Read my LIP[s]: It rhymes with አማርኛ (Amharic), Windows 7 edition!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/01/16, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/01/16/10116136.aspx


THE WINDOWS 7 AMHARIC LANGUAGE INTERFACE PACK IS LIVE!

Click here to download the Amharic Windows 7 LIP via the Microsoft.com Download Center.

Please note that the Amharic Windows 7 LIP can only be installed on a system that runs an English client version of Windows 7.   It is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems on the Download Center.

The Amharic Windows 7 LIP is produced as part of the Local Language Program sponsored by Public Sector.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON AMHARIC

NUMBER OF SPEAKERS

17 million native speakers, 4 million second language speakers 

NAME IN THE LANGUAGE ITSELF:

አማርኛ

Amharic (also known as Abyssinian, Amarinya, Amarigna, Ethiopian, or lesana negus, the language of the king) is (together with Oromo) the national language of Ethiopia where it is spoken by 17 million native speakers. It is also spoken in neighboring Eritrea and by emigrant communities all over the world (e.g. 40,000 speakers in Israel).  The language has the status of an "official working" language of the Ethiopian government.  It has been the language of the country's ruling class since the end of the 13th century and has been the administrative language since the 19th century.

FUN FACTS:

Click here for more information about the Amharic language

CLASSIFICATION:

Amharic belongs to the group of South Ethiopian languages in the South Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It is the second most spoken Semitic language, after Arabic.

Click here for more information about Amharic classification

SCRIPT:

Amharic is written in its own alphabet, an abugida called ፊደል (“fidäl”, meaning ‘letter’). The script has 33 consonants each having 7 shapes depending on the vowel with which they are combined.  This makes for a huge number of characters which often confuse non-speakers due to the remarkable similarity of many characters.

Unicode encodes it as a syllabary despite the fact that it is an abugida (the word even being based on the first four letters of the script).

Click here for more information about the Amharic script

For those who are interested, here is my original link to the Vista Amharic LIP: Read my LIP[s]: It rhymes with አማርኛ (Amharic) !. Note that unlike in Vista, Amharic is not the last Windows 7 LIP

Enjoy!


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