RESOURCES FOR LEARNING GE'EZ: THE CLASSICAL LANGUAGE OF ETHIOPIA

RESOURCES FOR LEARNING GE'EZ-- THE CLASSICAL LANGUAGE OF ETHIOPIA

October 26, 2011

3: Recognize Cognates!


Ge'ez is classified as a south Semitic language. It has its idiosyncrasies but its overall syntax and morphology should be quite intuitive to anyone familiar with Arabic or Hebrew. Many Ge'ez roots have easily recognizable cognates in other Semitic languages. You'll start recognizing more and more cognates as you start to figure out the phonetic peculiarities. Consider the opening verse of the Book of Enoch (~200 C.E) - an ancient Jewish apocryphal text - that is part of the Ethiopian Canon. Out of the seven words in this line, five have easily recognizable Hebrew/Arabic cognates (underlined.) 


ቃለ፡ በረከት፡ ዘሄኖክ፡ ዘከመ፡ ባረከ፡ ኅሩያነ፡ ወጻድቃነ፡

// qale bereket ze-hénok - zekeme barrekxiruyane weṣadeqane //
“A word of blessing of Enoch – wherewith he blessed the chosen and the righteous.”


Here is a list of some Ge'ez nouns that have Hebrew and Arabic cognates:

ካህን
kahən
كاهن
כהן
Priest
ከውከብ
kewkeb
كوكب
כוכב
Star
ለውህ
lewh
لوح
לוח
Tablet
ልሳን
ləsan
لسان
לשון
Language
məat
مئة
מאה
Hundred
ማይ
may
ماء
מים
Water
መሰኪን
mesekin
مسكين
מסכן
Poor
ፈረ
feres
فرس
פרש
Horse
ቤት
bét
بيت
בית
House
ክታብ
kətab
كتاب
כתיבה
Writing
ለብ
leb
لبّ
לב
Heart
ንጉሥ
nəguš
النجاشي
נגוס
King
አሐዱ
eedu
أحد
אחד
One
ዘይት
zeyt
زيت
זית
Olive

2 comments:

  1. boortookan (orange), tsyon (zion), tselot (prayer), hywot (life) ...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dem (blood), mot (death), sahn (dish), Hatiat (sin)

    ReplyDelete

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