Harari Language
Get Harari Language essential facts below. View Videos or join the Harari Language discussion. Add Harari Language to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Harari Language
Native toEthiopia
RegionHarari Region
Native speakers
25,810 (2007 census)[1]
Harari alphabet (Ge'ez script)
Language codes

Harari is an Ethiopian Semitic language spoken by the Harari people of Ethiopia. According to the 2007 Ethiopian census, it is spoken by 25,810 people. Most of its speakers are multilingual in Amharic and/or Eastern Oromo.[] Harari is closely related to the Eastern Gurage languages, Zay, and Silt'e, all of whom are linked to the now extinct Semitic Harla language.[3][4] Locals or natives of Harar refer to it as G?y Ritma or G?y Sinan "language of the City" (G?y is the word for how Harari speakers refer to Harar, whose name is an exonym).[5]

Harari was originally written with a version of the Arabic script, then the Ethiopic script was adopted to write the language. Some Harari speakers in diaspora write their language with the Latin alphabet.


/æ, a, e, ai, ?, i/




Wolf Leslau discusses Harari-East Gurage phonology and grammar:[6] The noun has two numbers, Singular and Plural. The affix -a? changes singulars into plurals:

ab, a man; aba?, men.
wandaq, a servant; wandaqa?, servants.
gar, a house; gara?, houses.

Nouns ending in a or i become plural without reduplicating this letter:

gafa, a slave; gafa?, slaves.
gubna, a harlot; gubna?, harlots.
lii, a son; lia?, sons.
mäqbärti, a grave; mäqbärta?, graves.

/s/ alternates with /z/:

färäz, a horse; färäza?, horses.
iraaz, toga; iraaza?, togas.


Masculine nouns may be converted into feminines by three processes. The first changes the terminal vowel into -it, or adds -it to the terminal consonant:

rágá, an old man; rágít, an old woman.
buchí, male dog; buchít, female dog
wasíf, a slave boy; wasífít, a slave girl.

Animals of different sexes have different names. and this forms the second process:

bárá, an ox; lám, a cow.

The third and the most common way of expressing sex is by means of aboch, "male or man," and inistí: woman, " female, corresponding to English " he-" and " she-":

aboch faraz, a stallion; inistí faraz, a mare.
aboch abar a he mule; inistí abar, a she mule.


English Independent Object pronoun suffixes Possessive suffixes
Direct Prepositional
Benefactive Locative/Adversative
you (m. sg.)
you (f. sg.)
you (polite)
s/he (polite) ?
you (pl.) ?
Harari demonstrative pronouns
Number, Gender Near Far
Singular Masculine ? yi (i) ya?
Feminine hiyya, itta
Plural yiyâch Ya'âch
Person Singular Plural
1 Án Innách or Inyách.
2 Akhákh Akhákhách
3 Azo (383)[clarification needed] Azziyách

The affixed pronouns or possessives attached to nouns are:--


1st Pers. - e, my or mine. : Gár-e, my house.
2nd Pers. - khá, thy or thine. Gár-khá, thy house.
3rd Pers. - zo, or - so, his. Gár-zo, his house.


1st Pers. - zinya or sinya, our. : Gár-zinya, our house.
2nd Pers. - kho, your. Gár-kho, your house.
3rd Pers. - ziyu or siyu, their. Gár-ziyu, their house. (384)[clarification needed]

In the same way attached pronouns are affixed to verbs:

Sit-ayn: give (thou to) me.
Sit-ana: give (thou to) us.

The demonstrative pronouns are:

Sing. Yí, this.
Yá', that.
Plur. Yíách, these.
Yá'ách, those.

The interrogative pronouns are the following:

Mántá: who?
Mintá: what?
Án atti'e hárkho: I myself went.
Akhákh attikha hárkhí: thou thyself wentest.
Azo attiizo hára: he himself went.


The following are the two auxiliary verbs:

'to be'
Past Present Imperative
Affirmative Negative Affirmative Negative
Person (s) 1 Án narkhú. Án alnárkhúm. Án halkho. Án elkhúm.
2 Akhákh nárkhí. Akhákh alnárkhím. Akhákh halkhí. Akhákh elkhím. Hal.
3 Azo nárá. Azo alnárum. Azo hal (<A>[clarification needed]). Azo elúm.
(pl) 1 Inyách nárná. Inyách alnárum. Inyách halna. Inyách elnám.
2 Akhákhách narkhú. Akhákhách alnárkhúm. Akhákhách halkhú. Akhákhách elkhúm. Halkhú.
3 Aziyách nárú. Aziyách alnárúm. Aziyách halú Aziyásc elúm.

Past Tense.

Sing. 1. I became: Án ikaní náarkho.
2. Thou becamest: Akhákh tikání nárkhí.
3. He became: Azo ikáni nárá.
Plur. 1. We became: Innách nikání nárná.
2. Ye became: Akhákhách tikání nárkhú.
3. They became: Aziyách ikání nárú.

Present Tense.

Sing. 1. I become: Án ikánákh.
2. Thou becomest: Akhákh tikánákh.
3. He becomes: Azo ikánál.
Plur. 1. We become: Inyách nikánáná.
2. Ye become: Akhákhách tikánákhu.
3. They become: Aziyách yikánálú.


Become thou, "Kanni". Become ye, "Kánnú".


Sing. 2. Become not, ikánnumekh.
Plur. 2. Become not ye, tikánnumekhu.

Past Tense.

(Affirmative Form.)

Sing. 1. I went, Án letkho.
2. Thous wentest, Akhákh letkhí.
3. He went, Azo leta.
Plur. 1. We went, Inyách letna.
2. Ye went, Akhákhách letkhú.
3. They went, Aziyách letú.

(Negative Form.)

Sing. 1. I went not, Án alletkhúm.
2. Thou wentest not, Akbákh alletkhím.
3. He went not, Azo alletám.
Plur. 1. We went not, Inyách aletnám.
2. Ye went not, Akhákách alletkhúm.
3. They went not, Azziyách alletúm.

Present Tense.

(Affirmative Form.)

1. I go, Án iletákh 1. Inyásh niletáná.
2. Thou goest, Akhákh tiletínakh 2. Akhákhách tiletákhú.
3. He goes, Azo yiletál 3. Azziyách yiletálú.

(Negative Form.)

Sing. 1. I go not, Án iletumekh.
2. Thou goest not, Akhákh tiletumekh.
3. He goes not, Azo yiletumel.
Plur. 1. We go not, Inyách niletumena.
2. Ye go not, Akhákhach tiletumekhú.
3. They go not, Azziyách iletuelú.
Sing. 1. I will go, Án iletle halkho.
2. Thou wilt go, Akháhk tiletle halkhí.
3. He will go, Azo iletle hal.
Plur. 1. We will go, Inyách niletle halns.
2. Ye will go, Akhákhách tiletle halkhú.
3. They will go, Azziyách niletle halns.


  • 1. Ahad
  • 2. Ko'ot
  • 3. Shi'ishti
  • 4. Haret
  • 5. Ham'misti
  • 6. Siddisti
  • 7. Sa'ati
  • 8. Su'ut
  • 9. Zahtegn
  • 10. Asir
  • 11. Asra ahad
  • 12. Asra ko'ot
  • 13. Asra shi'ishti
  • 14. Asra haret
  • 15. Asra ham'misti
  • 16. Asra siddisti
  • 17. Asra sa'ati
  • 18. Asra su'ut
  • 19. Asra zahtegn
  • 20. Kuya
  • 30. Saasa
  • 40. Arbîn
  • 50. Hamsein
  • 60. Sit'tin
  • 70. Sa'ati asir
  • 80. Su'ut asir
  • 90. Zahtana
  • 100. Baqla
  • 1,000. Kum


  1. ^ Ethiopia 2007 Census, p. 115
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Harari". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Gebissa, Eziekel (2004). Leaf of Allah. Ohio State University. p. 36. ISBN 9780852554807. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ Braukhamper, Ulrich (2002). Islamic History and Culture in Southern Ethiopia. LITverlag. p. 18. ISBN 9783825856717. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Leslau 1959, p. 276.
  6. ^ Leslau, Wolf (1999). Zway Ethiopic Documents: Grammar and Dictionary. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-04162-1.

Works cited

  • Abdurahman Garad and Ewald Wagner. 1998. Harari-Studien : Texte mit Übersetzung, grammatischen Skizzen und Glossar. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. ISBN 3-447-03937-X. [1][permanent dead link]
  • Cerulli, Enrico. "La lingua e la storia di Harar" in Studi Etiopici, vol. I, 1936 (Roma).
  • Gardner, Simon and Ralph Siebert. 2001. "Sociolinguistic survey report of the Zay language area." SIL Electronic Survey Reports, 2002-024. PDF
  • Cohen, Marcel. 1931. Etudes d'éthiopien méridional. Paris. pp. 243-354.
  • Leslau, Wolf (1937). "Contributions a l'etude du harari (Abyssinie meridionale)". Journal Asiatique. 229.
  • Leslau, Wolf. 1958. The verb in Harari : (South Ethiopic). Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Leslau, Wolf (1965). Ethiopians speak: studies in cultural background. University of California Press.
  • Leslau, Wolf (1959). "An Analysis of the Harari Vocabulary". Annales d'Ethiopie. 3 (1): 275-298. doi:10.3406/ethio.1959.1310.
  • Mondon-Vidailhet, François Marie Casimir. 1902. La langue Harari et les dialectes Ethiopies du Gouraghe. Paris: Imprimerie nationale.
  • Wagner, Ewald. 1983. Harari-Texte in arabischer Schrift : mit Übersetzung und Kommentar. Wiesbaden: F. Steiner.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes