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Amharic (GFF) Keyboard Help

Keyboard © 2009 Ge'ez Frontier Foundation.

Using this Keyboard
Keyboard Layout
Keyboard Details
Complete Typing Chart - English
Complete Typing Chart - Amharic
Further Resources
Related Keyboard Layouts
Technical Information


This keyboard is designed for use with the Amharic language of Ethiopia in Africa. Typing follows a consonant-vowel pattern. It is designed for use with a standard (QWERTY) keyboard.

Most computers will automatically download a special font to display this keyboard correctly. However, if the layout or the charts below do not display correctly, please read the troubleshooting guide.

Click here to see keyboard layouts for other Ethiopic languages, like Awngi, Bench, Blin, Dizi, Ge'ez, Me'en, Mursi, Sebatbeit, Suri and Tigrigna.

Using this Keyboard

Keyboard Layout

Desktop Keyboard Layout

Phone Keyboard Layout

Tablet Keyboard Layout

Note: Longpress keys are not currently visible in this static documentation. The phone and tablet layouts contain addional letters that can be accessed by long pressing the base keys that have a small dot in the top right corner.


This keyboard is designed to work intuitively with a standard (QWERTY) keyboard. This means that the Amharic sounds in this keyboard can be found by thinking of the most similar English letters. For example, you can type selam to get ሰላም.

As you can see, each Amharic character is typed with the base consonant first and then the vowel. For example, is typed T then ie.


Keyboard Details

The Amharic keyboard uses an intuitive phonetic system where the Amharic sounds are matched to the nearest English letters. You can think of how a word sounds in Amharic and then type it out with English.

Example: typing selam produces ሰላም

Because Amharic has more sounds than English, we sometimes have to adjust this rule. For example, English does not have and the closest similar letter would be t. In this case you should type T, for capital T:

Example: typing TienaysTlN produces ጤናይስጥልኝ

Notice that we used capital N also for and we needed both ie together to make the 5th letter, . When the letter you want to type does not appear when you hit the similar sounding key in English, try using the capital next. If typing the capital does not work, then try hitting the key two times:

Example: typing sselam produces ሠላም

Example: typing SSeHey produces ፀሐይ

Next, when you need to type the extra letters of Amharic like ,, you can do so by typing an extra vowel after a u:

Example: typing mua produces

Example: typing guie produces

Finally, we must introduce a special rule for ' (apostrophe). Some words are spelt with a ሳድስ (6th) letter followed by a vowel, like ርኤ in ገብርኤል. We use the apostrophe here to type gebr'iel to make sure we get ርኤ instead of .

Example: typing mel'ak produces መልአክ

Example: typing m'eeraf becomes ምዕራፍ

We also use the apostrophe for Ethiopic numbers, so '1 becomes and so on. If an English apostrophe ' is needed in your document, type it twice: ''. This works for other punctuation as well, so typing ; once makes and a second time gives English semi-colon ;.

See Typing in Amharic (English) or Typing in Amharic (Amharic) for full details on how to type all Amharic letters, numbers and punctuation.


If the characters you type or those on the On Screen Keyboard do not appear to display correctly, please read the KeymanWeb troubleshooting guide.

For any other questions, contact us.

Technical Information

System Requirements

It is recommended that you use an English QWERTY hardware keyboard with this keyboard.

Unicode Version

This keyboard complies with Unicode 5.1

Version History

Version 1.4, 7 May 2015
Added letters ኸ Ke ኹ Ku ኺ Ki ኻ Ka ኼ Kie ኽ K ኾ Ko to the touch layouts.

Keyboard Authorship

This keyboard was created by the Ge'ez Frontier Foundation. Tavultesoft graciously acknowledges the contribution made by the authors in developing this keyboard and making it freely available for use with Keyman Desktop and KeymanWeb. Their effort assists in enabling people to communicate in their own language.

All Documentation Versions