Useful phrases in Tigrinya

A collection of useful phrases in Tigrinya, a South Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea..

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See these phrases in any combination of two languages in the Phrase Finder. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person), m = said to men, f = said to women.

English ትግርኛ (Tigrinya)
Welcome መርሓባ (merhaba)
እንቋዕ ብደሐን መጻእካ (ənqwaˋ bdeHen meSaəka) m
እንቋዕ ብደሐን መጻእኪ (ənqwaˋ bdeHen meSaəki) f
lit. "wonderful that you have arrived safely"
እንቋዕ ብድሐን ጸናሕካ (ənqwaˋ bdeHen SenaHka) m
እንቋዕ ብድሐን ጸናሕኪ (ənqwaˋ bdeHen SenaHki) f
lit. "wonderful that you have stayed well" - response to above
Hello (General greeting) ሰላም (selam)
How are you? ከመይ ኣለኻ (kemey 'aleka) m/sg
ከመይ ኣለኺ (kemey 'aleki) f/sg
ከመይ ኣለኹም (kemey 'alekum) m/pl/frm
ከመይ ኣለኽን (kemey ' aleken) f/pl/frm
("Thanks to God!")
Reply to 'How are you?' አግዚኣብሔር ይመስገን! (Ezgher Yimesgen!)
Long time no see ነዊሕ ኮይኑ ካብ ዘይንረአአ (Newih Koynu Kab Zeynire’e)
What's your name? መን’ዩ ሸምካ (menyu shimka) m/sg
መን’ዩ ሸምኪ (menyu shimki) f/sg
መን’ዩ ሸምኩም (menyu shimkum) m/frm
መን’ዩ ሸምክን (menyu shimken) f/frm
My name is ... ስመይ….ይበሃል (simey ... yebehal)
Where are you from? ካበይ ዓዲ መጺኻ (Kabey Adi Metsika) m
ካበይ ዓዲ መጺኺ (Kabey Adi Metsiki) f
I'm from ... ኣነ ካብ ... መጽየ (Ane kab ... Metsiye)
Pleased to meet you ጽቡቕ ሌላ (SbuQ liela)
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
ከመይ ሓዲርካ (kemey Hadirka) m/sg
ከመይ ሓዲርኪ (kemey Hadirki) f/sg
ከመይ ሓዲርኩም (kemey Hadirkum) m/pl/frm
ከመይ ሓዲርክን (kemey Hadirkin) f/pl/frm
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
ከመይ ውዒልካ (kemey Wu’elka) m/sg
ከመይ ውዒልኪ (kemey Wu’elki) f/sg
ከመይ ውዒልኩም (kemey Wu’elkum) m/pl/frm
ከመይ ውዒልክን (kemey Wu’elkn) f/pl/frm
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
ከመይ ኣምሲኻ (kemey Amsika) m/sg
ከመይ ኣምሲኺ (kemey Amsiki) f/sg
ከመይ ኣምሲኹም (kemey Amsikum) m/pl/frm
ከመይ ኣምሲኽን (kemey Amsikn) f/pl/frm
Good night ቡሩኽ ለይቲ (Buruk Leyti)
ሰናይ ለይቲ (Senay Leyti)
ልዋም ለይቲ (Lwam Leyti)
(Parting phrases)
ሰላማት (selamat)
Good luck! ጽቡቅ ዕድል (Tsibuk E’dl)
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
ንጥዕናና (nTi’enana)
Have a nice day ደሓን ውዓሉ (deHan wˋalu)
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
ቡሩኽ መግቢ (Buruk Megbi)
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
ብደሓን እቶ (bdeHn əto)
I understand ተረዲኡኒ (Teredi’uni)
I don't understand ኣይተረድኣኒን (Aytered’Anin)
I don't know ኣይፈለጥኩን (Ayfeletikun)
Please speak more slowly ቀስ ኢልካ ተዛረብ በጃኻ (Kes Elka Tezareb Bejaka) m/sg
ቀስ ኢልኪ ተዛረቢ በጃኺ (Kes Elki Tezarebi Bejaki) f/sg
Please say that again እስከ ድገመለይ (Eske Digemeley) m/sg
እስከ ድገምለይ (Eske Digemiley) f/sg
Please write it down ጸሓፎ በጃኻ (Tsehafo Bejaka) m/sg
ጸሓፍዮ በጃኺ (Tsehafiyo Bejaki) f/sg
Do you speak English? እንግሊዝኛ ትዛረብዶ? (Englizgna Tzarebdo?) m/sg
እንግሊዝኛ ትዛረቢዶ? (Englizgna Tzarebido?) f/sg
Do you speak Tigrinya? ትግርኛ ትዛረብዶ?
(Tigrigna Tzarebdo?) m/sg
ትግርኛ ትዛረቢዶ?
(Tigrigna Tzarebido?) f/sg
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
እወ: ቁሩብ ቁሩብ (Ewe Kurub Kurub)
How do you say ... in Tigrinya? እንታይ ይበሃል እዚ ብትግሪኛ? (Entay Yibehal Ezi b’Tigrigna?)
Excuse me ይቅሬታ ግበረለይ! (Yiqreta Gbereley!) m/sg
ይቅሬታ ግበርለይ! (Yiqreta Gberiley!) f/sg
How much is this? ክንደይ’ዩ ዋግኡ እዚ? (Kndeyu Wag’u Ezi?)
Sorry ይቅሬታ! (Yiqreta!)
Please በጃኻ! (Bejaka!) m/sg
በጃኺ! (Bejaki!) f/sg
Thank you የቐንየለይ! (Yekenyeley!)
ክብረት ይሃበለይ! (Kbret Yhabeley!)
Reply to thank you ገንዘብካ (Genzebka) m/sg
ገንዘብኪ (Genzebki) f/sg
ገንዘብኩም (Genzebkum) m/frm
ገንዘብክን (Genzebken) f/frm
Where's the toilet / bathroom? ኣበይ ኣሎ ሽንቲ ቤት? (Abey Alo Shnti Bet?)
This gentleman will pay for everything እዞም ሰብኣይ ኩሉ ክኸፍልዎ እዮም። (Ezom Seb’Ay K’keflwo Eyom)
This lady will pay for everything እዘን ሰበይቲ ኩሉ ክኸፍልኦ እየን። (Ezen Sebeyti K’kefl’o Eyen)
Would you like to dance with me? ምሳይ ክትስዕስዕ ትደሊዶ? (Msay Kt’s’e’s’e Tdelido?) m/sg
ምሳይ ክትስዕስዒ ትደሊዶ? (Msay Kt’s’e’s’i Tdelido) f/sg
I miss you ናፊቐካ! (Nafikeka) m/sg
ናፊቐኪ! (Nafikeki) f/sg
I love you ይፈትወካ`የ! (Yfetwekaye) m/sg
የፍቅረካ`የ! (Yefkrekaye) m/sg
ይፈትወኪ’የ! (Yfetwekiye) f/sg
የፍቅረኪ’የ! (Yefkrekiye) f/sg
Get well soon ምሕረት የውርደልካ። (Mhret Yewrdelka) m/sg
ምሕረት የውርደልኪ። (Mhret Yewrdelki) f/sg
Go away! ኺድ ረሓቕ! (Kid Rehak) m/sg
ኺዲ ረሓቒ! (Kidi Rehaki) f/sg
Leave me alone! በይነይ ግደፈኒ! (Beyney Gdefeni) m/sg
በይነይ ግደፍኒ! (Beyney Gdefni) f/sg
Help! ርድኡኒ! ርድኡኒ! (Rd’uni! Rd’uni!)
Fire! ባርዕ! ባርዕ! (Bar’e! Bar’e!)
Stop! ጠጠው በል! (Tetew Bel) m/sg
ጠጠው በሊ! (Tetew Beli) f/sg
Call the police! ፖሊስ ጸውዕ! (Polis Tsew’e) m/sg
ፖሊስ ጸውዒ! (Polis Tsew’i) f/sg
Christmas greetings ርሑስ በዓል ልደትን ሓድሽ ዓመትን።
(Rhus Be’al Ldetn Hadsh Ametn)
Easter greetings ርሑስ በዓል ፋሲካ። (Rhus Be’al Fasika)
Birthday greetings ርሑስ በዓል ልደት። (Rhus Be’al Ldet)
One language is never enough ሓደ ቛንቛ ኡኹል ኣይኮነን። (hhade qhwaniqhwa 'ikxul 'iejikonen)
My hovercraft is full of eels ናተይ ሆበርክራፍት ሙሉእ እዩ ብዓሣ (natey hoberkeraft mulue byu basza)

Recordings provided by Asmeret Hagos

Download the audio files (Zip format, 2MB)

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

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