General: Alphabet Pronunciation


Tigrinya is a Semitic language with many similarities to Arabic, Hebrew and Amharic. The largest concentration of Tigrinya speakers are in Eritrea and in Northern Ethiopia. There are over 6 million speakers of Tigrinya around the world. The main difficulty with learning a Semitic language is capturing the unique sounding consonants not found in other languages.


The Ge’ez script used in Tigrinya is an alphasyllabary (or abugida) writing system, which means that every letter or sound is made up of a consonant and a vowel syllable.

Here is a great video that briefly explains the history and reasoning for the alphasyllabary writing systems, you only need to watch until the 39:11 mark.

Below the Ge'ez alphabet as seen in its traditional order, similar to the English alphabet of A, B, C, …

The Tigrinya alphabet is often referred to as Fi-del-at (ፊደላት), which means alphabet. Fi-del (ፊደል) means letter in Tigrinya.



The Tigrinya alphabet is split into 5 distinct groups based on shape and appearance. Learning the alphabet by groups instead of in its traditional order makes identifying patterns much easier. The groups are as follow:

2-legged group

3-legged group

L-shape group

No-legged group

1-legged group

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