Next to Arabic, Amharic is the second most widely spoken language under the Semitic family of languages. It is the official language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. It has an enigmatic form of writing that has not found a way of transliterating into Roman characters.
It takes a linguist specializing in the study of Semitic languages or a native speaker to convert the characters and sounds into a universal language system so that a non-Semitic speaking population can understand and comprehend the spoken and written language.
If you are planning to learn Amharic, here are a few things you should know about this complex yet beautiful language. It is a language that can bring and the culture closer to each other.
A Brief History
The elements of the writing can be traced back to the 1st millennium B.C. The Amharic language is an Ethiopian Semitic language that is used primarily in North Central Ethiopia. It is spoken regularly by the Amhara, an ethnic organization in the interior mountains of Ethiopia. The language has also been adopted by other ethnic groups unrelated to this area.
In terms of script, the language does not use a version of the language which helps in the conducting of the right and written languages with accrodance. It is a more decorated way of communicating language, much more so than the Roman alphabet.
The more interesting part is that male and female nouns and pronouns can also be used to convey certain emotions. This writing is a hidden and beautiful one.
Deeper Analysis of its Alphabetic Script
Its script uses a syllabary called “Fidel” or “abugida”. Amharic is a version of the Ge’ez alphabet known as ፊደል (Fidel). In other words, “abugida” consonants carry an inherent vowel. This is quite similar to the Japanese language.
There are 33 basic characters, each of which has seven forms depending on the way each vowel is pronounced. Similar to Latin languages, there is an agreement between the verb and its subject.
Interestingly, the male and female names and pronouns can also be used to communicate positive emotions. For example, female names can be used to indicate that something is small or tender, or even to express empathy.
Why should you learn the Amharic language?
Amharic is the second most spoken Semitic language in the entire world. Arabic is the only Semitic language that comes before it, so if you’re looking to know about the source of the language and why it is used is a good candidate for it.
The writing itself, when written, is very beautiful. There is no particular way to translate the Amharic language into Roman lettering, so when one learns Amharic, it is necessary to get accustomed to the written language just as much as the spoken language. This might prove to be difficult at first, but the rewards are definitely more fabulous when one has to pour more energy into an endeavor.
Those who are interested in music, particularly reggae might find Amharic would be a interesting writing to learn. Some Rastafarians learn the Amharic writing voluntarily as a supplementary language, as it is considered to be a sacred language. Many reggae songs use the Amharic language as the primary language of communication.
How is it so Popular?
The Amharic language is spoken in many specific regions like Addis Ababa, the Amhara Region, the Benishangul-Gumuz Region, and also the Gambela Region. It doesn’t share any importance with other languages.
Due to the sudden rise in emigration, Amharic has now been included in various computer software packages. This is visible with various public service organizations making a point of including Amharic as another vital word to enter in their reading and review services.
It is a word that is still spoken over by 2.7 million emigrants. Most of these Amharic speakers have significant numbers in the United States, Canada, and Sweden.
There is also an expanding body of analysis written in the Amharic language. Over the past few years, this literature has begun to span many genres and includes various novels, proverbs, poems, government records, religious books, tech. manuals, educational books, medical discussions, etc.
Methods to learn the Amharic language
Linguistic enthusiasts find it fairly easy to learn Amharic. Constant speaking and writing, with the use of this language, can lead to fluency and articulateness, despite the lack of Roman transcriptions.
Some online language programs conduct lessons on speaking, writing and reading Semitic languages. This is the type of language that helps you to know and connect with the culture and is affordable as they offer free advice and tips as well as conversation lesson. The language learning exchange program supports other kinds of language learning curricula that conduct classroom lessons, cultural immersion, and multimedia tools.
Through this program, you can learn the real Amharic language including its slang expressions and all types of vocabulary words. Intermingling with native speakers can easily help you pick up and absorb the natural manner by which the Ethiopian tongue is spoken.
While one may downplay the role of this Semitic language at first glance, we can clearly see that this language is currently in high demand by several organizations. Therefore, learning this language can prove to fruitful to some linguistic enthusiasts out there who are not just looking for learning the language purely out of hobby. We hope the above things helped you now have a basic understanding of the Amharic language.