Basic Harari Language for Travellers

The Harari name for the Harari language is “gey sinan,” which literally means “language of the city.” Aside from the diaspora, Harari is a language associated with just one city — Harar — and many people in Harar also speak Amharic, Afaan Oromoo, Somali, English or one of Ethiopia’s many other languages.

Harari was first written with an adapted version of the Arabic script, and but is now commonly written with fidel (the same script as Amharic). However, writing Harari with Latin characters is also common, and for simplicity, that’s the version we will use here.

GREETINGS and FAREWELLS
Hello = Aman/Ahalan
How are you? (formal) = Amentekhu?
I’m fine (formal) = Amanintegn.
I’m fine (informal) = Aman.
Goodbye! = Allahule amana!
See you later. = Atahari natra.
INTRODUCTIONS
What is your name? = Sumkha-khesh manta?
My name is ______. = Sume ______ enta.
Where are you from? = Ay badbentakh-tash?
I am from ______. = ______ be inebrakh.
BEING POLITE
please = allakhaw-khashu
sorry = oofi
excuse me = ahadgir
thank you = gaza yagabzal yushen/alla magah
no problem = taab elam/ahadum
yes = ee // no = mei
ANIMALS
dog = buchi
cat = aduru
donkey = wachara
hyena = waraba
GIVING YOUR OPINION
like (verb) = mawded
good = or
bad = ari
beautiful = yaqumsi
FOOD
food = hangur
breakfast = qura’
lunch = laqen
dinner = hirat
eat = mabla
water = miy
coffee = bun
VISITING HARAR
culture = ada
mosque = masjid
church = kanisa
baazar/market = magala
wall = jugal
road = uga
door(s)/gate(s) = bari(yach)
FAMILY
relative = ahli
mother = ai/ay
father = aw
OTHER PEOPLE
close friend = dad ahli
classmate = ashiday
neighbour(s) = toya(ch)
HOMES AND HOTELS
home = gar
door = gambari
window = shubakh
inside = ustu
outside = abat
OUTSIDE THE CITY
countryside = bari qachi
village = bandar
river = zar
desert = udma
mountain = sari

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