To make it even easier to find all our Ge’ez (Ethiopic) script keyboards, we’ve built a new Ge’ez minisite. In addition to 9 Ge’ez language keyboards, the site includes a FAQ with font help and links to our partner application, GeezWord.

Writing Ge’ez

Map — Ethiopia + EritreaGe’ez is an ancient writing system from the horn of Africa. It was born hundreds of years B.C. as an abjad (like Hebrew) and gradually became an abugida (like Hindi).

Today, the Ge’ez script is used by nearly 25 million people in Ethiopia, Eritrea and around the world. The script is most commonly used for Ethiopian Semitic languages, including Amharic and Tigrigna, but is also used for Cushitic, Omotic and Nilo-Saharan languages like Blin, Bench and Me’en.

Typing Ge’ez

The Ge’ez Frontier Foundation has crafted nine separate keyboard packages for eleven different languages:

Language Family Origin Speakers
Amharic Semitic Ethiopia Over 17.5 million
Awngi Cushitic Ethiopia Half a million
Bench Omotic Ethiopia Over 100,000
Blin Cushitic Eritrea Over 90,000
Dizi Omotic Ethiopia Over 20,000
Ge’ez Semitic Ethiopia Extinct
Me’en Nilo-Saharan Ethiopia Over 80,000
Mursi Nilo-Saharan Ethiopia Over 3,000
Sebatbeit Semitic Ethiopia Over 2.3 million
Suri Nilo-Saharan Ethiopia Over 19,000
Tigrigna Semitic Ethiopia Over 3.2 million

Each keyboard follows the same straightforward phonetic approach. Type one or more Latin letters in consistent combinations to get phonetically similar characters in any Ge’ez-script language.

Letter
Type me mu mi ma mie m mo mua
Letter
Type ce cu ci ca cie c co cua

The characters available in each keyboard differ to provide optimal access to the letters needed by each language. For example, here’s a comparison of a few characters in the Amharic, Ge’ez, and Tigrigna keyboards:

Keyboard Characters
Amharic
Ge’ez
Tigrigna (Eritrea)
Tigrigna (Ethiopia)

GeezWord

GeezWord by GeezSoft is a tailored typing application for Amharic and Tigrigna built on the Keyman engine. With a focus on desktop publishing, a solid collection of Ge’ez fonts, and native language techincal support in Amharic and Tigrigna, GeezWord is a great all-in-one solution for Ge’ez writers.

Check out GeezWord and all of the Ge’ez keyboards from our new minisite.

Categories: Using Keyman Desktop

1 thought on “A New Site for Ge’ez”

Ben G. Adams · April 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I will include your suggestion into my research paper. In fact, i have been carrying this roundbraking study about the history and principles of Ge’ez, the language and writing system of present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea, for two years already.

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