Days Of The Week, Months Of The Year, Seasons, Weather, And Time In Amharic
Some of the most important words in Amharic that you should learn early on are those related to time. They’re frequently used in conversation, and understanding them will give you a strong foundation to work from as you progress with the language.
You’ll need to know how to describe when something happened/will happen, so you should solidify your understanding of these concepts.
In this post, we’ll cover some commonly-used time words in Amharic, including those dealing with days and months, plus seasons and weather conditions, as these tend to go hand in hand with time.
We’ve split everything up into categories, and we’ve also included phonetic Latin spelling for easy pronunciation.
Days of the Week in Amharic
In this section, we’ll introduce you to the names of the 7 days of the week in Amharic. These will look very foreign to you if you’ve only ever dealt with English or Western European languages.
|Days of the Week||የሳምንቱ ቀናት|
Listen to the Amharic days of the week:
Months of the Year in Amharic
Here, we’ll take a look at the names of the months and how they work in Ethiopia.
Unlike the Gregorian calendar that many parts of the world use (including all English-speaking nations), Ethiopia has its own calendar called the Ge’ez Calendar.
This calendar is based on the ancient Coptic Calendar and has 12 months with 30 days each. To account for the solar cycle, there are also 5 or 6 additional days added at the end of the year, and these make up the 13th month.
Whereas our new year begins in January, the Ethiopian new year begins in September.
|Months of the Year||የአመት ወራት (Yametu werat)|
|13th Month||ጷጉሜ (Pagume)|
Although we’ve tried to match the Ethiopian months to the Gregorian ones for easier understanding, that’s not how they work. So we’ve also included the exact dates for the Ethiopian year below.
|Ethiopian Calendar||Gregorian Calendar|
|Meskerem||11 September – 10 October|
|Tikimt||11 October – 9 November|
|Hidar||10 November – 9 December|
|Tahisas||10 December – 8 January|
|Tir||9 January – 7 February|
|Yekatit||8 February – 9 March|
|Megabit||10 March – 8 April|
|Miazia||9 April – 8 May|
|Ginbot||9 May – 7 June|
|Sene||8 June – 7 July|
|Hamle||8 July – 6 August|
|Nehasi||7 August – 6 September|
|Pagume||6 – 10 September|
Listen to the Amharic months of the year:
What year is it in Ethiopia?
It might surprise you to know that Ethiopia is 7 years and 8 months behind the rest of the world, in terms of the calendar. This is because the Ge’ez/Ethiopian calendar has a different starting point.
The Ethiopian calendar, like the Western one, is based on the suspected birthdate of Jesus Christ. But in 500 AD, having found new information, the Catholic Church, revised the calendar to jump ahead 7 years. Ethiopia refused to change theirs.
Thus, the current year in Ethiopia is our year + 7 years and 8 months. The new Ethiopian year will begin on our September 11th.
You can check the current date in Ethiopia here.
Seasons in Amharic
Next, we’ll introduce the seasons in Amharic. Though the climate is pretty much the same all year long in Ethiopia, seasons still exist, the differences simply aren’t as drastic as in other parts of the world.
|Autumn (Fall)||መኸር (Meher)|
Listen to the Amharic seasons:
The Weather in Amharic
In this section, we’ll introduce some words related to the weather and temperature in Amharic, as these are, for the most part, connected to the seasons.
|Weather||የአየር ሁኔታ (Y’aryer hunita)|
Listen to weather terms in Amharic:
Time in Amharic
This section deals with time in an abstract sense and aims to teach you the most common time terms in Amharic. You’ll use and hear these words often, so it’s imperative that you learn them well.
Included here are adverbs of time, such as “today” and “tomorrow”, periods, like “week”, and units of time, like “minute”.
|midnight||እኩለ ለሊት (ekule lelit)|
|noon||እኩለ ቀን (ekule k’en)|
|weekend||ቅዳሜና እሁድ (k’idamena ehud)|
|tonight||ዛሬ ማታ (zari mata)|
|early||ቀደም ብሎ (k’edem bilo)|
|soon||በአጭር ጊዜ ውስጥ (be’achir gize wist)|
Telling the Time in Amharic
In Ethiopia, they use a 12-hour clock system that’s based on sunrise and sunset, where the day starts at 6:00 AM. This means that 7:00 AM is the first hour of the day (1 o’clock) and that midnight and noon are at 6 o’clock as opposed to 12.
This is an ancient African way of telling time that was used before clocks were invented.
If you can get your head around this slightly confusing system, you’ll see that it’s not especially difficult to tell the time in Amharic, in terms of the words used.
When saying the exact hour, you simply place ሰአት (se’at) after the number, and you’re good to go. For example:
- 3 o’clock = ሦስት ሰዓት (sost se’at)
If you want to say some minutes after the hour, you’d add the minutes after you’ve said the hour by using ከ (ke) in front of them, which means “from/of”. For example:
- 10 past 7 (7:10) = ሰባት ሰዓት ከአስር (sebat se’at ke‘asir) – አስር (asir) meaning 10
If you want to say some minutes to the hour, you’d place ለ (le) on the coming hour, then say the minutes, ending with ጉዳይ (gudai). For example:
- 20 to 4 (3:40) = ለአራት ሰዓት ሃያ ጉዳይ (le‘arat se’at haya gudai)
Check out the table below to see how “half past”, “quarter past”, and “quarter to” work in Amharic.
|What’s the time?||ስንት ሰዓት ነው? (Sint se’at naw)|
|It’s three o’clock||ሶስት ሰአት ነው (Sost se’at naw)|
|It’s 6:30||ስድስት ሰዓት ተኩል ነው (Sidist se’at tekul naw)|
|Quarter to eight||ለስምንት ሰዓት ሩብ ጉዳይ (lesimint se’at roob gudai)|
|Quarter past five||አምስት ሰዓት ከሩብ (amist se’at keroob)|
If you’re not already familiar with Amharic numbers, check out our post Numbers and Counting in Amharic to learn them, so you’ll be able to use them with what you’ve learned here. And why not swing by our How Do You Say This in Amharic? post to learn some more useful vocabulary?