Ethiopia Travel Tips | USEFUL Amharic For Travellers!

Published by Darron Toy on


so one of the most important things to me when I travel is to learn the language or a bit of the language. in Ethiopia many
languages are spoken though the national one is Amharic. many people , but I can’t say most, will be able to speak Amharic, for English all the guides speak it really well and
anyone who works in tourism but other than that it’s pretty useful
if you learn some Amharic, so I had a an app but it gave me all the wrong
words, for some reason, it just gave me formal words or uncommon words,
now a lot of people will get frustrated because one the most common words, “thanks”, “ameseginalo”, is a tongue twister and so people get thrown off by
that and they just give up and stop there but thank you aside, the rest of language is pretty easy. so here
are some quirks. Amharic itself it’s pronounced neutral kind of like Japanese and you
don’t emphasize the second syllable as we do in English or Spanish or Swahili, so
national dish the bread injera it’s neutral “injera” , don’t pronounce it
inJEra, so you’ll hear a lot of Western travelers pronounce it like that, think neutral. so only a few exceptions to that, for example I think “boHAra”,
“later”, it’s not “BOhara”, people don’t really understand it, so it’s one of the few exceptions. other than that, just try to pronounce it neutral across. okay next for numbers obviously learning
1 to 100, but I found that learning to count from 10 20 30 40 50 to 100 so
“asera”, “haya”, “selasa”, “ahrba”, “hamsa” especially 50, it’s more useful than counting from three to ten cuz of the currency usually you pay for things in
increments of ten or I’d say the most useful would be 10, then
fifteen “”asera amst” and then “haya”, “selasa”, and so on so forth. for pricing and “meta”=100. okay so for greetings my app totally messed it up
and it’s not what the app says. most people say “selam-no”. sounds almost like “how are you” instead of just hello but that’s the hello , “selam-no”
and “bye” is “ciao” so one is borrowed from Arabic, hello is borrowed from Arabic and bye is borrowed from Italian. these are my most useful words in Amharic, so I’ll just list
them off and what they mean “chamaru”=more, “teenish”, a little, this is
useful because Ethiopians tend to give you too much sugar in coffee so
I’d say “teenish” so they’ll let you do it yourself instead of putting
two heaping spoonfuls instead of four “gimash”=half, again used for coffee
I think “teenish” is more useful for coffee, sugar, “geemash” is good if you’re at the market and you want half kilo “hisab”=bill, “wogalo”=I like
so we say “blah blah wogalo” “ifarigalo”=I want, so blah blah “ifarigalo” “suntono” or “sunto birr no” which is “how much?” when I was hanging out with the kids I found saying “wada wada” a lot, which is ” go back”, e.g. so I could take a picture , go back so I have space so I can teach dance.
“yellen”, which means “don’t have” so you actually won’t say that so much, but you
hear it a lot. “bakh” which means “enough” and I found a funny is when I first
learned it, I said “bakka”, which is Japanese for “crazy”, that’s how I use it
that was my mnemonic remembering it and I was saying “bakka” quite a lot thought I’ve been corrected and it’s “bakh”, “enough”, super useful because if kids are bothering
you on the street then you can say it “stop bothering me” and it’s useful when
someone’s giving you food, you’ve had enough or you’re full. “this” and “that” say “eehay” this, how much is this? “eehay suntono”, or “that” is
“ya”. another useful word “conjo”=”good” I used that one a lot= good, beautiful.
oh that reminds me “yes and no”. I was saying it wrong for
a bit people say it like “ow” no, I was also mispronouncing, it’s “aye” obviously “injera” is the easy one but
since I don’t like to eat meat dishes too much, meat is “segah wat”=meat curry. my favorite is just “beyaynut” which is a vegetable combination, but in some meat loving places you’ll only find that on fasting days so
only on Wednesdays and Fridays, so they don’t have “beyaynut” I would say ask them if they have “articuto” or vegetables or ask for “gomen” which worked out for me, they’ll give you a plate of cook spinach on injera or some cooked cabbage and a few carrots and other vegetables on your
injera of course, if all else fails, you order “shiro wat”. I’m not a huge fan of shiro wat. it’s just a vegetarian gravy it’s flavorful but I got tired of it, it just pales in comparison to beyanut.
eggs=”unkara”, I love the word it’s super easy to remember
because it sounds like the Japanese word for “poop” “where is”=”yehtono” another super useful word is just “alleh”, which means “do you have?” used that extensively, e.g. “beyanut alleh?” as for the written language
itself, you’re not gonna find alpha characters, I have this Amharic chart
here, if I had to stay longer than I would have to start going through it.
don’t get scared by it. if you look carefully, words that look the same
sound the same. they are very similar in appearance, so there’s not as many characters to learn if you had to learn it. but it’s not super
necessary because almost every sign has English also. so those are my
thoughts on the Amharic language or “amarinia”. those are words I found very useful so I hope that helps you! hi my name is Jesse and I’m on an
adventurous quest to face all my fears and learn as many skills as possible so
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3 Comments

Berihu Grmay · September 28, 2018 at 12:17 am

Thanks bro, I from there and I fan for you

kiruman1234 · April 4, 2019 at 6:56 pm

It’s actually beka

pickupdance · June 3, 2019 at 3:26 pm

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