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Ge'ez is the liturgical language of Beta Israel and the ancestor of many other semitic languages spoken by Ethiopia Jews such as Amharic and Tigrinya.  Although Ge'ez ended as a common vernacular language sometime between the 10th and 13th centuries it still can be heard today in the religious settings of both Ethiopian Jews and Christians.  Below is a conversation between M.H. Haregewoin and Fisseha Tadesse on Ge'ez as a dead language.


 Originating from the Amhara region in the central highlands of Ethiopia Amharic is the official language of the country and the most commonly spoken language among Ethiopian Israeli Jews next to Hebrew.  However unlike other semitic languages  which are typically  written right to left Amharic is written left to right.  Listen to a song in Amharic below "Senbet Leyunat (Shabbat is Unique)" from the soundtrack of the film "Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia" by Irene Orleansky.  


Tigrinya is used in the Northern region of Ethiopia and also in Eritrea.  It is also descended from the same semitic family tree as Ge'ez, Amharic, as well as Tigre and Arabic.  Tigrinya is lesser spoken language among Ethiopian Jews.  Learn a few greetings in Tigrinya below!

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