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As you may already noticed I’ve started signing every post with my name written in Feedel.

You can write almost any western name in Amharic using phonetics as a reference, that is to say, replacing the sound by the symbol that represents that sound in Feedel. But sometimes you have more that one character for the same sound, my name Alicia for example, can be written in more than one way, since there are more than one symbol for the sound "a", actually there are four characters for that sound. My name ALICIA (AH-LEE-SEE-AH) could be written with these characters:

A (AH): a16-1 ora20-1 ora16-4 ora20-4
LI (LEE): li
CI (SEE): si7-4 , or si5-4
A (AH): a16-1 ora20-1 ora16-4 ora20-4

I could write it alicia[1] (as it is pronounced in Spanish in Latin America) , or also alicia2[3] or a combination:alicia3[2]  or alicia4[3], this only using combinations of the symbols of the first order of the sound "a". But I can also use the fourth order of the same symbols since they sound the same:a1642 and a2042and I also could choose between si7-4 or si5-4 for the "SEE" (si) sound.

As a preference, I write my name with the first symbol that represents the sound "a" and the fourth order of the seventh symbol for the sound "SEE" because these are the most used in Amharic: alicia. So, once you get to know the Feedel alphabet, you’ll be able to write any name you want with Feedel characters. Maybe it seems a little complicated now, but it’s simpler than it looks.

I want to make clear that I used my own way to do the passage from Latin Alphabet to Amharic, and in no way that means that it’s the only or the "right" way to do it.

To do the opposite, that is, to write in Latin alphabet Amharic symbols or transliteration, there are more than one method. I mostly used the system that is in David Appleyard’s book, but there are others too.

To be able to write the Feedel characters in the computer, and also to see web sites written in Amharic, you’ll need to install WashRa, which consists of a set of Ethiopic fonts and a keyboard layout for Windows XP and 2000. I believe Windows Vista natively supports an Amharic keyboard layout, but I’m not sure.

For some reason I’ve found that Windows Internet Explorer has some problems to display Amharic characters, while Firefox shows them just fine.

A note apart is that I’ve started to design my own Amharic fonts, but I think it’s going to take me a while to finish them.

Here are some examples of English names written in Feedel characters. (This is only my interpretation):

Michael: Michael Emma: Emma
Mary: Mary Peter: Peter
Ann: Ann John: John


NOTE: I don’t have enough time to accept personal requests on how to write names in Amharic, transliterations or phrases/words. To convert a name in Spanish or English to Amharic characters, please go to www.amharicmachine.com. As a dictionary Amharic-English, http://www.amharicdictionary.com/.