Amharic is the mother tongue of the inhabitants of the Amhara region, only about 30 million people out of a total population of about 118 million. However, Amharic was the official language of the country for a long time under the DERG government, until 1991. With the new constitution of 1994, Amharic lost its status as the official working language of the federal government. Amharic is therefore spoken by almost all Ethiopians, either as a mother tongue or as a second language.
Amharic is, like Arabic, a Semitic language. This is why Amharic is very difficult to understand in writing for a Westerner using a language of Latin origin. Its writing and reading will require considerable efforts to be acquired! So there is still the oral to try to become a speaker of this beautiful language!
For the visitor to a country, making the effort to learn a few words of the language of your hosts has many advantages. First of all, it is an excellent way to develop good relationships with the locals, who will appreciate your desire to get to know them better through their language. It is also a way to immerse yourself in the travel experience, to enrich it culturally. Finally, it is also a very good intellectual gymnastics, working both memory and attention. We could also underline the comical situations that necessarily arise from our efforts to memorize or pronounce a difficult word. Nothing like it for breaking the ice and making solid friendships!
With Branu to learn Amharic
Branu has been part of the Foundation's team in Ethiopia since the early days of our first trip in 2015. He has been working for many years welcoming tourists to Ethiopia. He has a solid foundation in English and even speaks a few words of French! His ease and charisma make him a valuable and appreciated member of our team. He is also the ideal man to teach you the first rudiments of Amharic, his native language.