If you’ve followed Amharic Word of the Day
for the past few weeks, you’re probably wondering how we select vocabulary. We choose Amharic Word of the Day
words based on the Ethiopian Fidel characters used to pronounce them. The process is a little like A
is for apple
is for bus
. Let us explain. Fidel, the alphabet system used to read and speak Amharic, is made up of 33 root characters, each with its own unique sound.
From each root character, another six characters are derived. And each of these characters also have a unique pronunciation. Our word choices follow the order in which the root characters and their "children" characters are presented. For instance, the first Amharic Word of the Day, Hägar
is pronounced with the Fidel root character
comes another six characters, represented by the words Hullu
, pronounced hu
), and so on. By presenting vocabulary based on the 33 root characters and their derivatives, we hope that Amharic Word of the Day
will not only help you learn new Amharic words, but understand the alphabet system that makes it possible to read, write and speak them.
In future posts, we hope to start including the actual Amharic Fidel characters so that you can associate the characters with their pronunciations. We also hope to post other learning tools that will aid your Amharic learning. Finally, if you are looking for even more information, please have a look at Laqech-One, the first of three courses in Amharic Instruction by our resident Amharic expert, Zewditu Fesseha.