The Ethiopic syllabary originally evolved for writing the Semitic language Ge'ez, and indeed the English noun "Ethiopic" simply means "the Ge'ez language". Ge'ez itself is now limited to liturgical usage (e.g. in Israel among Tigrigna speakers), but its script has been adopted for modern use in writing several languages of central east Africa, including Amharic, Tigre, Tigrigna and Oromo.

Many people incorrectly use the term Ge'ez when speaking of modern Ethiopic.

The Unicode encoding of the Ethiopic script follows the traditional two-dimensional structure; specifically, the 344 codes from U+1200 to U+1357 are interpreted as a matrix of 43 consonants crossed with 8 vowels, making 344 conceptual syllables. Most of these combinations are represented by characters in the script, but some happen to be unused, accounting for the blank cells in the matrix.

The eight vowels are A, U, I, AA, EE, E, O and WA.

The 43 consonants are
H, L, HH, M, SZ, R, S, SH, Q, QW,
QH, QHW, B, V, T, C, X, XW, N, NY,
glottal, K, KW, KX, KXW, W, pharyngeal, Z, ZH, Y,
D, DD, J, G, GW, GG, TH, CH, PH, TS,
TZ, F, P

Note that multi-character consonant and vowel names do not necessarily have any relation to the actual phonetics in any particular language.

Some of these unused code points stem from the fact that sometimes W is part of a vowel, as in WAA, and sometimes W is part of a consonant, as in QW. Thus the Ethiopic syllable QWAA could be placed both at U+1247 as (Q + WAA) and at U+124B as (QW + AA). When the two syllables are equivalent, the WAA form is left uncoded, leaving holes at U+1247 for QWAA, U+1257 for QHWAA, U+1287 for XWAA, U+12AF for KWAA, U+12BF for KXWAA and at U+130F for GWAA.

Similarly, in the presence of a W, the vowel U is sometimes equivalent to the vowel E. In these cases the U form is left uncoded, leaving gaps at U+1249 for QWU, U+1259 for QHWU, U+1289 for XWU, U+12B1 for KWU, U+12C1 for KXWU and U+1311 for GWE.

The traditional word separator is U+1361    Ethiopic wordspace, although in modern usage, the plain space U+0020 is becoming common. Ethiopic generally does not use any diacritical marks.

The Ethiopic number system does not use zero, nor is it based on positional notation. A number is denoted as a sequence of powers of 100, each preceded by a coefficient 2 through 99. In each term of the series, the power 100^n is indicated by n Ethiopic number hundred characters, merged to a digraph when n=2. The coefficient is indicated by a tens digit and a ones digit, either of which is absent if its value is zero.

For example, 2345
== (20 + 3)*100^1 + (40 * 5)*100^0
== 20 3 100 40 5
== U+1373 U+136B U+137B U+1375 U+13D6

Some languages using the Ethiopic script may have a word for thousand, such as Amharic SHI (U+123A) in which case 2345 might be written as it is spoken, i.e.
== 2 thousand 3 100 40 5
== U+136A U+123A U+136B U+137B U+1375 U+13D6

Unicode's Ethiopic code block reserves the 384 code points from U+1200 to U+137F, of which 356 are currently assigned.

Hangul Jamo <-- Ethiopic --> Ethiopic Supplement

Number of characters added in each version of the Unicode standard :
Unicode 3.0 : 345
Unicode 4.1 : 11

Number of characters in each General Category :

Letter, Other       Lo :326
Mark, Non-Spacing   Mn :  1
Number, Other       No : 20
Punctuation, Other  Po :  8
Symbol, Other       So :  1

Number of characters in each Bidirectional Category :

Left To Right       L :355
Non Spacing Mark  NSM :  1

The columns below should be interpreted as :

  1. The Unicode code for the character
  2. The character in question
  3. The Unicode name for the character
  4. The Unicode General Category for the character
  5. The Unicode Bidirectional Category for the character
  6. The Unicode version when this character was added

If the characters below show up poorly, or not at all, see Unicode Support for possible solutions.




U+1200   ሀ   Ethiopic syllable ha Lo L 3.0
U+1201   ሁ   Ethiopic syllable hu Lo L 3.0
U+1202   ሂ   Ethiopic syllable hi Lo L 3.0
U+1203   ሃ   Ethiopic syllable haa Lo L 3.0
U+1204   ሄ   Ethiopic syllable hee Lo L 3.0
U+1205   ህ   Ethiopic syllable he Lo L 3.0
U+1206   ሆ   Ethiopic syllable ho Lo L 3.0
U+1207   ሇ   Ethiopic syllable hoa Lo L 4.1
U+1208   ለ   Ethiopic syllable la Lo L 3.0
U+1209   ሉ   Ethiopic syllable lu Lo L 3.0
U+120A   ሊ   Ethiopic syllable li Lo L 3.0
U+120B   ላ   Ethiopic syllable laa Lo L 3.0
U+120C   ሌ   Ethiopic syllable lee Lo L 3.0
U+120D   ል   Ethiopic syllable le Lo L 3.0
U+120E   ሎ   Ethiopic syllable lo Lo L 3.0
U+120F   ሏ   Ethiopic syllable lwa Lo L 3.0
U+1210   ሐ   Ethiopic syllable hha Lo L 3.0
U+1211   ሑ   Ethiopic syllable hhu Lo L 3.0
U+1212   ሒ   Ethiopic syllable hhi Lo L 3.0
U+1213   ሓ   Ethiopic syllable hhaa Lo L 3.0
U+1214   ሔ   Ethiopic syllable hhee Lo L 3.0
U+1215   ሕ   Ethiopic syllable hhe Lo L 3.0
U+1216   ሖ   Ethiopic syllable hho Lo L 3.0
U+1217   ሗ   Ethiopic syllable hhwa Lo L 3.0
U+1218   መ   Ethiopic syllable ma Lo L 3.0
U+1219   ሙ   Ethiopic syllable mu Lo L 3.0
U+121A   ሚ   Ethiopic syllable mi Lo L 3.0
U+121B   ማ   Ethiopic syllable maa Lo L 3.0
U+121C   ሜ   Ethiopic syllable mee Lo L 3.0
U+121D   ም   Ethiopic syllable me Lo L 3.0
U+121E   ሞ   Ethiopic syllable mo Lo L 3.0
U+121F   ሟ   Ethiopic syllable mwa Lo L 3.0
U+1220   ሠ   Ethiopic syllable sza Lo L 3.0
U+1221   ሡ   Ethiopic syllable szu Lo L 3.0
U+1222   ሢ   Ethiopic syllable szi Lo L 3.0
U+1223   ሣ   Ethiopic syllable szaa Lo L 3.0
U+1224   ሤ   Ethiopic syllable szee Lo L 3.0
U+1225   ሥ   Ethiopic syllable sze Lo L 3.0
U+1226   ሦ   Ethiopic syllable szo Lo L 3.0
U+1227   ሧ   Ethiopic syllable szwa Lo L 3.0
U+1228   ረ   Ethiopic syllable ra Lo L 3.0
U+1229   ሩ   Ethiopic syllable ru Lo L 3.0
U+122A   ሪ   Ethiopic syllable ri Lo L 3.0
U+122B   ራ   Ethiopic syllable raa Lo L 3.0
U+122C   ሬ   Ethiopic syllable ree Lo L 3.0
U+122D   ር   Ethiopic syllable re Lo L 3.0
U+122E   ሮ   Ethiopic syllable ro Lo L 3.0
U+122F   ሯ   Ethiopic syllable rwa Lo L 3.0
U+1230   ሰ   Ethiopic syllable sa Lo L 3.0
U+1231   ሱ   Ethiopic syllable su Lo L 3.0
U+1232   ሲ   Ethiopic syllable si Lo L 3.0
U+1233   ሳ   Ethiopic syllable saa Lo L 3.0
U+1234   ሴ   Ethiopic syllable see Lo L 3.0
U+1235   ስ   Ethiopic syllable se Lo L 3.0
U+1236   ሶ   Ethiopic syllable so Lo L 3.0
U+1237   ሷ   Ethiopic syllable swa Lo L 3.0
U+1238   ሸ   Ethiopic syllable sha Lo L 3.0
U+1239   ሹ   Ethiopic syllable shu Lo L 3.0
U+123A   ሺ   Ethiopic syllable shi Lo L 3.0
U+123B   ሻ   Ethiopic syllable shaa Lo L 3.0
U+123C   ሼ   Ethiopic syllable shee Lo L 3.0
U+123D   ሽ   Ethiopic syllable she Lo L 3.0
U+123E   ሾ   Ethiopic syllable sho Lo L 3.0
U+123F   ሿ   Ethiopic syllable shwa Lo L 3.0
U+1240   ቀ   Ethiopic syllable qa Lo L 3.0
U+1241   ቁ   Ethiopic syllable qu Lo L 3.0
U+1242   ቂ   Ethiopic syllable qi Lo L 3.0
U+1243   ቃ   Ethiopic syllable qaa Lo L 3.0
U+1244   ቄ   Ethiopic syllable qee Lo L 3.0
U+1245   ቅ   Ethiopic syllable qe Lo L 3.0
U+1246   ቆ   Ethiopic syllable qo Lo L 3.0
U+1247   ቇ   Ethiopic syllable qoa Lo L 4.1
U+1248   ቈ   Ethiopic syllable qwa Lo L 3.0
U+124A   ቊ   Ethiopic syllable qwi Lo L 3.0
U+124B   ቋ   Ethiopic syllable qwaa Lo L 3.0
U+124C   ቌ   Ethiopic syllable qwee Lo L 3.0
U+124D   ቍ   Ethiopic syllable qwe Lo L 3.0
U+1250   ቐ   Ethiopic syllable qha Lo L 3.0
U+1251   ቑ   Ethiopic syllable qhu Lo L 3.0
U+1252   ቒ   Ethiopic syllable qhi Lo L 3.0
U+1253   ቓ   Ethiopic syllable qhaa Lo L 3.0
U+1254   ቔ   Ethiopic syllable qhee Lo L 3.0
U+1255   ቕ   Ethiopic syllable qhe Lo L 3.0
U+1256   ቖ   Ethiopic syllable qho Lo L 3.0
U+1258   ቘ   Ethiopic syllable qhwa Lo L 3.0
U+125A   ቚ   Ethiopic syllable qhwi Lo L 3.0
U+125B   ቛ   Ethiopic syllable qhwaa Lo L 3.0
U+125C   ቜ   Ethiopic syllable qhwee Lo L 3.0
U+125D   ቝ   Ethiopic syllable qhwe Lo L 3.0
U+1260   በ   Ethiopic syllable ba Lo L 3.0
U+1261   ቡ   Ethiopic syllable bu Lo L 3.0
U+1262   ቢ   Ethiopic syllable bi Lo L 3.0
U+1263   ባ   Ethiopic syllable baa Lo L 3.0
U+1264   ቤ   Ethiopic syllable bee Lo L 3.0
U+1265   ብ   Ethiopic syllable be Lo L 3.0
U+1266   ቦ   Ethiopic syllable bo Lo L 3.0
U+1267   ቧ   Ethiopic syllable bwa Lo L 3.0
U+1268   ቨ   Ethiopic syllable va Lo L 3.0
U+1269   ቩ   Ethiopic syllable vu Lo L 3.0
U+126A   ቪ   Ethiopic syllable vi Lo L 3.0
U+126B   ቫ   Ethiopic syllable vaa Lo L 3.0
U+126C   ቬ   Ethiopic syllable vee Lo L 3.0
U+126D   ቭ   Ethiopic syllable ve Lo L 3.0
U+126E   ቮ   Ethiopic syllable vo Lo L 3.0
U+126F   ቯ   Ethiopic syllable vwa Lo L 3.0
U+1270   ተ   Ethiopic syllable ta Lo L 3.0
U+1271   ቱ   Ethiopic syllable tu Lo L 3.0
U+1272   ቲ   Ethiopic syllable ti Lo L 3.0
U+1273   ታ   Ethiopic syllable taa Lo L 3.0
U+1274   ቴ   Ethiopic syllable tee Lo L 3.0
U+1275   ት   Ethiopic syllable te Lo L 3.0
U+1276   ቶ   Ethiopic syllable to Lo L 3.0
U+1277   ቷ   Ethiopic syllable twa Lo L 3.0
U+1278   ቸ   Ethiopic syllable ca Lo L 3.0
U+1279   ቹ   Ethiopic syllable cu Lo L 3.0
U+127A   ቺ   Ethiopic syllable ci Lo L 3.0
U+127B   ቻ   Ethiopic syllable caa Lo L 3.0
U+127C   ቼ   Ethiopic syllable cee Lo L 3.0
U+127D   ች   Ethiopic syllable ce Lo L 3.0
U+127E   ቾ   Ethiopic syllable co Lo L 3.0
U+127F   ቿ   Ethiopic syllable cwa Lo L 3.0
U+1280   ኀ   Ethiopic syllable xa Lo L 3.0
U+1281   ኁ   Ethiopic syllable xu Lo L 3.0
U+1282   ኂ   Ethiopic syllable xi Lo L 3.0
U+1283   ኃ   Ethiopic syllable xaa Lo L 3.0
U+1284   ኄ   Ethiopic syllable xee Lo L 3.0
U+1285   ኅ   Ethiopic syllable xe Lo L 3.0
U+1286   ኆ   Ethiopic syllable xo Lo L 3.0
U+1287   ኇ   Ethiopic syllable xoa Lo L 4.1
U+1288   ኈ   Ethiopic syllable xwa Lo L 3.0
U+128A   ኊ   Ethiopic syllable xwi Lo L 3.0
U+128B   ኋ   Ethiopic syllable xwaa Lo L 3.0
U+128C   ኌ   Ethiopic syllable xwee Lo L 3.0
U+128D   ኍ   Ethiopic syllable xwe Lo L 3.0
U+1290   ነ   Ethiopic syllable na Lo L 3.0
U+1291   ኑ   Ethiopic syllable nu Lo L 3.0
U+1292   ኒ   Ethiopic syllable ni Lo L 3.0
U+1293   ና   Ethiopic syllable naa Lo L 3.0
U+1294   ኔ   Ethiopic syllable nee Lo L 3.0
U+1295   ን   Ethiopic syllable ne Lo L 3.0
U+1296   ኖ   Ethiopic syllable no Lo L 3.0
U+1297   ኗ   Ethiopic syllable nwa Lo L 3.0
U+1298   ኘ   Ethiopic syllable nya Lo L 3.0
U+1299   ኙ   Ethiopic syllable nyu Lo L 3.0
U+129A   ኚ   Ethiopic syllable nyi Lo L 3.0
U+129B   ኛ   Ethiopic syllable nyaa Lo L 3.0
U+129C   ኜ   Ethiopic syllable nyee Lo L 3.0
U+129D   ኝ   Ethiopic syllable nye Lo L 3.0
U+129E   ኞ   Ethiopic syllable nyo Lo L 3.0
U+129F   ኟ   Ethiopic syllable nywa Lo L 3.0
U+12A0   አ   Ethiopic syllable glottal a Lo L 3.0
U+12A1   ኡ   Ethiopic syllable glottal u Lo L 3.0
U+12A2   ኢ   Ethiopic syllable glottal i Lo L 3.0
U+12A3   ኣ   Ethiopic syllable glottal aa Lo L 3.0
U+12A4   ኤ   Ethiopic syllable glottal ee Lo L 3.0
U+12A5   እ   Ethiopic syllable glottal e Lo L 3.0
U+12A6   ኦ   Ethiopic syllable glottal o Lo L 3.0
U+12A7   ኧ   Ethiopic syllable glottal wa Lo L 3.0
U+12A8   ከ   Ethiopic syllable ka Lo L 3.0
U+12A9   ኩ   Ethiopic syllable ku Lo L 3.0
U+12AA   ኪ   Ethiopic syllable ki Lo L 3.0
U+12AB   ካ   Ethiopic syllable kaa Lo L 3.0
U+12AC   ኬ   Ethiopic syllable kee Lo L 3.0
U+12AD   ክ   Ethiopic syllable ke Lo L 3.0
U+12AE   ኮ   Ethiopic syllable ko Lo L 3.0
U+12AF   ኯ   Ethiopic syllable koa Lo L 4.1
U+12B0   ኰ   Ethiopic syllable kwa Lo L 3.0
U+12B2   ኲ   Ethiopic syllable kwi Lo L 3.0
U+12B3   ኳ   Ethiopic syllable kwaa Lo L 3.0
U+12B4   ኴ   Ethiopic syllable kwee Lo L 3.0
U+12B5   ኵ   Ethiopic syllable kwe Lo L 3.0
U+12B8   ኸ   Ethiopic syllable kxa Lo L 3.0
U+12B9   ኹ   Ethiopic syllable kxu Lo L 3.0
U+12BA   ኺ   Ethiopic syllable kxi Lo L 3.0
U+12BB   ኻ   Ethiopic syllable kxaa Lo L 3.0
U+12BC   ኼ   Ethiopic syllable kxee Lo L 3.0
U+12BD   ኽ   Ethiopic syllable kxe Lo L 3.0
U+12BE   ኾ   Ethiopic syllable kxo Lo L 3.0
U+12C0   ዀ   Ethiopic syllable kxwa Lo L 3.0
U+12C2   ዂ   Ethiopic syllable kxwi Lo L 3.0
U+12C3   ዃ   Ethiopic syllable kxwaa Lo L 3.0
U+12C4   ዄ   Ethiopic syllable kxwee Lo L 3.0
U+12C5   ዅ   Ethiopic syllable kxwe Lo L 3.0
U+12C8   ወ   Ethiopic syllable wa Lo L 3.0
U+12C9   ዉ   Ethiopic syllable wu Lo L 3.0
U+12CA   ዊ   Ethiopic syllable wi Lo L 3.0
U+12CB   ዋ   Ethiopic syllable waa Lo L 3.0
U+12CC   ዌ   Ethiopic syllable wee Lo L 3.0
U+12CD   ው   Ethiopic syllable we Lo L 3.0
U+12CE   ዎ   Ethiopic syllable wo Lo L 3.0
U+12CF   ዏ   Ethiopic syllable woa Lo L 4.1
U+12D0   ዐ   Ethiopic syllable pharyngeal a Lo L 3.0
U+12D1   ዑ   Ethiopic syllable pharyngeal u Lo L 3.0
U+12D2   ዒ   Ethiopic syllable pharyngeal i Lo L 3.0
U+12D3   ዓ   Ethiopic syllable pharyngeal aa Lo L 3.0
U+12D4   ዔ   Ethiopic syllable pharyngeal ee Lo L 3.0
U+12D5   ዕ   Ethiopic syllable pharyngeal e Lo L 3.0
U+12D6   ዖ   Ethiopic syllable pharyngeal o Lo L 3.0
U+12D8   ዘ   Ethiopic syllable za Lo L 3.0
U+12D9   ዙ   Ethiopic syllable zu Lo L 3.0
U+12DA   ዚ   Ethiopic syllable zi Lo L 3.0
U+12DB   ዛ   Ethiopic syllable zaa Lo L 3.0
U+12DC   ዜ   Ethiopic syllable zee Lo L 3.0
U+12DD   ዝ   Ethiopic syllable ze Lo L 3.0
U+12DE   ዞ   Ethiopic syllable zo Lo L 3.0
U+12DF   ዟ   Ethiopic syllable zwa Lo L 3.0
U+12E0   ዠ   Ethiopic syllable zha Lo L 3.0
U+12E1   ዡ   Ethiopic syllable zhu Lo L 3.0
U+12E2   ዢ   Ethiopic syllable zhi Lo L 3.0
U+12E3   ዣ   Ethiopic syllable zhaa Lo L 3.0
U+12E4   ዤ   Ethiopic syllable zhee Lo L 3.0
U+12E5   ዥ   Ethiopic syllable zhe Lo L 3.0
U+12E6   ዦ   Ethiopic syllable zho Lo L 3.0
U+12E7   ዧ   Ethiopic syllable zhwa Lo L 3.0
U+12E8   የ   Ethiopic syllable ya Lo L 3.0
U+12E9   ዩ   Ethiopic syllable yu Lo L 3.0
U+12EA   ዪ   Ethiopic syllable Yi Lo L 3.0
U+12EB   ያ   Ethiopic syllable yaa Lo L 3.0
U+12EC   ዬ   Ethiopic syllable yee Lo L 3.0
U+12ED   ይ   Ethiopic syllable ye Lo L 3.0
U+12EE   ዮ   Ethiopic syllable yo Lo L 3.0
U+12EF   ዯ   Ethiopic syllable yoa Lo L 4.1
U+12F0   ደ   Ethiopic syllable da Lo L 3.0
U+12F1   ዱ   Ethiopic syllable du Lo L 3.0
U+12F2   ዲ   Ethiopic syllable di Lo L 3.0
U+12F3   ዳ   Ethiopic syllable daa Lo L 3.0
U+12F4   ዴ   Ethiopic syllable dee Lo L 3.0
U+12F5   ድ   Ethiopic syllable de Lo L 3.0
U+12F6   ዶ   Ethiopic syllable do Lo L 3.0
U+12F7   ዷ   Ethiopic syllable dwa Lo L 3.0
U+12F8   ዸ   Ethiopic syllable dda Lo L 3.0
U+12F9   ዹ   Ethiopic syllable ddu Lo L 3.0
U+12FA   ዺ   Ethiopic syllable ddi Lo L 3.0
U+12FB   ዻ   Ethiopic syllable ddaa Lo L 3.0
U+12FC   ዼ   Ethiopic syllable ddee Lo L 3.0
U+12FD   ዽ   Ethiopic syllable dde Lo L 3.0
U+12FE   ዾ   Ethiopic syllable ddo Lo L 3.0
U+12FF   ዿ   Ethiopic syllable ddwa Lo L 3.0
U+1300   ጀ   Ethiopic syllable ja Lo L 3.0
U+1301   ጁ   Ethiopic syllable ju Lo L 3.0
U+1302   ጂ   Ethiopic syllable ji Lo L 3.0
U+1303   ጃ   Ethiopic syllable jaa Lo L 3.0
U+1304   ጄ   Ethiopic syllable jee Lo L 3.0
U+1305   ጅ   Ethiopic syllable je Lo L 3.0
U+1306   ጆ   Ethiopic syllable jo Lo L 3.0
U+1307   ጇ   Ethiopic syllable jwa Lo L 3.0
U+1308   ገ   Ethiopic syllable ga Lo L 3.0
U+1309   ጉ   Ethiopic syllable gu Lo L 3.0
U+130A   ጊ   Ethiopic syllable gi Lo L 3.0
U+130B   ጋ   Ethiopic syllable gaa Lo L 3.0
U+130C   ጌ   Ethiopic syllable gee Lo L 3.0
U+130D   ግ   Ethiopic syllable ge Lo L 3.0
U+130E   ጎ   Ethiopic syllable go Lo L 3.0
U+130F   ጏ   Ethiopic syllable goa Lo L 4.1
U+1310   ጐ   Ethiopic syllable gwa Lo L 3.0
U+1312   ጒ   Ethiopic syllable gwi Lo L 3.0
U+1313   ጓ   Ethiopic syllable gwaa Lo L 3.0
U+1314   ጔ   Ethiopic syllable gwee Lo L 3.0
U+1315   ጕ   Ethiopic syllable gwe Lo L 3.0
U+1318   ጘ   Ethiopic syllable gga Lo L 3.0
U+1319   ጙ   Ethiopic syllable ggu Lo L 3.0
U+131A   ጚ   Ethiopic syllable ggi Lo L 3.0
U+131B   ጛ   Ethiopic syllable ggaa Lo L 3.0
U+131C   ጜ   Ethiopic syllable ggee Lo L 3.0
U+131D   ጝ   Ethiopic syllable gge Lo L 3.0
U+131E   ጞ   Ethiopic syllable ggo Lo L 3.0
U+131F   ጟ   Ethiopic syllable ggwaa Lo L 4.1
U+1320   ጠ   Ethiopic syllable tha Lo L 3.0
U+1321   ጡ   Ethiopic syllable thu Lo L 3.0
U+1322   ጢ   Ethiopic syllable thi Lo L 3.0
U+1323   ጣ   Ethiopic syllable thaa Lo L 3.0
U+1324   ጤ   Ethiopic syllable thee Lo L 3.0
U+1325   ጥ   Ethiopic syllable the Lo L 3.0
U+1326   ጦ   Ethiopic syllable tho Lo L 3.0
U+1327   ጧ   Ethiopic syllable thwa Lo L 3.0
U+1328   ጨ   Ethiopic syllable cha Lo L 3.0
U+1329   ጩ   Ethiopic syllable chu Lo L 3.0
U+132A   ጪ   Ethiopic syllable chi Lo L 3.0
U+132B   ጫ   Ethiopic syllable chaa Lo L 3.0
U+132C   ጬ   Ethiopic syllable chee Lo L 3.0
U+132D   ጭ   Ethiopic syllable che Lo L 3.0
U+132E   ጮ   Ethiopic syllable cho Lo L 3.0
U+132F   ጯ   Ethiopic syllable chwa Lo L 3.0
U+1330   ጰ   Ethiopic syllable pha Lo L 3.0
U+1331   ጱ   Ethiopic syllable phu Lo L 3.0
U+1332   ጲ   Ethiopic syllable phi Lo L 3.0
U+1333   ጳ   Ethiopic syllable phaa Lo L 3.0
U+1334   ጴ   Ethiopic syllable phee Lo L 3.0
U+1335   ጵ   Ethiopic syllable phe Lo L 3.0
U+1336   ጶ   Ethiopic syllable pho Lo L 3.0
U+1337   ጷ   Ethiopic syllable phwa Lo L 3.0
U+1338   ጸ   Ethiopic syllable tsa Lo L 3.0
U+1339   ጹ   Ethiopic syllable tsu Lo L 3.0
U+133A   ጺ   Ethiopic syllable tsi Lo L 3.0
U+133B   ጻ   Ethiopic syllable tsaa Lo L 3.0
U+133C   ጼ   Ethiopic syllable tsee Lo L 3.0
U+133D   ጽ   Ethiopic syllable tse Lo L 3.0
U+133E   ጾ   Ethiopic syllable tso Lo L 3.0
U+133F   ጿ   Ethiopic syllable tswa Lo L 3.0
U+1340   ፀ   Ethiopic syllable tza Lo L 3.0
U+1341   ፁ   Ethiopic syllable tzu Lo L 3.0
U+1342   ፂ   Ethiopic syllable tzi Lo L 3.0
U+1343   ፃ   Ethiopic syllable tzaa Lo L 3.0
U+1344   ፄ   Ethiopic syllable tzee Lo L 3.0
U+1345   ፅ   Ethiopic syllable tze Lo L 3.0
U+1346   ፆ   Ethiopic syllable tzo Lo L 3.0
U+1347   ፇ   Ethiopic syllable tzoa Lo L 4.1
U+1348   ፈ   Ethiopic syllable fa Lo L 3.0
U+1349   ፉ   Ethiopic syllable fu Lo L 3.0
U+134A   ፊ   Ethiopic syllable fi Lo L 3.0
U+134B   ፋ   Ethiopic syllable faa Lo L 3.0
U+134C   ፌ   Ethiopic syllable fee Lo L 3.0
U+134D   ፍ   Ethiopic syllable fe Lo L 3.0
U+134E   ፎ   Ethiopic syllable fo Lo L 3.0
U+134F   ፏ   Ethiopic syllable fwa Lo L 3.0
U+1350   ፐ   Ethiopic syllable pa Lo L 3.0
U+1351   ፑ   Ethiopic syllable pu Lo L 3.0
U+1352   ፒ   Ethiopic syllable pi Lo L 3.0
U+1353   ፓ   Ethiopic syllable paa Lo L 3.0
U+1354   ፔ   Ethiopic syllable pee Lo L 3.0
U+1355   ፕ   Ethiopic syllable pe Lo L 3.0
U+1356   ፖ   Ethiopic syllable po Lo L 3.0
U+1357   ፗ   Ethiopic syllable pwa Lo L 3.0
U+1358   ፘ   Ethiopic syllable rya Lo L 3.0
U+1359   ፙ   Ethiopic syllable mya Lo L 3.0
U+135A   ፚ   Ethiopic syllable fya Lo L 3.0

     Combining mark

U+135F   ፟   Ethiopic combining gemination mark Mn NSM 4.1


U+1360   ፠   Ethiopic section mark So L 4.1
U+1361   ፡   Ethiopic wordspace Po L 3.0
U+1362   ።   Ethiopic full stop Po L 3.0
U+1363   ፣   Ethiopic comma Po L 3.0
U+1364   ፤   Ethiopic semicolon Po L 3.0
U+1365   ፥   Ethiopic colon Po L 3.0
U+1366   ፦   Ethiopic preface colon Po L 3.0
U+1367   ፧   Ethiopic question mark Po L 3.0
U+1368   ፨   Ethiopic paragraph separator Po L 3.0


U+1369   ፩   Ethiopic digit one No L 3.0
U+136A   ፪   Ethiopic digit two No L 3.0
U+136B   ፫   Ethiopic digit three No L 3.0
U+136C   ፬   Ethiopic digit four No L 3.0
U+136D   ፭   Ethiopic digit five No L 3.0
U+136E   ፮   Ethiopic digit six No L 3.0
U+136F   ፯   Ethiopic digit seven No L 3.0
U+1370   ፰   Ethiopic digit eight No L 3.0
U+1371   ፱   Ethiopic digit nine No L 3.0


U+1372   ፲   Ethiopic number ten No L 3.0
U+1373   ፳   Ethiopic number twenty No L 3.0
U+1374   ፴   Ethiopic number thirty No L 3.0
U+1375   ፵   Ethiopic number forty No L 3.0
U+1376   ፶   Ethiopic number fifty No L 3.0
U+1377   ፷   Ethiopic number sixty No L 3.0
U+1378   ፸   Ethiopic number seventy No L 3.0
U+1379   ፹   Ethiopic number eighty No L 3.0
U+137A   ፺   Ethiopic number ninety No L 3.0
U+137B   ፻   Ethiopic number hundred No L 3.0
U+137C   ፼   Ethiopic number ten thousand No L 3.0
Some prose may have been lifted verbatim from,
as is permitted by their terms of use at
The Ethiopic writing system, referred to in modern romanization as Gə'əz, was developed sometime during or shortly before the fourth century CE. Two scripts were in wide use in the area at the time, the Minean script and the Greek alphabet. Due to its wide use in Saudi Arabia and the linguistic similarity between the Sabean language for which the script was used and Ethiopic, Minean forms the root for the majority of Ethiopian characters. Those for which Minean had no equivalent were modeled after Greek instead. It was initially an abjad, with only characters representing consonants. The character order broke sharply from that of other Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. It is thought that Ethiopic preserved an older order that gradually gave way to the standard order of aleph, bet, etc. in other Semitic writing systems.

While an abjad is perfectly suited to Hebrew, Arabic, and other similar Semitic languages, it did not work well for Gə'əz. There were too many words that were orthographic duplicates without indicated vowels. The catalyst for change was an increased number of students of the language. A series of vowel signs were introduced to be added to the consonant base, transforming Ethiopic into an abugida in which vowels are marked by diacritics. Most of these diacritics were horizontal/vertical bars or small dots positioned in different relative portions of each character's square space. Consonants without diacritics were assigned an inherent vowel of ä (eh). The vowel sign for ə (the schwa of sun) also doubled as a nullifying character for consonant clusters. This was consistent with Ethiopian phonetics, in which the schwa was often dropped when a word was inflected.

The unsuitability of many characters for badly positioned vowel signs and handwriting traditions caused a plethora of irregular characters to evolve. The practical consequence is that modern Ethiopic is a syllabary with vague internal consistency. It does not distinguish doubled consonants or vowels, both of which are phonetically important to the language, but it is otherwise regularly phonetic.

Interestingly, when students of Ethiopic as a liturgical and historical language were taught, they first learned to read the script with correct pronunciation, stress, and intonation before actually learning the language itself. The result was that students at a certain level could read out loud fluently and proficiently, yet not have the slightest inkling what they were actually saying. Imagine the possibilities for a practical-joking pedagogue...

Source used:
Daniels, Peter T., Bright, William. The World's Writing Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

E`thi*o"pi*an, E`thi*op"ic (?), a.

Of or relating to Ethiopia or the Ethiopians.


© Webster 1913.

E`thi*op"ic, n.

The language of ancient Ethiopia; the language of the ancient Abyssinian empire (in Ethiopia), now used only in the Abyssinian church. It is of Semitic origin, and is also called Geez.


© Webster 1913.

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