The Amharic script is what is known in linguistics as an abugida, which means the written language combines consonants and vowels into one basic unit, with an emphasis on the consonant and the vowel being secondary.
Below are some common Amharic phrases, written in English, Romanized Amharic, and the traditional Amharic script. There is a lot of ongoing debate about the best way to Romanize Amharic, and no standard method has yet been adopted.
Selam. (ሰላም )
How are you? (informal, to a man)
Endemin-neh? (እንደምን ነህ)
How are you (informal, to a woman)
Endemin-nesh? ( እንደምን ነሽ)
Fine, thank you.
Dehna negn. ( )
My name is ______ .
Sime ______ yibalal. ( _____ .)
Pleased to meet you.
siletewaweqin dess bilognal . (ስለተዋወቅን ደስ ብሎኛል)
We think you might agree that written Amharic is an attractive script, and some of our interpreters tell us the letters can seem almost like a cross between the Hindi and Korean alphabets.