Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in North Central Ethiopia. It is the second most spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic. It is the “official working” language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and thus has official status nationwide. It is also the official or working language of several of the states within the federal system, including Amhara and the multi-ethnic Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples region. It has been the working language of government, the military, and of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church throughout modern times. Outside Ethiopia, Amharic is the language of some 2.7 million emigrants (notably in Egypt, Israel and Sweden), and is spoken in Eritrea by educated Eritreans of the preindependence generation and younger deportees from Ethiopia.

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