August 30th, 2009
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When traveling to any country it is common courtesy to learn some of the language. Hello, thank you, where is the bath room are all good things to know. I have to admit that when traveling to Ethiopia I did not take much time with learning these words. Hubby had learned a few and I was on a high stress level that made learning a bit difficult. Happily, I picked up on a few words quickly and felt like I was showing some respect. My accent of course was horrible, but accents aren’t my thing. My spanish accent is pitiful and a bit red-neck to be truthful!


Here are a few words and phrases that you can easily learn and put into your every day vocabulary. If you are adopting an infant from Ethiopia, you can use these words to help preserve the Ethiopian culture in your home. If you are bringing home older children, a little amharic can go a long way!

Pronunciation Help
Remember to roll all “r”s

u gut, bud

oo shoot, choose

ee free, tea

a sad mat

ay cake, hay

i evil, dish

o go, show

Mother : Enat

Father: Abat

Sister: Ehit

Brother : Wundim

Grandmother : Sayt ayat

Grandfather : Wund ayat

I love you : ewedeshalo

Hello : seulam

Good Night : deuna deur

Good bye : deuna hun

Your very kind : beutam deugg not

Beautiful : konjo

Helpful audio can be found at
We often use konjo when describing the girls and ewedeshalo is a frequent usage word as well.

I have mentioned before that my daughters’ loss of the Amharic language has been a sad thing for me. In the futures I believe the girls will be sad about it as well. We have some books and CD’s and the kids do practice writing at times. At the culture camp we went to this past month there were language classes that really helped Mita remember a lot. In fact our oldest teased her saying she was,”holding out on us.” In hindsight I would have encouraged them to speak to each other more in Amharic and kept writing words in the language. Coming home is a difficult time of transition and when the most basic of things has to be taught, some things fall to the way-side.

I’m thinking about have an Amharic Word Of The Week for them all to learn to say and write. This won’t make them fluent, but it will help them retain some knowledge. I have found Amharic language classes, but they are over an hour a way and every week, something that can be difficult for a family of six. In the future I am hoping to have more formal teaching for us all.

Photo Credit

2 Responses to “Amharic 101”

  1. cnkrizzi5 says:

    I was just told today during my pre travel call that children who have not been through puberty will loose their language almost faster then they will pick up English. I find that interesting.

  2. 456 says:


    Otkuda material ?

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