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PanAfriL10n - PanAfrLoc - Amharic

Amharic - Amharique - አማርኛ

1.  Classification / Classification

Amharic is an Ethio-Semitic language of South Semitic (Bender 1976) (Webbook?)

Ethnologue? lists the classification as: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Amharic-Argobba


2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

It is spoken in the central highlands of Ethiopia. (Webbook)


3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

Population: 17,372,913 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 14,743,556 monolinguals. (Ethnologue)

Ethnologue notes that there are "4,000,000 second-language speakers."

Amharic is the language of some 2.7 million emigrants (notably in Egypt, Israel and Sweden). (Wikipedia)


4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

No extensive dialect survey work on Amharic has come to our attention. (Webbook)


5.  Usage / Utilisation

Used in government, public media, national commerce, education to seventh grade in many areas, wide variety of literature (fiction, poetry, plays, magazines). (Ethnologue)

Literacy rate (according to Ethnologue, accessed 2007):

  • L1: 28.1%
  • L2: 28.1%

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

Amharic has a standard orthography. (Webbook) It uses the Ethiopic (or Ge'ez) abugida (a kind of syllabary). Ethiopic permits alternative spellings of many words.

"Amharic is written with a version of the Ge'ez script known as ፊደል (Fidel). There is no standard way to transliterating Amharic into the Latin alphabet. Amharic is named after the district of Amhara, which is thought to be the historic centre of the language." (Omniglot)

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

See also:

Ethiopic/Ge'ez abugida
 äuiaeəo
h
l
h
m
s
r
s
š
q
b
t
č
h
n
ñ
ʾ
k
h
w
ʾ
z
ž
y
d
ǧ
g
t'
č'
p'
s'
s'
f
p
Source: Wikipedia

7.  Use in ICT / Utilisation dans les TIC

7.1  Fonts / Polices

Unicode:

Legacy 8-bit: (there are a number of non-Unicode fonts)

7.2  Keyboard layouts / Dispositions de clavier

Tavultesoft Keyman keyboard layouts:

There is apparently an effort to develop a computer keyboard standard for Amharic in Ethiopia (need more info.)

Lexilogos has an online keyboard/character picker for "amharique አማርኛ" at http://www.lexilogos.com/clavier/geez.htm

7.3  Content on computers & internet / Contenu en informatique et sur l'Internet

Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Amharic: http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/amh.htm

Wikipedia in Amharic at https://am.wikipedia.org/ (over 13k articles, 11-2015)

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

TuxPaint has been localised in Amharic.

There is an effort to translate OpenOffice.

There is a project to translate Debian (Linux) Installer in Amharic: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/edgy/+source/debian-installer/+pots/debian-installer

There is a project to translate the GRASS GIS software. (2007)

By 2000, using non-Unicode encodings, there were "at least 35 Ethiopic software products available, each with its own character set, encoding system, typeface names, and keyboard layout." (BBC)

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue

  • ISO 639-1: am
  • ISO 639-2: amh
  • ISO 639-3: amh

7.6  Locales / Paramètres régionaux

7.7  Other / Autre

There is a project for cell-phone localisation.

There is a project for localising OpenOffice

The Computing Research Laboratory at New Mexico State University "has developed tools for acquiring Amharic text" http://crl.nmsu.edu/say/amharic/

Google has a version localized in Amharic: http://www.google.com/intl/am/


8.  Localisation resources / Ressources pour localisation

8.1  Individuals (experts) / Individuelles (experts)

  • Daniel Yacob
  • Dr. Dawit Bekele
  • Dr. Solomon Atnafu
  • Solomon Gizaw

8.2  Institutions / Institutions

8.3  On the internet / Sur la toile


9.  Comments / Remarques


10.  References / Références

Demessie, Laeke Mariam (2000), "Ancient alphabet enters cyber age," BBC News, 19 January 2000, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/609217.stm

Dwyer, David (1997), Webbook of African Languages, http://africa.isp.msu.edu/afrlang/hiermenu.html (page on "Amharic," http://africa.isp.msu.edu/afrlang/Amharic-root.html )

Omniglot, "Amharic (ኣማርኛ)," http://www.omniglot.com/writing/amharic.htm

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Amharic," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/amh

SIL International, "ISO 639 Code Tables," http://www-01.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp

U.S. Library of Congress, "ISO 639.2: Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages: Alpha-3 codes arranged alphabetically by the English name of language," http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/English_list.php

Wikipedia, "Amharic," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amharic_language

______, "አማርኛ," https://am.wikipedia.org/wiki/አማርኛ


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Categories: Languages, Ethiopia