar ifelegalehu. Thank you ever so much.

    Comment by Tshepisho — September 26, 2012 @ 5:33 pm |Reply

  105. Thank You. This is very helpful to get me started.

    Comment by Phillip — September 28, 2012 @ 10:29 pm |Reply

  106. thank you batam
    we r waiting 4 more posts

    Comment by amadoy — September 30, 2012 @ 5:33 pm |Reply

  107. Post writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar
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    Comment by article — October 15, 2012 @ 11:50 am |Reply

  108. Betam amesegnalhu, I am now using this to teach my African American barber who asked for some learning material, to help him improve his limited Amharic vocabulary.

    Comment by D.Fisseha — October 15, 2012 @ 4:59 pm |Reply

  109. it is nice and useful for the peoples want to visit ethiopia .

    Comment by ATEEQ — October 21, 2012 @ 8:10 am |Reply

  110. Important

    Comment by pica charly — October 29, 2012 @ 11:11 pm |Reply

  111. My sister just adopted from Ethiopa. How do you say, “you are safe” to a child so they know they will be safe?


    Comment by Linda — November 5, 2012 @ 1:59 am |Reply

  112. answer for 111. ezhe dehna nesh, means you are good here

    Comment by merone — November 13, 2012 @ 12:06 am |Reply

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    Comment by — January 9, 2013 @ 5:29 pm |Reply

  115. Hello! Both my parents are Ethiopian. I am also Ethiopian, but born here in America. I am interested in learning Amharic and I found this website very helpful! But I just have one request to make this website better for me and others to enjoy. You should add the Amharic word/phrase in AMHARIC LETTERS. This could also teach us how to spell in Amharic. For example:

    Selam/ ሰላም Greeting to say hello or to say peace.

    Thanks again!

    Comment by My Name — January 9, 2013 @ 6:47 pm |Reply

  116. I want to leaden full Amharic please sent full course in my mail in my mail I’d best rgd for all of you

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  119. I am trying to cut and paste this into a document so that can take it one the plane with me. It is not pasting… Do you have another form of this your could send me? I would so appreciate it!

    Comment by Tamara — January 29, 2013 @ 4:03 am |Reply

  120. How can I say have a great day and how was your day?

    Comment by lena — February 5, 2013 @ 10:12 am |Reply

  121. This is very helpful but need more so I can hold everyday conversations with young lady from ethiopia.

    Comment by Phillip — February 17, 2013 @ 7:45 pm |Reply

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  123. This is an awesome post. I can drop a new phrase on my love every day.

    Comment by chris lucas — February 20, 2013 @ 6:19 am |Reply

  124. I have been trying to pick up Amharic for a couple years now, but not actually studying it.
    The only resources I have found is “EuroTalk Amharic”, Lonely Planet’s Ethipian Amharic Phrasebook, and the Foreign Service Institute’s (FSA) Amharic study material (that can be purchased online). is where I found all of these resources.
    But this guide definitely rocks.

    Comment by chris lucas — February 20, 2013 @ 6:26 am |Reply

  125. Thank you for this very informative post. I am throwing a baby shower for my cousin who is adopting a girl from Ethiopia. I would like to incorporate the Ethiopian culture into the shower but not sure how. I thought about putting “Welcome Home” on the cake in her language but it seems that wouldn’t fit ;-). Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much!

    Comment by Jaclyn — March 8, 2013 @ 12:40 pm |Reply

  126. it is good i admire it but their are words like library which have amharic meaning fix it if u can God bless ethiopia.

    Comment by mickyas — March 9, 2013 @ 11:21 pm |Reply

  127. thank you! I was born in Ethiopia but I don’t speak amharic… this website is definitely useful for people like me who want to discover their roots! Good job!

    Comment by Emanuele — March 10, 2013 @ 7:54 am |Reply

  128. Thank you. This information is very encouraging and positive. It is so nice to learn how to say sweet things to folks

    Comment by Teza — April 4, 2013 @ 10:46 am |Reply

  129. I am trying to figure out what something that sounds like lagagi means? I think it could mean let go–do you know if that is correct? I looked on another site, and it appears that läqäqä means let go, so I’m hoping I got it right. Thanks.

    Comment by Kim — April 23, 2013 @ 5:07 pm |Reply

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  133. Im trying to ask someone on a date..a friend rom Ethiop… a cute original way…..i dont speak the language……could u tell me how you would write “will you go to dinner with me”……or “will you go out on a date with me”…..something like that…..

    Comment by rose — May 12, 2013 @ 1:13 am |Reply

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  136. please tell me the meaning of “tinageraleh”

    Comment by sanjay Kumar — June 10, 2013 @ 11:17 am |Reply

  137. dodatkowo aż do pieczary. I dodatkowo wielmoże narrowminded – Maureen – narzekają,
    paktują, że suweren… Von Egger urwał, uświadomił samemu, że
    za dużo przemawia.
    Z zakłopotaniem pociągnął z garnca. – W gruncie rzeczy,
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    Comment by Maureen — June 10, 2013 @ 4:20 pm |Reply

  138. Hey I’m looking to get a tattoo that says August 1, 1996 in amharic charecters can anyone help me. It’s to commemorate the death of my father who spoke amharic fluently

    Comment by Cam — June 19, 2013 @ 4:54 pm |Reply

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  140. Everything is very open with a really clear description of the challenges.
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    Comment by Emt Conduit — July 22, 2013 @ 1:21 pm |Reply

  141. Aren’t Eritreans “Habesha” too, lol

    Comment by Henok — August 7, 2013 @ 8:13 pm |Reply

  142. Amazing. Will help me very much when I am teaching out in addis! 🙂

    Comment by Katie — August 19, 2013 @ 8:10 am |Reply

  143. Ethiopians don’t use the wordTekoor for black foreigners, but they do use Forenj for non black tourists

    Comment by id — August 21, 2013 @ 3:54 pm |Reply

    • Actually, we do use Tiqoor for black foreigners, either African Americans or Africans who are not from East and North Africa. In fact, we also use Tiqoor to describe a person with a very dark complexion, regardless of his/her origin (even Habesha).

      Comment by Tenagari — November 15, 2014 @ 1:37 am |Reply

  144. You don’t always roll the R either. Mostly not.

    Comment by id — August 21, 2013 @ 4:01 pm |Reply

  145. Amasegenalehu!! I am in ❤ with an ethiopian guy, n i wanna learn amharic thanx 🙂

    Comment by Dama — September 7, 2013 @ 2:28 pm |Reply

  146. That is very nice but you just made few mistakes.
    Crazy is Ehbid, Very good is Betaam Ti rOO, Husband is Baal not Bahl.Bahl is Culture and I’m full is TEH gebkuny,

    Comment by Kedir — October 7, 2013 @ 10:03 am |Reply

  147. Hello everyone i was hoping if someone knew how to ask a girl out in Amharic something like “I was wondering if you wanted to go out sometime” any help you can give me would be appreciated. I’ve only known her for a few months , but I want to impress her when I ask her out.

    Comment by Justin — November 18, 2013 @ 1:04 pm |Reply

  148. Awesome! though the way you are writing the words in Amharic is kinda confusing!! I mean instead of saying: (Eh-bah-kish) you can just say ibakesh!
    its easy to get both word and sound! and there are a lot of missing words would love to read them here, like:
    Just kidding!
    Important – ergent:
    Hold on – wait Plz:
    Take this:
    Teach me:
    Thank you so much

    Comment by Mitch — January 5, 2014 @ 1:16 am |Reply

    • I agree, I just need the correct spelling with the letter sound and pronunciation.

      Comment by Tahvahryn — May 26, 2014 @ 11:50 am |Reply

    • awroplan
      awroplan marefiyaw
      ye kelede no
      important-im not sure
      anday qoy/ te qoyenyaleh – male, te qoyenyalish- female (the “te” is adding will you wait for me)
      te yazenyaleh – male, te yazenyalish- female

      Comment by mesret alemu — June 15, 2014 @ 12:13 am |Reply

  149. Thank you so much!!!!!

    Comment by Guna — January 7, 2014 @ 11:18 pm |Reply

  150. Used some of these words at work on a 1year old recently moved to America from Ethiopia. Although i may not have pronounced it correctly she made faces and it stirred a beautiful emotional response!!!! I’m convinced she was reminded of home.

    Comment by Cindy — March 24, 2014 @ 11:19 am |Reply


    Comment by BRAD — April 7, 2014 @ 6:52 pm |Reply

  152. Can you post the correct spelling of the words and/ or phrases please?

    Comment by Tahvahryn — May 26, 2014 @ 11:47 am |Reply

    • There are no correct for Amharic words using English letters. What you have read above is of course the phonetic sound of the Amharic word. I have a lot of Ethiopian friends in Los Angeles and they do text each other and write on Facebook all the time using English letters but there is no formal or correct way to spell Amharic sounding words into English. Here are some examples though of my my Ethiopian friends spell Amharic words using the English alphabet:
      endemin nesh…how are you (f)
      Endemin nuh…how are you (m)
      Dehna nay… I am fine
      Chigger yellum…no problem
      Egziabeher Yemesgen…God is great
      Melkam Addis Amet…Happy New Year
      Melkam Fassica…Happy Easter
      Dehna nesh?…are you fine? (F)
      Dehna nay?…are you fine? (M)
      Mano simish? What is your name? (F)
      Mano simuh? What is you name? (M)

      I hope this helps you. 🙂

      Comment by John Black aka Yohannes Tiqur — January 18, 2015 @ 6:33 am |Reply

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    Comment by cynthia — July 10, 2014 @ 6:09 pm |Reply

    • is this really true cause im in the same boat trying to get this girls heart/friendship back.

      Comment by michael baldeo — July 31, 2014 @ 2:16 pm |Reply

  154. It does not seem amharic language. I think you are trying to create a new language. Please do missed up the language!!!!

    Comment by Fikir Ashenafi — July 21, 2014 @ 7:43 am |Reply

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  157. This is nice!

    #136: Kumar, tinageraleh means “you speak.” If said in the tone of a question, it’s “do you speak…?”

    Also, “ring” is qelebet. Zinab means “rain.” I think when you asked how to say “ring,” the person though you were asking how to say “rain.”

    Comment by Tenagari — November 15, 2014 @ 1:00 am |Reply

  158. One more thing, the difference between Tew and Koom: you would say “Tew!” when you want someone to stop doing something (immediately) in general. (Say, if someone is kicking you and you want him to stop, you would say “Tew!” “Koom” is used when you want someone to stop walking/running OR to command someone to stand up from a sitting position. So Koom can also mean “stand up!”

    Comment by Tenagari — November 15, 2014 @ 1:31 am |Reply

  159. Wonderful site. I check it out often. I was wondering how to say “Happy Anniversary”‘ to my girlfriend in Amharic…I can’t seem to find it anywhere online….Thanks

    Comment by Ty8e5 — November 19, 2014 @ 3:23 pm |Reply

  160. what does dear mean in amharic

    Comment by efrata — December 23, 2014 @ 12:22 pm |Reply

  161. Do you know what the word Menzo means in this language because this guy I met keeps spelling it out.

    Comment by Kaitlyn — February 6, 2015 @ 7:10 pm |Reply

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  163. what is yikrta and tengalehu mean?

    Comment by Isha — April 3, 2015 @ 11:07 pm |Reply

  164. How can I say ( i’m thinking about you)

    ( I’m alone if your not with me )


    Comment by Mohammed — May 18, 2015 @ 8:47 pm |Reply

    • (for a she)
      silanchi eyasebku new
      bichayen ehonalehu ategebe kelelesh

      (for a he)
      silante eyasebku new
      bichayen ehonalehu ategebe keleleh

      Comment by sam — January 19, 2016 @ 11:33 pm |Reply

  165. Thanx this is useful…need to see more

    Comment by Mamiki — July 20, 2015 @ 1:40 pm |Reply

  166. eshi konjo laso wocomo kaba gagabamo

    Comment by tima — January 4, 2016 @ 2:30 pm |Reply

    • I ne know the meaning of the sentence

      Comment by tima — January 4, 2016 @ 2:31 pm |Reply

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