The Ethiopian script (Ge'ez alphabet — ግዕዝ) is an abugida (consonant-syllabic script) originally developed to register the ancient Ethiopian language called Geez in the state of Aksum. The languages that use the Ethiopian script have it go by the name of Fidäl (ፊደል), which means 'writing' or 'alphabet'.

The Ethiopian script continues to be very convenient for writing other languages too. The most common is Amharic and Tigrinya from Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is also used for some of the 'Gurage' languages, as well as Meken and many other Ethiopian languages. Eritrea employs it for Tigre and traditionally for the Kush language called Bilin. But they were not the only ones to use the Ethiopian script. For example, it can also be found in some other Horn of Africa languages, like Oromo. However, in Oromo they switched to alphabets based on Latin.

In 1956 there lived a man who contributed a lot to the development of the Ethiopian alphabet. His name was Sheikh Bakri Sapalo, he was a scholar, poet, and religious teacher. He invented a sillabarium (writing system), which resembled the Ethiopian in structure. Its basic characters served as the basis for the Oromo language.


Range 1200–137F
Characters 384

List of Characters

Table of Characters