Sengal Araya: Amharic


Calvin Cai, Copy Editor

Originating in the Amharic region of Ethiopia, Amharic is the official national language of Ethiopia.

Sophomore Sengal Araya learned and spoke the language growing up. “I was born in Ethiopia, and Amharic is the first language I actually learned,” he said. After growing up in Ethiopia for a short while, he moved to the United States, where he has spent most of his life.

Through being bilingual, Araya has noticed differences between the languages. “I can’t write in [Amharic], but it does have a different alphabet system than English,” he said. Because of how vastly different English and Amharic are, Araya has found the latter to be more difficult to maintain and continue learning. “For me, Amharic [is harder],” he said. “I only lived in Ethiopia for a couple of years, and I don’t fully know the language, but I can speak it pretty well.”

As he is constantly surrounded by English, Araya has also found ways to incorporate Amharic more into his daily life. “I speak to my parents,” he said. “When relatives come over, I speak in that language.”

Araya has learned to embrace his heritage over the years through speaking Amharic. “It connects me back to my roots and where I was born,” he said, “Since I don’t visit [Ethiopia] that much, when I speak, I connect with my country.”