Ethiopia , like many other African countries, is a multi-ethnic state. Many distinctions have been blurred by intermarriage over the years but many also remain. The differences may be observed in the number of languages spoken - an astonishing 83, falling into four main language groups: Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic and Nilo-Saharan. There are 200 different dialects.

The Semitic languages of Ethiopia are related to both Hebrew and Arabic, and derive from Ge'ez, the ecclesiastical language.

The principle Semitic language spoken in the north-western and central part of the country is Amharic, which is also the official language of the modern state. Other main languages are Tigrigna, Guraginya, Adarinya, Afan Oromo, Somalinya, Sidaminya, Afarinya, Gumuz, Berta and Anuak, English (major foreign language taught in schools)

Here are a few words in Arabic
Hello - Ahalan
Goodbye - Ma'a ElSalama
Thank you - shokran
You're welcome - Ala ElRahib Wa ElSaa
Zero - Sifer
One - Wahid
Two - Ithinin
Three - Thalatha
Four - Arba'a
Five - Kamisa
Six - Sita
Seven - Saba'a
Eight - Thamania
Nine - Tisa'a
Ten - Ashara