https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

Why learn Amharic? Interesting facts about Ethiopia!

Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia with some 26 million speakers - the second most spoken Semitic language in the world. To try and get more people interested in Amharic, here are some interesting facts about Ethiopia:

1. Ethiopia is roughly 7 and a half years behind other countries...

...due to a difference in the believed birth of Jesus. This means that Ethiopia is in 2007 while we are nearing the end of 2014. The Ethiopian calendar has 13 months; 12 of 30 days and 1 of either 5 days (regular year) or 6 days (leap year). New Year is also celebrated in our September, their መስከረም.

2. Ethiopians measure time from when the sun rises...

...and count time on the other side of the clock. Which means that when the sun rises at 6 o'clock it's 12 o'clock.

3. The oldest fossil skeleton of a human being was discovered in Ethiopia...

...as well as coffee. So not only did humans start there - but also many people's favourite morning wake-up drink.

4. Ethiopia is approximately as big as France & Spain...

...combined! The area of Ethiopia is 1,104,300 sq. km.

5. There are around 80 languages spoken in Ethiopia...

...of which the most spoken are Amharic and Oromo. English and Arabic are also among those spoken.

6. Ethiopia is the only country in Africa with its own script...

...which consists of 209 symbols. It is the Amharic fidel, which is an abugida.

7. The Great Rift Valley cuts through Ethiopia from the North-East to the South of the country...

...and is the most significant physical detail on the planet!

Here are some pictures of Ethiopia:


Ethiopia/Amharic Posts Directory

October 24, 2014

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LittleBiala

Wow the landscape pictures are beautiful. Another languages for me to look into. Thanks for posting this.

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Utnapis

Very interesting facts. Thank you for sharing.

So... Ethiopians are somewhere around 93 months behind us. So about 93 years ago they were in sync with the western calendar? Is that when their calendar began, or was it before that out-of-sync in the other direction related to the western calendar?

If they always celebrate the New Year in our September, that presumably means that every year, according to the Ethiopian calendar, they celebrate New Year one month before they celebrated it in the previous year? That sounds a bit peculiar, so I'm wondering If there's something I didn't quite get.

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

Sorry, I didn't know all the reasons when I posted this; I've updated it now - it's to do with their belief of Jesus' birth time :)

December 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yerrick

Actually, their calendar is simply 7 years before ours. They disagree with the Catholic church (on a lot of questions, but especially) on the date.

Their calendar has 365 or 366 days, same as ours. They just have 12 months of 30 days each, and one remainder-month to hold the days left over before the new calendar begins. Some Ethiopians say it makes more sense than our system with every month of a different length.

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PetarNP

Yeah, Ethiopia is great.

Two also interesting facts are that they were never colonized by European country and that they are one of the oldest Christians in the world. Most of them are following Orthodox Christianity.

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MediocreSamurai

They also fought off the Italians in WWII which is amazing in my opinion. Sure the Italians had A smaller force, but that force was enough to conquer Eritrea and Somalia ( Somaliland at the time ) Heres the Wiki page if you want to read up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Adwa

April 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yerrick

That was in the 1890s, actually. The Italians at the start of WWII were in fact able to defeat and occupy Ethiopia; that's why Haile Selassie went into exile in Europe and eventually assembled support to retake the country.

April 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MediocreSamurai

Oh really, well the more you know I guess, haha

April 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/peter.doerrie

Point 6 is debatable. Arabic speaking countries have their own script and there are several in African and Ge'ez script is used in Eritrea as well, isn't it?

But I agree that Ethiopia is a fascinating country. Everyone who likes hiking owes it to himself to track the Simien Mountains at least once in his live. Not to speak of the incredible culture and delicious food.

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

You're right about Arabic-speaking countries having a different script as well, but that script is also used outside of Africa. In terms of the Ge'ez script; you're right that it is used in Eritrea too, however I think Ethiopia is known as having its own unique script because the Ge'ez script is used by Amharic, which is the sole official language, meanwhile Eritrea's official languages are English and Arabic, which use the Latin alphabet and Arabic abjad, as well as Tigrinya, which uses the Ge'ez fidel :)

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Intifadanow

as a Hebrew speaker i find it facaniting listening to other semetic langauges; they are so beautiful!

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicfishe

Beautiful pictures! And very interesting facts, it's great to hear about other countries and cultures.

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rough_Pathway

I never knew Ethiopia was so beautiful. And that fact about them being years behind is fascinating! =) I may have to look into the language..

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jabramsohn

I would love to learn Amharic, or any Ethiopian language. Out of curiosity, how do you pronounce መስከረም?

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

It's mäskäräm

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yerrick

For those wondering how that sounds, Amharic has 7 vowels, 5 basically the same as those in Spanish, and 2 more:

  • or - ä - as in the English "let" or "beck"
  • or - u - as in the English "chute" or "true"
  • or - i - as in the English "piano" or "pique"
  • or - a - as in the English "ah" or "ha"
  • or - e - as in the English "weigh" or "fey"
  • or - ə or ï - as in the English "lick" or "tough" (varies by dialect) - but often silent, depending on the word
  • or - o - as in the English "low" or "❤❤❤"
December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

I thought the a was said like in apple?

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmharicYohan

Yes it is like that. I tried to find a word for how ä is pronounced in english but it's pretty hard :D It's a bit like the 'errrrrmm' you do while thinking, the first vowel half of it. Here's a video for reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDoKd4zECOI

December 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yerrick

Hmm, none of the vowels in Yohan's video sound anything like the a in apple to me. I think our "a" vowel is one of the many English ones that aren't common in many other languages. This may be a dialect difference... Do you really know people who pronounce "apple" to rhyme with "topple"?

December 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

I meant that it is pronounced as /ah/, like in the Spanish word "bandera"

December 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

I've started a site if you want to try that out for learning Amharic :)

http://adamyoung1997.wix.com/learnamharic

January 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/earthkissed

i have wanted to learn amharic for a long time, one of my favourite singers is idan raichel, he is a hebrew-language singer but a lot of my fave songs by him (i.e. "bo'i" and "mima'amakim") have parts sung by amharic singers, they sound beautiful and it drives me crazy that i can't understand what they say!

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/huangwz

Thank you for sharing the interesting facts of Ethiopia.

I love them very much!!!! :D

October 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tmarvin

Gorgeous photos!

October 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fr224

Regarding the scripts, there's also N'ko and Tifinagh, but they aren't very widely used.

December 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/efisgpr

Thanks. I'm checking those out. :)

March 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StrapsOption

That is truly amazing. Thank you for this!

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

Mhux problema!/ችግር የለም! Have I convinced you to learn il-lingwa Amħarika yet? ;)

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StrapsOption

It's squirming its way into my already bulging language list! That script is amazing.

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Golnessa

ohhh i love this language! and the people!! i really want to learn it <3

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

I've started making a site if you'd like to try that :)

http://adamyoung1997.wix.com/learnamharic

January 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OzrenIlic

An old and interesting country and culture.

October 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ForgedbyHistoria

Ethiopia was also the only African country to successfully defend itself from European colonization. Also, these photos of the mountains are amazing. I can't stop returning to gaze at them a little more.

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rhythmixed

Amharic would be really interesting to learn.

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elirien

Thanks! Very interesting and wonderful pictures.

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xtay2008

wow..i have been ethiopia 13 core cities and 39 small cities.....almost everywhere....East African Great Rift Valley....the mountains should be in northwest part....the pic3 is in city gondar was the old capital of ethiopia!.....

December 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selihome

Wow, My country sure is beautiful!

August 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selihome

you said the scripts were 209 but they are about 238. 7 vowels and 34 consonants 7 አናባቢ እና 34 ተነባቢ፡፡ 7*34=238

August 21, 2019
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