Sidama (Sidaamu Afoo)

Sidama is a member of the Highland East branch of the Cushitic language family. It is spoken by about 4 million people in the Sidama Region (Sidaamu Qoqqowo) in southern Ethiopia.

Sidama is also known as Sidamo, Sidaama, Sidamigna, Sidaminya or Sidamic in English, ሲዳምኛ (ሲዳምኛ) in Amharic, and Sidaamu Afoo in Sidama.

A way to write Sidama with the Ethiopic script was devised by European missionaries in the 1930s in order to translate the Bible. It was used until 1993. Since then Sidama has been written with the Latin alphabet, however only about 20% of Sidama speakers are literate in their language. It has been used as a language of instruction in schools in the Sidama Region since 1994.

Ethiopic script for Sidama

Ethiopic script for Sidama

Latin alphabet for Sidama

Latin alphabet for Sidama

Download alphabet charts for Sidama (Excel)

Sample text in Sidama

Manchi beetti kalaqamunni wolaphinoho. Ayirrinyunninna qoossotennino taaloho. Huwatanno tiiano kalaqamunni ba’raarinoha ikkasinni mittu wolu ledo rodiimmate ayyaaninni hee’ra noosi.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in Sidama

Information about Sidama | Tower of Babel


Information about SidamaСидамо_(язык)

Cushitic languages

Afaan-Oromo, Afar, Awngi, Beja, Blin, Daasanach, Gawwada, Hadiyya, Iraqw, Sidama, Somali, Waata, Xamtanga

Languages written with the Ethiopic (Ge'ez) script

Aari, Amharic, Argobba, Awngi, Bench, Blin, Chaha, Dizin, Ge'ez, Gumuz, Hamer(-Banna), Harari, Inor, Sidama, Silt'e, Tigre, Tigrinya, Xamtanga

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 25.09.23. Last modified: 25.09.23


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