Tigrinya (Eritrean/Ethiopian) Phrases

Tigrinya is the main language of Eritrea and is also widely spoken in the Tigray area in Ethiopia. It belongs to the Ethiopic branch of the Semitic language family. Tigrinya, spoken by at least half the population of Eritrea, has its own script derived from the ancient language  Gee'ez, now only used in the Orthodox Church.


Hello: selam
Welcome: merhaba
Good morning: dehaando hadrika (m) / hadirkee (f)
Good afternoon: dehaando weelka (m) / weelkee (f)
Good evening: dehaando amsika (m) / amsikee (f)
Goodbye: dehaan kun
Yes: u-we
No: aykonen
Please: bejaka (m) bejakee (f)
Thank you: yekanyeley
Excuse me: yikrie-ta
I'm sorry: aytehazeley
How are you?: kemay aleka (m)/ alekee (f)
My name is.: shemey. iyu
I don't understand: ayeterede-anen

Getting Around

Where is the.?: abbey alo.?
Airport: aryaporto
Bus station: maerefi autobus
Bus stop: autobus tetew tiblelu
Boat: jelba
Car: mekina
Taxi: taksi
Train: babur

Around Town

I'm looking for.: ne . yenadi alekoo
A bank: bank
The hospital: hospital
My hotel: natey hotel
The market: idaga/shooq
A pharmacy: farmacha
A post office: beit busta


Breakfast: kursi
Lunch: mesah
Dinner: dirar
Water: mai
Beer: beera
Coffee: boon
Tea: shahee
Milk: tsaba
Sugar: shukar
Bread: bane
Rice: ruz


1: hadde
2: kelete
3: seleste
4: arba-ate
5: hamushte
6: shedushte
7: shewate
8: shemonte
9: tesh-ate
10: aserte

Translation in all languages.
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See the whole list here