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Amharic Resources

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502 posts - 1093 votes 
Studies: German

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06 May 2020 at 2:22am | IP Logged 
During the period from February 2020 through May 2020, I conducted a complete revision to the twenty-eight (28) lists of resources which I had posted on the LLORG during the previous three-year period. As revising these types of documents directly on the LLORG in the “Edit Mode” is fraught with difficulties, I removed their contents from the LLORG, stored them on my computer, and completed the revisions. During the revision process an event occurred which prevented me from reposting the contents to their original files and, as a contingency measure, I have posted them here on the HTLAL in the anticipation that either the Administrator or the Moderators of the LLORG will copy/paste them to the LLORG. - Speakeasy


Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa in East Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands. Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around 3 million. Eritrea has nine national languages which are Tigrinya language, Tigre, Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Nara, Saho. Tigrinya, Arabic, and English serve as the three working languages. – Source: Wikipedia

Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti and Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west and Sudan to the northwest. With over 109 million inhabitants as of 2019, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent. The country has a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the Nubian and Somali tectonic plates.

There are 86 individual languages indigenous to Ethiopia. According to the 2007 Ethiopian census, the largest first languages are: Oromo language speakers numbering 24,930,424 or 33.80% of the population; Amharic speakers numbering 21,634,396 or 29.30% of the population; Somali speakers numbering 4,609,274 or 6.25%;[9] Tigrinya 4,324,476 or 5.86%; Sidamo 2,981,471 or 4.84%;Wolaytta 1,627,784 or 2.21%;Gurage speakers numbering 1,481,783 or 2.01%; and Afar speakers numbering 1,281,278 or 1.74%. Arabic, which also belongs to the Afroasiatic family, is likewise spoken in some areas of Ethiopia. Many Muslim Ethiopians are also able to speak Arabic because of their religious background. English is the most widely spoken foreign language which is also taught in many schools. Amharic is the official working language in which all federal laws are published, and it is spoken by millions of Ethiopians as a second language. In most regions it is the primary second language in the school curriculum. – Source: Wikipedia

Amharic Language
Also known as Amarigna, Amarinya, there are 25 million plus speakers of Amharic in various countries of the world, mainly in Ethiopia, & also in Eritrea, according to Ethnologue. It is the official and working language of Ethiopia. Based on 2010 census data, Ethnologue indicate that 21,600,000 of these Amharic speakers are found inside Ethiopia. 14,800,000 are monolinguals mostly in present day Amhara Region and in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as well as in large cities of other Ethiopian regions. It is also estimated that more than 2.4 million emigrants from Ethiopia & Eritrea speaks Amharic in the diaspora mainly in North America, Europe & Australia. Amharic is one of the Southern Semitic languages spoken in Ethiopia alongside Argoba, Tigrinya, Tigre, Geez, Guragenya, Siltee etc.. which are considered much older than the Northern Semitic languages such as Hebrew & Arabic, according to recent research findings.1 ranks Amharic as the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world ... – Source: Boston University Libraries

About the Amharic Language

Language Learning - Amharic - Boston University Libraries

Amharic - About World Languages

Amharic Language - Effective Language Learning
Amharic Language – Bible Society of Ethiopia

Languages of Ethiopia - Wikipedia

Amharic - Wikipedia


Amharic Courses, Supplements, etc.

Amharic Textbook: Through English (1967), 693 pages, by Wolf Leslau; Harrassowitz Verlag

DLI Amharic Basic (1960s-1970s) – NONE

FSI Amharic Basic, Vol. 1 and 2 (1964) by Serge Obolensky et al; Foreign Service Institute – Yojik website
FSI Amharic Basic (1964) – AUDIO Indiana University CeLT website
Intensive introduction to spoken Amharic. Audio-lingual method. CEFR B1. Full materials hosted on Yojik and Live Lingua websites. Audio recordings also Indiana University CeLT website.

Fundamentals of Amharic (rev.1967) Lessons 1-15, 354 pages
Fundamentals of Amharic (rev.1967) Lessons 16-35, 318 pages
Fundamentals of Amharic (rev.1967) Lessons 36-45, 233 pages
By Donald Barton et al., published by Utah University. Audio-lingual method. PDFs "pending restoration" on ERIC website. Perhaps Utah University has a copy in their archives along with the audio recordings. Anyone interested in contacting the university?

Amharica: An Introduction to Spoken Amharic (circa 1920, reprinted 2010), by C. H. Armbruster
Initia Amharica: An Introduction to Spoken Amharic Volume 1, 428 pages
Initia Amharica: An Introduction to Spoken Amharic Volume 2, 538 pages
Initia Amharica: An Introduction to Spoken Amharic Volume 3, 1004 pages
C. H. Armbruster (1874-1957), a civil servant in the Anglo-Sudan government, published this course in colloquial, spoken Amharic between 1908 and 1920. Exemplifies shift away from formal, classics-based style towards focus on colloquial speech and communication. Provides extensive discussion of phonetics and phonology and their relation to Amharic script. Issued as a reprint in 2010 by Cambridge University Press.

Spoken Amharic (1992) by Serge Obolensky et al; Spoken Language Services Inc.
Most likely a reprint of "FSI Amharic Basic" published in 1964.

Amharic Grammars, Dictionaries, Readers, Literature, etc. (Legacy)
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, "legacy" grammars, dictionaries, readers and similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file.


Amharic Courses, Supplements, etc.

Amharic Lessons and Exercises (2020), 218 pages, author not specified; Red Sea Press

Basic Amharic: a Teaching Manual (2012), 188 pages, by Kebede Gessesse; CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Colloquial Amharic, (2nd ed., 2015), 400 pages, by David Appleyard; Routledge
Colloquial Amharic AUDIO recordings – Routledge website
Staple CEFR A1 introduction to spoken Amharic. Amazon customer reviews are mostly positive. Reviewed by ProfArguelles on YouTube (see subsequent post by David1917).

Complete Amharic / Ethiopian - Teach Yourself Books - NONE


DLI Headstart2 Amharic
Familiarization language course. First half, civilian oriented. Second half, mission oriented. CEFR A0+

Essential Guide to Amharic (2015), 198 pages, by Abraham Teklu, Andrew Tadros
Basic introduction. No mention of audio recordings. Possibly CEFR A1 (minus). Well-received by Amazon customers.

Introducing Amharic: An Interactive Workbook (2016), 178 pages, by T. Michael W. Halcomb; Independently published
Basic workbook. No audio recordings. Well-received by most Amazon customers.

Let's Speak Amharic (2005) by Bezza T. Avalew, Addis Abbaba
Fundamentals of Amharic. For classroom use. No mention of audio recordings. Likely CEFR A2-B1. No Amazon reviews.

National Foreign Language Center (NFLC): Amharic – University of Maryland
Collection of graded exercise sets for supplemental practice (reading, aural, occasionally videos). Similar to DLI GLOSS. Access: US$ 5.00 monthly subscription.

U.S. Peace Corps Amharic (2015), 207 pages - Live Lingua website
Not a course manual for students; rather, guidelines, lesson plans, etc. for teachers. No audio recordings.

Amharic Phrasebooks, Language Guides, etc.
This list is not exhaustive, it is a small sample of phrasebooks and language guides available for this language.

17 Minute Languages: Amharic

50 Languages / Book2 - Amharic

Amharic-English/ English-Amharic Dictionary & Phrasebook (2018), 240 pages, by Binyam Sisay Mendisu et al.; Hippocrene Books

Amharic Teacher Lessons

Concise Amharic Language For Beginners (2020), 81 pages, by Octavius D Fikir-Moss; Independently published

DLI Language Survival Kit - Amharic
Downloadable PDF and MP3 files comparable to many commercially-prepared phrasebooks.

Duolingo: Amharic

Kauderwelsch Amharisch, by Micha Wedekind; Reise Know-How Verlag
Kauderwelsch-Sprachführer Amharisch: Wort für Wort (für Äthiopien) (5th ed., 2019), 160 pages
Kauderwelsch- AusspracheTrainer: AUDIO Recordings
Available in German only. Phrasebook and AUDIO recordings (extracts only). Sold separately.
Learn101: Amharic

Lonely Planet Ethiopian Amharic Phrasebook & Dictionary (4th ed., 2017), 240 pages, by Daniel Aboye Aberra et al.; Lonely Planet

MyLanguageExchange: Amharic

Omniglot: Amharic

U.S. Army 200-Hour Familiarization Course: Amharic (2007)
Emphasis on basic communication needs. The “200 hours” refers to contact time in the classroom. Materials themselves evoke a language guide. In self-study, CEFR A0 upon completion.

Amharic Grammars, etc.
This list is not exhaustive, it is a small sample of grammars available for this language.
Amharic Language: 101 Amharic Verbs (2018), 112 pages, by Aman Madaki; CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Diachronic Grammar of Amharic (reprint 2014), 352 pages, by Girma A. Demeke; Red Sea Press

How to read and write Amharic: For adult learners (2017), 110 pages, by Dominique Fischer; CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Introductory Grammar of Amharic (2000), 232 pages, by Wolf Leslau; Otto Harrassowitz

Origin of Amharic (2009), 356 pages, by Girma Awgichew Demeke; LINCOM publishers

Amharic Dictionaries, etc.
This list is not exhaustive, it is a small sample of dictionaries available for this language.

Amharic English, English Amharic Dictionary (2nd ed., 2007), 668 pages, by Endale Zenawi; Simon Wallenburg Press

Amharic Student Dictionary: English-Amharic/ Amharic-English (2019), 441 pages, by Girum Asanke; Hippocrene Books

Concise Amharic Dictionary: Amharic-English & English-Amharic. Script & Roman (1976, reissued 1998), 558 pages, by Wolf Leslau; University of California Press

Four-in-One Dictionary: English, Oromiffaa, Somali, Amharic (2018), 187 pages, by Mohamed Sheikh; Book Publishers Network
Amharic Readers, Literature, etc.
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, "legacy" readers and similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file.

Amharic Bible New Translation (Revised), የአማርኛ መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ አዲስ ትርጉም (ተሻሽሎ) (Amharic) (2005), 1325 pages; Bible for all Nations

Amharic Chrestomathy: A collection of Amharic passages together with an introduction, grammatical tables and a glossary (2nd ed., 2002), 156 pages, by Edward Ullendorff; Routledge

Amharic Reader (1924, reissued 2011), 288 pages, by J. I. Eadie; Cambridge University Press

Fire on the Mountain, and Other Stories from Ethiopia and Eritrea (1950, 1995), 133 pages, by Wolf Leslau et al.; Henry Holt

Full Life Study Bible in Amharic Language (2009); Bible Society

History of the Haile Selassie I University: Development and Expansion of Higher Education in Ethiopia (in Amharic Language) / የቀዳማዊ ኃይለ ሥላሴ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ታሪክ: የከፍተኛ ትምህርት መቋቋምና መስፋፋት ጉዞ በኢትዮጵያ (2017), 629 pages, by Dr. Aklilu Habte; Getatchew Haile

Intermediate Amharic Cultural Reader (1973), 357 pages, by Wolf Leslau
Published in 1973, this cultural reader (which contains English translations) would provide an excellent companion to the FSI Amharic Basic course. The complete text can be downloaded from the U.S. Government’s ERIC website.

Tomorrow: Learning Amharic Through Story (2018), 136 pages, by T. Michael W. Halcomb; GlossaHouse

Amharic Media, News, etc.
BBC News አማርኛ

VOA (Voice of America) Amharic የአሜሪካ ድምፅ

VOA (Voice of America)Amharic Radio Daily Broadcast to Ethiopia
Please feel at liberty to post your own recommendations and/or comments and I’ll see what I can do about incorporating them into the lists above.

Visitors to this file are encouraged to review the subsequent comments, posted below, as they include members’ suggestions concerning materials and form a running commentary on resources for the study of Amharic.

Completely revised: March 2020

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