Amharic Keyboard Help
Keyboard © 2009 Ge'ez Frontier Foundation.
Using this Keyboard
Complete Typing Chart - English
Complete Typing Chart - Amharic
Related Keyboard Layouts
This keyboard is designed for use with the Amharic language of Ethiopia in Africa. Typing follows a consonant-vowel pattern. It is designed for use with a standard (QWERTY) keyboard.
Most computers will automatically download a special font to display this keyboard correctly. However, if the layout or the charts below do not display correctly, please read the troubleshooting guide.
Click here to see keyboard layouts for other Ethiopic languages, like Awngi, Bench, Blin, Dizi, Ge'ez, Me'en, Mursi, Sebatbeit, Suri and Tigrigna.
Using this Keyboard
This keyboard is designed to work intuitively with a standard (QWERTY) keyboard. This means that the Amharic sounds in this keyboard can be found by thinking of the most similar English letters. For example, you can type selam to get ሰላም.
As you can see, each Amharic character is typed with the base consonant first and then the vowel. For example, ጤ is typed T then ie.
|Language||Phrase||Meaning||Type the following keys|
The Amharic keyboard uses an intuitive phonetic system where the Amharic sounds are matched to the nearest English letters. You can think of how a word sounds in Amharic and then type it out with English.
Example: typing selam produces ሰላም
Because Amharic has more sounds than English, we sometimes have to adjust this rule. For example, English does not have ጠ and the closest similar letter would be t. In this case you should type T, for capital T:
Example: typing TienaysTlN produces ጤናይስጥልኝ
Notice that we used capital N also for ኝ and we needed both ie together to make the 5th ጠ letter, ጤ. When the letter you want to type does not appear when you hit the similar sounding key in English, try using the capital next. If typing the capital does not work, then try hitting the key two times:
Example: typing sselam produces ሠላም
Example: typing SSeHey produces ፀሐይ
Next, when you need to type the extra letters of Amharic like ሏ,ሟ,ኴ you can do so by typing an extra vowel after a u:
Example: typing mua produces ሟ
Example: typing guie produces ጔ
Finally, we must introduce a special rule for ' (apostrophe). Some words are spelt with a ሳድስ (6th) letter followed by a vowel, like ርኤ in ገብርኤል. We use the apostrophe here to type gebr'iel to make sure we get ርኤ instead of ሬ.
Example: typing mel'ak produces መልአክ
Example: typing m'eeraf becomes ምዕራፍ
We also use the apostrophe for Ethiopic numbers, so '1 becomes ፩ and so on. If an English apostrophe ' is needed in your document, type it twice: ''. This works for other punctuation as well, so typing ; once makes ፤ and a second time gives English semi-colon ;.
If the characters you type or those on the On Screen Keyboard do not appear to display correctly, please read the KeymanWeb troubleshooting guide.
For any other questions, contact us.
Related Keyboard Layouts
Keyboard Layouts for other Ethiopic languages:
It is recommended that you use an English QWERTY hardware keyboard with this keyboard.
This keyboard complies with Unicode 5.1
This keyboard was created by the Ge'ez Frontier Foundation. Tavultesoft graciously acknowledges the contribution made by the authors in developing this keyboard and making it freely available for use with Keyman Desktop and KeymanWeb. Their effort assists in enabling people to communicate in their own language.
The Amharic keyboard layout for Keyman Desktop and KeymanWeb is Copyright 2009 Ge'ez Frontier Foundation and Tavultesoft. It may be freely distributed and used, but must not be modified or adapted in any way without written permission from Tavultesoft.
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