Tuesday, November 21, 2017

For people of Ethiopian origin living outside of Ethiopia.  Teach your kids simple Amharic words every week.  It will all add up by the time they grow up and it will be easy for them to speak Amharic when they need it.
Here are a few words.
Will add more often.

አንበሳ    Anbessa  (lion)
ድመት    Dimet      (cat)
ውሻ        Wusha    (dog)
አህያ        Ayhiya   (donkey)
ቀጭኔ      Kechine  (giraffe)
ዝሆን       Zihon    (elephant)
ዶሮ         Doro      (chicken)
ሰጎን        Segon    (ostrich)
እባብ       Eibab     (snake)
ወፍ         Wof       (bird
ጦጣ          Tota      (monkey)

ላም          Lam       (cow)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ethiopain Movies and Their "Englizegna Birku"Makers

Ethiopians are making lots of movies these days in Ethiopia, targeted for Ethiopian audiences.  The dialogues are in Amharic, the actors are Ethiopians, and the stories are mostly Ethiopia-based.  So why is it necessary for the movie credits or descriptions of the movies be written in English, which most Ethiopians won't understand anyway?  It looks like these days, most movie makers think their Ethiopian movie will be more "hip" if its announcement posters or rolling descriptions on the movie itself were written in English, rather than in the Ethiopian language that the movie viewers in Ethiopia understand.   It even seems like the movie makers have word for word copied the styles of Hollywood in advertising their movies.   The catch phrases of "a Kebede Dinku film", "Director Alemu Bishaw", "Produced by" are used widely in English in movie announcements, as if equivalent words of Amharic are not available for it. It seems as if Ethiopian movie makers Englizegna berk yehonebachew" !. My humble suggestion to them is to stop over using English words unnecessarily as if to show off their English language knowledge, and use the Ethiopian language for their Ethiopian audiences.  What is the point of using English for audiences whose primary language is Amharic and the movie's dialogue is also in Amharic?  Subtitles in English are understandable, but throwing English words around in the middle of an Ethiopian movie, made in an Ethiopian language, directed at Ethiopian audiences seems very amateurish, at best.  Are Ethiopian movie makers trying to impress tourists in Ethiopia by throwing around English words on their movie posters?  If the role of the Ethiopian movies is to enrich Ethiopian culture and reach Ethiopian audiences, then the dialogue and all the writings should be in Ethiopian language.  Hollywood has more than adequately used English in its countless movies, thank you very much.   I have seen many Ethiopian movies who use unnecessary English words even when there are perfectly good Amharic equivalent words.  Even famous Ethiopians seem to easily mix English words when being interviewed by Ethiopian media people preparing programs for Ethiopians.  Why the need to use English when the Amharic equivalent words are available?
Examples of English words used (written using Ethiopian fonts, no less)
                   "Move producer" -- Film azegaj
                  "Directed by Abebe" -- Film Akenabari Abebe
                  "A film by Debebe" --  Film wana azegaj Debebe

Ethiopian movie makers  unintentionally seem to work hard to make English words a permanent substitute for Ethiopian words.  Please be proud of your own language and stop pandering to a non-existent English audience for your Ethiopian movies.  Ethiopia is not India and English is NOT a second language for Ethiopians. Stop imitating other people's culture and language when you can enrich and expand the Ethiopian language.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kidmia for the Kids

This is one of the many organizations in the U.S. that uses its members' time and money to help poor and helpless kids in Ethiopia. The Amharic word the organization is named after says it all : 'kidmia', priority for the children. Its members spend thousands of dollars and a lot of their time traveling to Ethiopia and helping needy children thousands of miles away. Human beings are capable of going the really 'extra' mile to help others, and this organization and its mission prove it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ethiopia Says Goodbye to Somalia

Ethiopian troops start withdrawing from Somalia.

I have a sinking feeling that it may not be too long before they are back. Things don't look too good in Somalia from all reports.


(Photo credit: middle-east-online.com)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Remembering past years and welcoming 2009

Ethiopians living abroad just welcomed the year 2009 in our own ways: some at church festivities, others at different parties, some with family and friends, wishing each other the best for the upcoming new year. Looking back, I remind myself of the incredible losses (losing my dad in 2005 and my mom a year later in 2006). The grief of losing beloved parents was not easy to bear. On a personal level, I also thank God for the many blessings that followed.
Family, friends, and faith that keep you strong whether in sadness or happiness and are true blessings to be thankful for throughout the year.

Looking at the big picture, the living conditions of many of our fellow Ethiopians in Ethiopia is very depressing. Year after year, the news is how the poor are getting poorer and the very very few rich are getting richer. As a travel agent, (besides my personal experiences when I visit Ethiopia), I talk to clients who travel back and forth to Ethiopia from the U.S. and almost a majority of them tell me stories of the out of control living costs in Ethiopia . Everything is expensive. Basic necessities cost more than what the majority can afford. Whether it is poor economic planning by the government or just the global recession affecting Ethiopia and Africa in general, the living conditions of the majority of Ethiopians seem to go from bad to worse every year.

My wishes for the coming new year and the years after it for Ethiopia are simple: May it be a country where people can find jobs that enables them to support their families. May it be a country where things are always improving. May it be a country that visitors talk about in a favorable way.