Amharic አማርኛ

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Ashkenaz » 2009-05-15, 16:32

א כלאף פארגייט א ווערט בעשטייט

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2010-12-23, 14:03

Updated link to the FSI Amharic course:
http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content ... ge=Amharic
And the rest of the audio is here:
http://www.iu.edu/~celtie/amharic_a400.html
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Cesare M. » 2011-06-25, 13:52

Salem, ina Amarenya techellahu. Ina anta Amarenya tangara darasuli ifedigalo. Amarenya keburanna betam, inu haylanna. Bakih, yene Skype-it kontakte, inu ina anta darasullahu. :) Ameseginalehu.
Last edited by Cesare M. on 2011-11-09, 15:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby SvartiVíkingurinn » 2011-08-10, 3:22

I had been in Ethiopia 2 times is because a lot of Habeshaians from Eritrea and Ethiopia often mistook me for being one of them. I'm Black American myself and when I was in Addis Ababa, I learned from some people who told me that I resembled one of their friend a lot and some of other people who were from Tigray. Very interesting. Also, I learned both of Amharic and Tigrinya but the only problem is no dictionary from English to Tigrinya. I had to depend on Eritreans for my Tigrinya language skill. ንዓይ ቋንቋ ትግርኛ ካብ ኵሎም ሴማውያን ቋንቋታት ጥዕምትን ጽብቕትን እያ ዝትመስል ። ኣነ'ውን ሙዚቃ ትግርኛን ትግረን ብጣዕሚ ደስ ይብለኒ ። ;)

አማርኛ ትግርኛና ትግረይት (ትግረይት not to be confused with Tigre as in Amharic ትግሬ for "Tigrayan" in Tigre language) የኢትዮጵያ ሴማውያን ቋንቋዎች የሚባሉት ናቸው ። Both of Tigreyt and Tigrinya are closer to Ge'ez but 50% different from each other (Tigrinya and Tigreyt). Amharic is a younger language that has been developed for a long time since the time of Aksumitic government and military for the purpose of communication as a secret code. Now, Amharic is the most popular of all Ethiopian Semitic languages that is still growing widely spoken by non-Habesha Ethiopians and foreigners.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Hannahanneke » 2011-09-02, 8:18

Hi to all of you! Thanks for sharing the links! It's very helpful!
I wanna ask you if Amharic is very difficult if you know already some Arabic & (Biblical) Hebrew?

EDIT: I'm bit disappointed about the ammount of African languages represented on Unilang... It doesn't look like a lot of people are interested in them, neither studying them... :(

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-09-02, 11:58

Though I'm far from an expert, I'd imagine that some Arabic and Hebrew would help. As they are all Semitic languages. However the Ethiopian Semitic languages are a bit more removed from the others, so I'm not sure how much it would help.

I'm a bit disappointed in the diversity of languages here as well, but whatcha gonna do?
I do intend to learn some Amharic some day. It's just too awesome of a language.
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Hannahanneke » 2011-09-09, 10:55

księżycowy wrote:Though I'm far from an expert, I'd imagine that some Arabic and Hebrew would help. As they are all Semitic languages. However the Ethiopian Semitic languages are a bit more removed from the others, so I'm not sure how much it would help.

I'm a bit disappointed in the diversity of languages here as well, but whatcha gonna do?
I do intend to learn some Amharic some day. It's just too awesome of a language.

Maybe we need to make more publicity to attract more language freaks :mrgreen:, so we can open new language forums.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-09-09, 11:02

That would be cool and all, but as with other languages I'd love to work on, it's going to take me a bit of time before I'm ready for Amharic. Academic languages come first I'm afraid. (For now. :) )
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Meera » 2011-09-11, 5:41

Im shocked Amharic has no forum of its own. Although I have too many langauges to think about right now, I really like Amharic and I would love to learn it lol :mrgreen:
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Sisyphe » 2011-09-11, 7:12

Hannahanneke wrote:Hi to all of you! Thanks for sharing the links! It's very helpful!
I wanna ask you if Amharic is very difficult if you know already some Arabic & (Biblical) Hebrew?

EDIT: I'm bit disappointed about the ammount of African languages represented on Unilang... It doesn't look like a lot of people are interested in them, neither studying them... :(


I'm afraid Hebrew and Arabic don't get you too far (from the perspective of a non-native) - they may all be Semitic but the vocabulary overlap of Amharic with Biblical Hebrew and Arabic are really low - I'd actually go as far to say that it would be like Spanish and Romanian, for example . At best, you'll just see some of the trilateral roots every now and then, but then again, Amharic seems to have a lot more bilateral and quadrilateral roots than both Arabic and Hebrew have, particularly in its verbs. The way Amharic is taught at my university, you learn the infinitive and past tense forms of a given verb (taking special note of where the geminates are and what and where the central vowel goes {the idea of this is somewhat like Arabic, but hardly so in practice}) - but you can't usually put a root into multiple forms like the fa3l, fa33l, af3al, etc. or pa'al, pi'el, hitpa'el, etc. that you know from Arabic or Hebrew, except when you are changing it to passive, causative or such... The syntax isn't alike at all - it's basically SOV.

African languages-wise, I'm working on Yoruba, personally. It's less to communicate with people than it is that it's the liturgical language of my religion. I've also taken an Amharic intensive at my uni and I'm planning to take Tigrinya for all of this school year - I'm very excited, both because it has a more conservative phonology than Amharic and because my professor claims to have found a way to teach the beginners and intermediate courses at the same time. :shock: We'll see how that looks! If there are any resources I come across that I can pass onto people who are reading this thread, I'll definitely do so! :) I agree that we do need more forums (but also more native speakers and resources) for African languages.
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-09-11, 10:15

I had a feeling that was the case for Amharic. It makes sense to me that Ethiopian languages would be a quite different. [I don't know why. :? ]

Damn you people! I'm going to end up doing an African language myself with all this temptation!(j/k)
Seriously though, I've found my self getting quite interested with Yoruba and other languages of the area (Igbo, Ewe, Twi, ect.). Then there's always Swahili, Zulu, Shona. And of course the topic of this thread, Amharic. Too many really. :P
Hopefully soon I'll dive into one or two of them. :)
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Chekhov » 2011-09-11, 14:37

I would guess the reasons that people here don't seem interested in African languages are simple:
- there aren't many materials for them (Swahili and maybe Amharic being partial exceptions)
- there isn't a lot of media in them available outside of Africa
- ditto for native speakers (again, Amharic may be an exception)
- Africa is seen as poor, backwards and remote, and for the people who do travel there European languages are seen as more useful (Swahili may be different, I'm not sure)
- most African languages aren't the national languages of their respective countries which may be one reason most Westerners have never heard of them

Is it hopeless? No; but currently European languages are more prestigious in Africa than native languages, and as long as they are, most people probably won't want to learn indigenous languages of the continent. They might be interested in the higher-profile ones (Zulu, Xhosa, Yoruba etc.) but most likely not anything else.
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-09-11, 14:48

Indeed. Especially since so many countries in Africa use languages like English, French, etc. as official language, and teach them in the schools.

European languages seem to be where it's at. And it's hard to compete with all the media that's out there in them, and of course the prestige you mentioned. (In fact, it's hardly a competition at all).

Though as far as materials, there are textbooks out there for quite a few African languages. Especially FSI courses. But most of those are one volume beginner courses. Still, it's good enough for me.

All in all though, I think personally I'll still fiddle (for lack of a better term) with one (or two) of them at the least.

Besides Chekhov, you're forgetting the most important thing! This is Unilang, we're all (suppose) to be language freaks here! :P :twisted:
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Chekhov » 2011-09-11, 15:51

Oh, we are, but mostly for dying Indo-European/Finnic languages. And Ainu. Can't forget Ainu.

Which African languages have you seen courses for?
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-09-11, 17:11

Let's see, one's with audio include:
Yoruba, Igbo, Twi, Mossi/Moore, Ewe, Lingala, Shona, Swahili (FSI/TY/Coll), Zulu (TY), Xhosa (TY).
Also Amharic, as posted above.

Most of them are here:
http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php
(Excluding Ewe, Zulu, Xhosa, and the audio for Igbo)

Ewe (book + audio) is here:
http://www.iu.edu/~celtie/ewe_archive.html

So, yeah, quite a few of them. There are more then that too. Both at the FSI site and at ERIC, but they don't have audio.

And, yes, we can't forget about Ainu! :P
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Struthiomimus » 2011-09-16, 2:59

Sisyphe wrote: I've also taken an Amharic intensive at my uni and I'm planning to take Tigrinya for all of this school year - I'm very excited, both because it has a more conservative phonology than Amharic and because my professor claims to have found a way to teach the beginners and intermediate courses at the same time. :shock: We'll see how that looks! If there are any resources I come across that I can pass onto people who are reading this thread, I'll definitely do so! :) I agree that we do need more forums (but also more native speakers and resources) for African languages.


You get to take Tigrinya? :wow: Color me jealous.
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-09-16, 10:21

Damn, didn't even see the part about Tigrinya.
Color me jealous too!
I've always wanted to learn Tigrinya ever since I started looked at Amharic!
Why can't there be a good textbook out there? :evil:
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby shprakh » 2011-09-16, 12:42

What are some of the difficult aspects of Amharic?

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Chekhov » 2011-09-16, 17:16

From what I can tell, the script is fairly complicated, the phonology is tricky and the vocabulary is mostly unfamiliar. Think of Arabic here.
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Sisyphe » 2011-09-16, 17:51

księżycowy wrote:I've always wanted to learn Tigrinya ever since I started looked at Amharic!
Why can't there be a good textbook out there? :evil:


I'll at least let you know what materials are on the syllabus of the UCLA course. Turns out that the Tigrinya course wasn't being taught at both beginners and intermediate levels. They wanted people to enroll in either beginning or intermediate and then they took the one that had the most people. Intermediate. :evil: I asked if I could take the intermediate level course since I've taken Amharic, and the professor basically said it's on me and my GPA...I think I'll stick around for a week or so and see how it goes, but Amharic and Tigrinya aren't close enough that I'd be able to do very well in the course, I think. :cry:

Shadad wrote:What are some of the difficult aspects of Amharic?


Hands down, the most difficult thing about Amharic for me is the verbs. There's just too many forms for me (quadrilateral, and prefixed forms (ta-, a-) are especially pesky) and then on top of that moods like jussive that are unfamiliar. Also, direct and indirect objects can be added to the verbs, and as Chekhov said, Amharic phonology kicks in and makes some reasonable, but hard to remember when speaking alternations on these object forms. Ge'ez isn't horrible to learn if you are willing to practice writing regularly - but when it comes to studying the language, you also have to take into account that some materials are handwritten and not easy to read. Also, geminates are not indicated in the script, but they are very important and there are several minimal pairs for geminate vs non-geminate in the language. By the way, Amharic has a fairly uncommon phonetic feature - voiced stop geminates. Just a random factoid.
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