1.  Classification / Classification

The term encompasses a cluster of languages belonging to the south Ethiopic group of Semitic. There are at least three distinct Gurage languages, possibly as many as twelve (Leslau 1980). Bender (personal communication, 1983) notes that some are "as different from one another as Tigrinya and Amharic." (Webbook?)

Haddiya, also known as Gurage, is classified as Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland. It has some lexical similarity with Sidamo. For our purposes it is not included here. (info from Ethnologue?)

2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique


3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

No dialect survey of the Gurage continuum exists at present (see Bender above). Gurage has traditionally been divided into Central West Gurage (Chaha et al.); East Gurage (Sil'ti et al.), North Gurage, and others (Misqan, Peripheral West Gurage). (Webbook)

See also Harari

5.  Usage / Utilisation

Gurage is a local language.

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

No standardized orthography exists for any of the Gurage languages. (Webbook)

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

A sample of a short religious text is on the "Language Museum" site at

7.  Use in ICT / Utilisation dans les TIC

7.1  Fonts / Polices

7.2  Keyboard layouts / Dispositions de clavier

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

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

7.5  Other / Autre

8.  Localisation resources / Ressources pour localisation

8.1  Individuals (experts) / Individuelles (experts)

8.2  Institutions / Institutions

8.3  On the internet / Sur la toile

9.  Comments / Remarques

This language heading may be so diffuse so as to merit deletion or reformulation into separate pages. It appears from the descriptions available that there are several separate tongues spoken by the people known as Gurage.

10.  References / Références

Dwyer, David (1997), Webbook of African Languages, (page on "Gurage," )

Wikipedia, "Gurage languages,"

______, "Sebat Bet Gurage language,"

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Categories: Languages, Ethiopia