There are around 75 languages and many more dialects spoken in Ethiopia. Amharic, a Semitic language, is one of the most widely spoken and has its own script. English is spoken by most educated Ethiopians and is less common outside Addis Ababa. There are a few key Amharic phrases which will help you on your trip and will be much appreciated by the locals.

  • Selam no: Used as a greeting, “Hello”
  • Ishi: Literally translated as “OK”, ishi is also informally used to mean “yes” and “thank you”
  • Amaseginalo: Thank you (more formal than ishi)
  • Buna (be wetet): Coffee (with milk). "Makiato" is also commonly available but has more milk than an Italian macchiato.
  • Shai: Tea – usually served with spices
  • Yale sukar/spice: Without sugar/spice
  • Wuha: Water
  • Muk/Koach/Kazkazay: Hot/room temperature/cold (e.g. muk wuha = hot water)
  • Yikirta: Excuse me
  • Ferenj: You’re likely to hear this a lot from local kids – it refers to white foreigners!

Traveler's Testimonial

"A wild and beautiful place - only a few days here but really enjoyed it. Stunning scenery and wildlife."

Simone Cole - BBC

"Our visit with you was far & away the high point of the trip."

Erin Chapman - D.A.T.A., USA (experiencing community tourism in Ethiopia on a trip with Brad Pitt)

Come and Enjoy!

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