Amharic አማርኛ

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Chekhov » 2011-09-16, 18:02

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.
Yeah, sounds like Arabic but worse. I just took a look at Amharic verb conjugation and just about cried. Fascinating, but no thanks. Even the pronouns are complicated.
By the way, Amharic has a fairly uncommon phonetic feature - voiced stop geminates. Just a random factoid.
Really? Arabic and Biblical Hebrew have them. Outside that family, I think Italian does, and some Indic languages.
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Kenny » 2011-09-16, 18:11

Hungarian, too.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-09-16, 20:31

Chekhov wrote:From what I can tell, the script is fairly complicated

No joke about that, that's for damn sure!

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Cesare M. » 2011-10-28, 13:47

Yes the script is very complex, however for me, when I learned the script I didn't really find it that difficult, and one of the reasons was the diacritics are the same attachment for each vowel for each actual letter, but then again, to each his own. :)

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-10-28, 14:03

It is true that a lot of the letter vowel combinations are similar.
For example, /u/ tends to be a represented by a short stroke to the right of the charater, but that's not true of all characters. You have ሁ /hu/, ሉ /lu/, ሑ /Hu/, but then you have ሩ /ru/, and ዹ/Du/ where the /u/ is a short stroke off the bottom of the character. So, it's not uniform across all characters.

Of course that doesn't mean the syllabary is impossible to learn, nor do I personally find it very hard at all. It's just that it throws you for a loop every so often. Just when you think you can predict the C+V combinations you get those odd ones.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Cesare M. » 2011-10-28, 14:10

Yes of course

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Classical Ethiopic

Postby huhmzah » 2011-11-06, 17:05

Dear fellow Ethiopiophiles!

I've taken up studying Ge'ez little by little on my own to help with some of my grad. reaearch. As some of you might know, there are really very scant resources on this language (unlike Amharic.) I decided recently to start consolidating my notes and putting them onto a blog to share them with anyone else who might be interested in Classical Ethiopic. Some of my notes are based on Lamdin's Introduction to Classical Ethiopic (1978) -- the book relies completely on transliteration and does not use the Ethiopic script, which is an unfortunate limitation to this otherwise excellent resource.

The blog is geared towards people who are familiar with another Semitic language, but I've tried to present the grammar in a simplified, sequential and accessible manner with ample examples. I only have twelve blog entries so far, but I thought I'd share this with you all -- I hope it is helpful to other Ge'ez aficionados out there. I invite your comments, corrections and suggestions!

The blog: http://classicethiopic.blogspot.com/

Thanks!

P.S. For some reason, the Ethiopic script doesn't show up correctly on Macs -- there might be an easy fix, but I haven't figured it out.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-11-06, 17:48

Awesome! I love Ge'ez! Perhaps even more then Amharic. Hope to start learning it soon myself.
Just need to save up the $60 for the book you mentioned.

And thanks for sharing your notes, I'll be sure to look them over when I have the book.

And there are a few other resources online in pdf format:
Ethiopic Grammar
and
An Ethiopic Text (in Ge'ez and English)

There are a few other free texts in Ge'ez on GoogleBooks as well. :wink:

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby huhmzah » 2011-11-09, 13:41

Great! Thank you for sharing these resources!

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Cesare M. » 2011-11-09, 15:38

ኣማርኛ:

እኔ ማዋቅ እፋለለጋልላሁ, ምክንያት እኔ ኣማርኛ ተናገረ መቻልላሁ, እኔ ግዕዝ ማጤን መቻልላሁ? እኔ ግዕዝ የመማር አሰበላሁ. በጣም አመሰግናለሁኝ.

Sälam. Inə mawäq əfälləgallähu, mknyat inə amarenya tänagärä mäcalähu, inə ge'ez maten mäcalähu? Inə ge'ez yamamar asäbälähu. Bät'amə ʾämäsägənalähuñə.

English:

Hello. I want to know, because I can speak Amharic, would I be able to understand Ge'ez? I'm thinking of learning Ge'ez. Thanks very much.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-11-09, 22:53

Well, though I'm far from an expert, I'd guess you should understand some.

Ge'ez is the ancient language that some of the other Ethiopic languages developed from.
I'm not exactly sure where Amharic falls into the picture though.
I'd guess it's like the relationship between Latin and the modern Romance languages. Either way, give it a try and find out. :wink:

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Cesare M. » 2011-11-10, 15:28

księżycowy wrote:Well, though I'm far from an expert, I'd guess you should understand some.

Ge'ez is the ancient language that some of the other Ethiopic languages developed from.
I'm not exactly sure where Amharic falls into the picture though.
I'd guess it's like the relationship between Latin and the modern Romance languages. Either way, give it a try and find out. :wink:


Thanks.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2011-11-10, 17:25

After a bit of research into the subject I've found that Ge'ez is a North Ethiopic language and Amharic is a South Ethiopic language. So, they might be a bit more divergent then I initially thought. Still not sure either way though. :?

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Babelfish » 2012-06-15, 15:56

እናሰላም! ስሜ ኡሪያ ነው እና በእሥራኤል እኖራለሁ. ይህ አጻጻፌ በፊደል ነው:
(I hope the Amharic is correct...)
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Cesare M. » 2012-06-17, 2:32

Babelfish wrote:እናሰላም! ስሜ ኡሪያ ነው እና በእሥራኤል እኖራለሁ. ይህ አጻጻፌ በፊደል ነው:
(I hope the Amharic is correct...)


Yep it looks correct to me. I am not fluent in Amharic but I have studied it intensively before and can speak it pretty good depending on the situation and to me it looks correct, especially the grammar.

However I don't want to mislead you in any way so of course it is better to wait for a fluent or native speaker to really say if what you wrote is correct or not, but according to the knowledge I have in Amharic, what you wrote looks very correct to me.

There are hardly any native speakers of Amharic here on UniLang, and so hopefully one comes here and is active enough to critique your Amharic. ;)

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Meera » 2012-06-21, 4:53

This might have bee already asked but how hard is Amharic if your fluent in Arabic? Also in general is it considered to be eaiser or harder than Arabic?
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Cesare M. » 2012-06-21, 21:55

Meera wrote:This might have bee already asked but how hard is Amharic if your fluent in Arabic? Also in general is it considered to be eaiser or harder than Arabic?


Grammatically speaking from what I have learned, grammar is easier in Amharic than it is in Arabic, but I am not fluent in Amharic.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Meera » 2012-06-22, 4:36

How similair is Amharic prounciation to Arabic?
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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby księżycowy » 2012-06-22, 11:35

They both use basically the same sounds. However, Amharic has simplified a bit, so you don't find <Ɂ>, <ħ>, <ʕ>, etc.

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Re: Amharic አማርኛ

Postby Babelfish » 2012-06-22, 15:23

አመሰግናለሁ ቼዛሬ! የአማርኛ ተናጋሪ በርግጥ እንቸግራለን...


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