Ethiopian Amharic Phrases | language | resources

Ethiopian Amharic Phrases

Amharic is the national language of Ethiopia. It belongs to the Afro-Asiatic language family which includes Arabic, Hebrew and Assyrian. Although other languages are spoken in Ethiopia Amharic is the most widely used and understood.


Most of the transliteration has been kept as close to English as possible. A few letters will differ:

e': as in the 'a' in ago
ai: like bait
ie: like pie
o': cross between the 'oa' in coat and 'au' in haul.
g: like the 'g' in Gweneth
kw: like 'q' in quick
ny: like the 'ni' in onion


Hello / Bye: teanaste'lle'n
Hello: tadiyass (informal)
How are you?: dehna neh? (m) / nesh (f) / nachu (pl)
I'm fine: dehna
See you: chow
Yes: awo
OK: e'shi
No (not true): ie
No (not there): yellem
Please: e'bake'h (m) / e'bake'sh (f) / e'bakachu (pl)
Thank you: amesege'nallo'
Excuse me: yike'rta
Sorry: aznallo'
My name is.: se''
I don't understand: algebanye'm


Where is the.?:'?
Airport: awroplan marefiyaw
Bus station: awtobe's tabiyaw
City centre: mehal ketemaw
Train station: bebur tabiyaw
What time does the.arrive/leave?: . mechea yidersal/yinesal?
Boat: jelba
Bus: awtobus
Car: mekina
Train: babur

Around Town

Where is a/the.?: . yeat no'?
How do I get to.?: wede..e'ndeat e'headallo'?
Bank: bank
Hotel: hoteal
Market: gebeya
Post office: posta beat


Breakfast: kurs
Lunch: me'sa
Dinner: e'rat
Bread: dabbo
Salad: selata
Soup: merek
Water: wuhu
Milk: wetet
Tea: shai
Coffee: buna
Sugar: se'kar


1: and
2: hulett
3: sost
4: arat
5: ame'st
6: se'de'st
7: sebat
8: se'me'nt
9: zeteny
10: asse'r