Using the Dictionary

Playing Audio Files

Entries have been transliterated from Amharic script to the Latin alphabet to allow English speakers to easily comprehend the pronunciation of Amharic words. Of Amharic’s 31 consonants, only 22 are phonetically identical to English consonants, and there is no precise correspondence between Amharic’s 7 vowels and English vowel sounds.  Because any English transliteration of Amharic is an imperfect approximation of the true sounds of the spoken language, audio files are included for each AEMD entry to enable accurate pronunciation.  Click on words or phrases in the dictionary to hear an audio recording of that entry. Clicking an entry while its audio is playing will pause playback, and clicking while an entry is paused will resume playback.

Pronouncing Special Characters

AEMD uses five special characters to represent certain Amharic sounds, such as ejective consonants:

Character Pronunciation Example
Ş/ş s as in ‘hiss’ anatşi
Ţ/ţ t as in ‘hot’ ţewat
Ķ/ķ ck as in ‘mock’ Ķidame
Ċ/ċ tch as in ‘ditch’ yecigarra ċhes
gn ny as in ‘canyon’ tenastalegn

Choosing the Correct Gender Conjugation

In the second person singular form, most Amharic verbs have two verb forms whose conjugation varies depending on the gender of the person being addressed. The AEMD lists these verb forms as “[male verb form]/[female verb form].”  When addressing a male, use the verb form(s) to the left of the slash. When addressing a female, use the verb form(s) to the right of the slash.

Example 1:
English Amharic
You: Good morning. You: Endemin aderk/adersh?

When addressing a male, read the entry as “Endemin aderk?” When addressing a female, read the entry as “Endemin adersh?”

Example 2:
English Amharic
You: Does your chest hurt when you take a deep breath? You: Bedenb wedewuşt sititenefis/sitienefishi deretihin/deretishin yamihal/yamishal?

When addressing a male, read the entry as “Bedenb wedewuşt sititenefis deretihin yamihal?” When addressing a female, read the entry as “Bedenb wedewuşt sitienefishi deretishin yamishal?”

Searching the Dictionary

The dictionary can be searched in its entirety.  To search, type a term of interest into the search bar located in the upper left of each page and press the return key.


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Development of the AEMD continues. Please contact with errata, comments, and suggestions.