Amharic Alphabet

Amharic Alphabet

Amharic uses a writing system called Ge’ez script, which is an ancient alphasyllabary used by several Semitic languages of Ethiopia. Ge’ez is a language of ancient Ethiopia and the precursor of Semitic languages in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is also used as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

South Arabian Amharic Script

Ge'ez script descended from the Ancient South Arabian script is written from left to right. The script is the only actively used native African writing system and one of the oldest in the world. Tigrinya, Adarigna, Guragigna are some of the other Ethiopian languages that use the script. Each of these languages have their own alphabets which are all created from the Ge’ez script.

The alphabets are closely similar and only differ with the addition or omission of a few Ge’ez letters. The version, which the Amharic language uses is called Fidel or most commonly, Amharic Alphabet. It includes extra letters such as ቸ (Ce), ሸ (She), ጨ (Che) which are not in Ge’ez script.

Learn the Amharic Alphabet

If you are looking to learn the Amharic language, understanding the Amharic alphabet can help you shorten the time it takes to master the language.

Continue reading to learn how to read, write and pronounce Amharic letters.

Amharic Letters

The Amharic alphabet contains seven vowels and 31 consonant letters. The vowels are ä, u, i, a, e, ï and o. Each of the 31 consonant letters come with seven variants. These variants are created by appending a vowel to each consonant, to make up the syllabary of around 500 Amharic letters.

In the Amharic alphabet, letters are organised in a grid system where consonants appear vertically and their vowel-added variants, horizontally. The grid below shows the Amharic alphabet with english intonation and pronunciations. It offers a simple and quick way of understanding Amharic and getting to comprehend it for the purpose of proper articulation of the language.

ha
hu
hi
haa
hee
he
ho
la
lu
li
laa
lee
le
lo
hha
hhu
hhi
hhaa
hhee
hhe
hho
ma
mu
mi
maa
mee
me
mo
sza
szu
szi
szaa
szee
sze
szo
ra
ru
ri
raa
ree
re
ro
sa
su
si
saa
see
se
so
sha
shu
shi
shaa
shee
she
sho
qa
qu
qi
qaa
qee
qe
qo
qha
qhu
qhi
qhaa
qhee
qhe
qho
ba
bu
bi
baa
bee
be
bo
va
vu
vi
vaa
vee
ve
vo
ta
tu
ti
taa
tee
te
to
ca
cu
ci
caa
cee
ce
co
xa
xu
xi
xaa
xee
xe
xo
na
nu
ni
naa
nee
ne
no
nya
nyu
nyi
nyaa
nyee
nye
nyo
a
au
ai
aa
aee
ae
ao
ka
ku
ki
kaa
kee
ke
ko
kxa
kxu
kxi
kxaa
kxee
kxe
kxo
wa
wu
wi
waa
wee
we
wo
a
u
i
aa
ee
e
o
za
zu
zi
zaa
zee
ze
zo
zha
zhu
zhi
zhaa
zhee
zhe
zho
ya
yu
yi
yaa
yee
ye
yo
da
du
di
daa
dee
de
do
dda
ddu
ddi
ddaa
ddee
dde
ddo
ja
ju
ji
jaa
jee
je
jo
ga
gu
gi
gaa
gee
ge
go
gga
ggu
ggi
ggaa
ggee
gge
ggo
tha
thu
thi
thaa
thee
the
tho
cha
chu
chi
chaa
chee
che
cho
pha
phu
phi
phaa
phee
phe
pho
tsa
tsu
tsi
tsaa
tsee
tse
tso
tza
tzu
tzi
tzaa
tzee
tze
tzo
fa
fu
fi
faa
fee
fe
fo
pa
pu
pi
paa
pee
pe
po

Amharic Numbers

In addition to consonants and their variants, the alphabet has its own numeral system. All Amharic numbers have two lines on top and bottom which differentiate them from Amharic letters.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
10000

Amharic Punctuation

The alphabet also contains unique punctuation marks which are vital in the use of the Amharic language. These include section mark, colon, word separator, semicolon, question mark, comma, paragraph separator and period.

,
.
,
;
:
?

Amharic Orthography

The Amharic alphabet has been transliterated to assign Roman letters to equivalent Amharic letters based on modern Amharic pronunciation. The Transliteration was done in a number of ways within the Latin alphabet such as Encyclopedia Aethiopica’s EAE Transliteration method and the 1967’s UN approved BGN (Board on Geographical Names)/PCGN (Permanent Committee on Geographical Names) transliteration system.

Download Alphabet PDFs

Click the link below to download Alphabet PDF charts to practice on and master the Amharic language in a short time.

Download Amharic Alphabet PDFs