Important Issue Written in Awi Dialect & Alphabet

Translated by Tege Y.

Awŋi dialect alphabet was developed 47 years ago by Prof. Hetzron and his colleague. He stayed in towns of Injibara, Dangla and Fafi villages in 1965 for the study.

Hetzron, Robert (1969). The Verbal System of Southern Agaw. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Unique characters are ə
ŋ and other common characters with different sounds are c
and q. These characters’ usage is shown in the examples shown below and can be used for mobile text message.

See the following sentences how Teferi and Hetzron used in their writing:

Example 1: Wulo baiceŋ yima kaseŋ. (= Duty forgetting going begging.

Example 2: Gomejuh əhuwi əsano əŋe. (= A hasty hyena bits on the nose).

Example 3: ŋino lemiŋdes himbe. (=
(Better to shut the mouth than the door).

Example 4: Mure kuwama ŋi gembali. (=After having killed a snake with; away with the stick too).

Example 5: Minča kanti digida čee. (= One who wishes much unrealistically achieves little).

Example 6: Yiq’a (= my wife).

Example 7:
əncai. (= Child).

The article below is written on important issue using these and other common characters.

Awŋi Konki ətiŋas Reasons

1994-2007 hista awŋi zumantkaw čef 44,000s neketa. ənsa kancecaw melhat zeb čef /government statistics/ ŋinadees agesta. ənsula, čua gushceka sifawsta ənjekuka.

  1. awŋis kincŋi isena gatiw ahŋi. Awŋi kentis əshiŋo sifama, banku čua-tabel ŋa jerkawa awahuades feshuna. əni čua-tabel,jerkali awŋis zumiteŋidesgi mandistka. Awŋis kentunkui jerka agarku fetankades yagunu/agecunu/woymi čua-tablusa əme/kanto basca.
  2. čua-tabel ŋenda jerkali awŋis zumiteŋi gewŋi/bayŋi. ən,fetretu ŋart ahinida kuriŋo atiŋdes yintaweh. Gayawla, agero kemantkawa demekama ŋa jerkali awŋis zumatinku zekuna. ən ahŋis, əni jerka zahides əcinkueh/ zaheli tamtŋala.
  3. awŋi zuma kalatinku čua-tabel, jerka konkee kintanta iscatinku yahakama agesteŋ.

  4. awŋi lege
    ceŋis əsta əsancŋis kalicaw maq’wi, gereb əsta kenti a agestatiw aheŋ.

Nakasa hista kancestuhi/malistuhi keleli mangiest awŋi legesata əsta əsanata, awŋi radios kenceŋo demekama,faycawsagi digsayasu aheŋoh. Zonu kusŋi ŋena, Awi zibusa mebto/right mandiŋis əsta čemetŋiceŋis hembe lemta/amut əla.

Gizu alphabet Awŋis metenŋatiw ahŋi, Awŋi ətata ŋiwsa beno kacaw ahŋi mandiste/ teru cent ənda dibda yahaya.


Sifanku tekumka awŋi kereŋdes kishcŋis əjua yahŋis kalana:

  1. Awŋis kencŋo 1-3 sho zero came, sezedes (4th beginning/ jala ənglizŋis kenceŋ. Mincanku aq’i ənsa gedefana. Naka zekuhsta sifŋes qalitanku fayunta ahŋis kalana. ənta cewŋdes 3-dibeka fitana.
    1. Golalŋashinkusa jerkawa benahada əmplsama shewes alaq’atŋanta cewe.
    2. Kenti zebenasagi ənglizŋis kentanku ahŋis, jerkas kishante delo bese.
    3. Awŋi legecŋis ŋa belaca əŋkranta čua-tabelusa kurato zurce.
  2. Awŋi əmpel kentita yahama kečkečis hesanti ače kenti hotekadagi sasartama əsta kancestis isama digeŋ/yisteŋ zeko.

Shew nan: Banku aq’i awŋi kiratita zekuh yibači dadi,əncihiw konki cewŋiah nekama amnana. Wuno cegere. əncehida əsheni yagaw buni yizukeh. əncihiw konka cewŋi
feshŋicaw gulili yahalah.

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8 Responses to Important Issue Written in Awi Dialect & Alphabet

  1. Abu says:

    It sounds pretty simple to find out where and how awis and their brothers have lost and are losing their identity. This dialect,in my opinion, would have a sort of weight to become an issue of discussion among awis if there are any who have not sold their mothers.This shall be presented among scholarly members of awi nationality and to linguistic scholars as well.Except that it would go some thing to be developed from the very scratch,I personally appreciate the concerned and also encourage them to go on and tackle whatever challenges may lay ahead of their dream.Go on,Go on!!!

  2. Alamirew G/H says:

    Prof. Hetzron had made a very good contribution to the existence of the Awi language in the current area.As for me, writing Awi in Latin Alphabet is very hard to pronounce.He would have better written in Ethiopic Abugida order being supported by the local Awi speaking people.

  3. Asmammaw W. says:

    Awi Administrator
    Is the current Awi Administrator (Mr. Bazizew) confident with his Agaw identity or not? He is one of Amharaization victims who lost his own language, like other Agaws of Lasta, East Gojjam, West Gojjam, Gondar and Gafts of Damot, etc. He has been Zone Administrator for the past six years. If has confidence with his Agaw identity, how come, he cannot speak the language till this day? Even if he studies one word every evening, he could learned 2,091 words in six years. Has he taught his children the Agaw language? Do they speak? If the answer is no, the man who administrating the Zone is in deep identity crisis, isn’t it? Some experts suggest using the Latin alphabet will make learning Agaw language simple and usable in modern technology, like mobile. If that is the case, what are you waiting for?

  4. Miziegena says:

    Another crisis
    We Ethiopians have the alphabet. Do not mistook Amharic alphabet is meant only belongs to Amhara. This belongs to agaw peopl too, What is wrong writing in Amharic Alphabet that confusing our children again going back to Latin alphabets. Why we are again enter into another crisis while we can still use it. we have a very letter that represents any pronunciation be it in Awi, Himta, Qementeny or any other. Why you west time and energy.

    • Asmammaw W says:

      Well, don’t miss the vital point; the Amharic was/is the best tool used for destruction of our identity, otherwise physically we are still there. Haven’t you learned from the past mistake?

  5. Alamirew G/H says:

    The adoption of the correct writing system of the Agaw cluster languages

    The adoption of the correct writing system of the Agaw cluster languages might not be come into critical debates. I think there is great misunderstanding about the nature,the existence, expansion and development of the Ethiopic or Geez Abugida alphabet and writing system. It is African Alphabet and writing system.Its origin traces in pre-Aximite period of D’matite State ( its capital Yeha). The D’matite language was believed to have two dialects namely Geez and Saba.The Sabeans migrated to the southern Arabia.There they developed the Sabean version of the script by adopting the Geez version of the Alphabet.Some say the Sabeans contributed their type of alphabet to Geez.Then the Geez Abugida Alphabet was developed well in Ethiopia .Amharic,Tigringa,Tigre,Blina,and many Cushitic and Nilotic language groups have developed their writing systems until 1991 upsid down the use of the Ethiopic alphabet. The reason given by the proponents about the failure f the Ethiopic alphabet was technological aspects.Nowadays, he reason of technology in application of Geez alphabet is relatively solved by the adoption of Ethiopic Unicode representing its application to all language groups of Ethiopia and the Computer keyboard design is relatively.This time there is no major problem in adopting and applying these writing system to the languages according to their choice and political decisions made.The choice will be between adoption of Ethiopic and Latin alphabet to Ethiopian languages regardless of Semitic,Cushitic, Omotic and Nilotic ones.I think in case of Agawinga, Ethiopic abugida alphabet and writing system is more appropriate than Latin ABCD alphabet. On the other hand,it can be assumed that there is no problem in writing Agawinga in Latin, Greece, Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrilic and/or Sanskrip, even if with International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). But it is the matter of better choice and application. The Awngi left without order and standardization due to the ill-managed thoughts of some anti-popular elements of Awi money mongers. Let me say the base of the Latin Alphabet is the Geez character as a certain German researcher analysed some time ago.See for example A,B,C,D,E.F.G.H,I,, J,K,L,M,O,P,Q,R,S,,T,U,V,W,X,and Z.These shapes are really taken from the Ethiopic and adopted by changing their sounds.The Latin people created only letter S and small letters. Capital letters, H,L,M,W,T,O,U,A,B,D …are Ethiopic glyphs subverted to another sounds by the Latints. The Awi authorities can initiate standardization of the alphabet in the above context.Amharic and Tigringa abugida alphabets consist of the Agaw sounds and glyphics. I think, Kemantney can be also written better in Ethiopic alphabet than the Latin one.

    The periods of the late 13th to 20st centuries were bad for the Ethiopian history and the political forces of these times left a legacy for the oppression and disintegration of the Agaw people. Regardless of one’s choice,great misunderstanding about the nature,the existence, expansion and development of the Ethiopic or Geez Abugida alphabet and writing system is understood in this context.

  6. Asmammaw W says:

    Geez is suitable to Cushitic language sounds strange and misconception. There are reasons to say:
    1. All Cushitic languages are compatible to Latin not Geez. Cushitic language families: Sumalia, Afaan Oromo, Sidama, Afars and others are using Latin not because of they hate Geez, but compatibility of the alphabet.
    2. Geez is too primitive to fit in modern technology not only higher programming syntax, also for simple technology languages, like HTML. It is the matter of time, soon or later Geex will be banned from being alphabet to Amharic and Tigregna because of its technological limitations
    3. A majority of Awingni teachers reported incompatibility of Geez to the Agaw language. It has also created considerable barriers in Awgaw language learning because of so many accented symbols on characters

  7. Alamirew G/H says:

    To day we live in a modernized world characterized by rapid process of scientific and technical growth in all its spheres of dimensions.Every thing is being evolved to a better qualitative and quantitative changes.A world has come to a better demands of life if it is better peaceful approaches.All its languages are now in a better conditions due to the prevalence and development of linguistics.The origin and development of human writing systems and their orthographies become good inputs for the facilitation of information and communication technologies.all over the world.The well experienced alphabets of the world i.e.Arabic,Greek,Latin Cyrilic,Sanskrit,(Indian)Chinese,Japanese and the same have been evolved many times.The Latin alphabet is believed that it was developed by using the same Geez glyph but by changing only the sounds of alphabet.The Cyrillic alphabet uses some Geez glyphs without changing sounds.The Arabic alphabet also includes certain Geez glyphs and sounds.By these tokens one can come to the confusion that the major alphabets existing in the world are interconnected to each other by tracing their origin from the Geez writing systems.The Geez sounds its pronunciation are incomptible to the Latin.which is very difficult to pronounce due to lack of representation of sounds as well as its complications of spelling.Even if it is customized to IPA, its shapes make difficult for lay people to understand the reading and spelling count.But the Cyrilic seems a better alphabet which is avoid of its sound and spelling problems.but it lacks many sound representations of foreign languages.Cyrilic consists of vowel characters similar to Geez which makes it easily readable and pronounced.The phenomenon of the Geez alphabet has no problem in reading and writing with no capitalization and smalization of letters.The vowels are attached together to consonants.There is no spelling constraints in its application.Since its origin the Geez alphabet has been applied into usages of different languages Semitic family like Amharic, Tigringa, Tigre, Blina, Guragie and so on.The Geez alphabet is complete by its self.Amharic and Tigringa have comprehended the Geez alphabet together with seven letters of ch,gn,zh,qh,ph,kh,jj, and ts.The Agaw languages add a common sound ng/ngw to the Geez-Amharic -Tigringa alphabetical sounds.There is no problem in glyphs,sounds and reading.This is not mean that all glyphs of Geez to be taken as Agaw letter sounds but its corresponding value should be taken.Currently after the observation of the characteristics of Geez to Agaw or all together languages standardization is underwent and put in Ethiopic unicode.In its application of computer the keyboard design can be made to be improved.The ICT have being graced in transforming the Geez origin alphabet to its application to science,education and infomation-communication in a better way.If you have come across the ICT exhibition two months ago in Addis Ababa, you wonder to the improvement of the Geez based alphabet in progress.The prediction made to the eliminate the Geez from the Ethiopian landscape is fruitless; the prejudice made to it is valueless and groundless.The Computer Engineers are not dull they will come up with solution to the shortcomings stated. If Mr.Asmammaw wants to write Agaw Languages in Latin, he will come across with lots of difficulties and complication, I think.

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