ethiopians speak about seventy! different languages according to the ethnic group you are part of. the language of the amhara people is supposed to be the lingua franca, taught in all schools to unify all ethiopan inhabitants. in vain, I am afraid. outside the relative limited amhara region amharic is not or hardly understood. the influence of the kingdom of sheba [nowadays yemen] has been great on the ethiopian language. ge’ez, the basis of nowadays amharic, is closely related to former sheba, but is only studied, read, spoken and understood by the clergy during liturgical celebrations.
amharic letter system