Ethiopian Languages

Ethiopia has 83 different Languages with up to 200 different dialects spoken. The largest ethnic and linguistic groups are the Oromo, Amhara and Tigryans respectively.

Ge'ez is the ancient language, and was introduced as an official written language during the first Axumite kingdom when the Sabeans sought refuge in Axum The Axumite developed Ge'ez, a unique script derived from the Sabean alphabet, and it is still used by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church today.

Tigrigna and Amharigna (Amharic) are the modern Languages which are derived from Ge'ez. Amharic is the official national language of Ethiopia. English, Arabic, Italian and French are widely spoken by many Ethiopians.

The Ethiopian Languages are divided into four major language groups. These are Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic, and Nilo-Saharan.

The Semitic Languages are spoken in northern, central and eastern Ethiopia (mainly in Tigray, Amhara, Harar and northern part of the Southern Peoples' State regions). They use the Ge'ez script that is unique to the country, which consists of 33 letters, each of which denotes 7 characters, making a total of 231 characters.

The Cushitic Languages are mostly spoken in central, southern and eastern Ethiopia (mainly in Afar, Oromia and Somali regions). The Cushitic Languages use the Roman alphabet and Ge'ez script.

The Omotic Languages are predominantly spoken between the Lakes of southern Rift Valley and the Omo River.

The Nilo-Saharan Languages are largely spoken in the western part of the country along the border with Sudan (mainly in Gambella and Benshangul regions).

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa was founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II who moved his capital city from Ankober (a town 175 km. to th...

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Harar

The eastern part of Ethiopia, close to Djibouti and Somalia, is a region inhabited mainly by Muslims.The ancient wa...

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Lake Tana Monasteries

There are 37 islands that are scattered about the surface of Lake Tana, out of which some 20 shelter churches and m...

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Gonder

The graceful city of Gondar, embraced with incredibility, was founded by Emperor Fasilidas around 1635. It is famou...

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Lalibela

The ancient Ethiopian empire in the north, came to an abrupt end, when a ferocious woman warrior named Queen Judith...

More

Axum

The modern town of Axum does not easily show the evidence of the splendors of its glorious past. Nevertheless, the ...

More

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa was founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II who moved his capital city from Ankober (a town 175 km. to th...

More

Harar

The eastern part of Ethiopia, close to Djibouti and Somalia, is a region inhabited mainly by Muslims.The ancient wa...

More

Lake Tana Monasteries

There are 37 islands that are scattered about the surface of Lake Tana, out of which some 20 shelter churches and m...

More

Gonder

The graceful city of Gondar, embraced with incredibility, was founded by Emperor Fasilidas around 1635. It is famou...

More

Lalibela

The ancient Ethiopian empire in the north, came to an abrupt end, when a ferocious woman warrior named Queen Judith...

More

Axum

The modern town of Axum does not easily show the evidence of the splendors of its glorious past. Nevertheless, the ...

More
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