Ethiopia 1

Both as a courtesy and to comply with copyright law, please remember to credit IDEA for direct or indirect use of samples.  IDEA is a free resource;  please consider supporting us.


BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 24

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1975

PLACE OF BIRTH: Wanji in rural central Ethiopia

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Ethiopian (exact ethnicity unknown)

OCCUPATION: student

EDUCATION: studying engineering at the University of Kansas when interviewed

AREA(S) OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

Born in rural central Ethiopia, subject moved to Addis Ababa at an early age. At the time of this interview, he lived in Lawrence, Kansas, United States, while studying at the University of Kansas. He moved to the United States originally to serve in the U.S. Army.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

Subject was raised by educated parents and attended a French school when young. Amharic is his first language, with French his second and English his third. Obviously, his time in the United States has had an effect on his speech too.

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.

RECORDED BY: Paul Meier

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

I was born in Wanji [sp?], uh, around the center of Ethiopia in 1975 and it’s, it’s a plantation, it’s a sugar cane plantation and a factory and my, my father was working there just out of college. I was there for two years until the revolution and we moved to the capital city. I went to a, a French school, the only French school in Ethiopia. I have three brothers, I had a sister and we moved here in ’95, and my brother just came here last summer and my parents are in L.A. Everybody, all my family is in California. Until ’74 Ethiopia was ruled by a monarch-monarchy. Almost everybody knows, Haile Selassie, but the problem was the whole country was poor and a few was rich. And therefore, you know, the communists overthrew the government because, uh, the guy wanted power too much, he wouldn’t, he wouldn’t let go. That brought chaos because they were trying to enforce socialism in a poor country where the government has nothing to work on and no progress. Over these seventeen years we went forty years back in development. We were the hi- … the most developed country in Africa at the time and now we’re the poorest country in the world. Yeah, it killed us. And plus one third of the, the gross income of the country was spent on, on military. That one third is, the whole thing was still not enough. Uh, until, until that socialist government, Mungistu [sp?] dictatorship went down Ethiopia has the…had…the best airforce in Africa. Even better than, uh, Egypt. The northern, central to northern, uh, Ethiopians speak, uh, Semitic language. The other ones, I don’t know what there is…especially southern and southwestern … it’s … The people originally about three hundred years ago, they migrated from Madagascar, which in turn migrated from India. And they have that, that language which kinda, can be [?] changed, but it’s totally different. It’s called Oromo [sp?] — Orominia — no the people are called Oromo. And the northern part there is three major variation of the language. It’s Amharic, which is the, from the people of Amhara. There is Tigrinia [sp?]. The Tigri people speak it.
[Mekuria recites The Lord’s Prayer in Amharic.]
The revolution tried to suppress the, not as a whole, Christianity because it, it wouldn’t survive if, because about, at that time fifty-five percent of the population was, uh, like orthodox. It’s not quite as Greek orthodox, but it’s close. And people are very religious. Therefore they had to support it. But they persecuted, you know, protestants. They killed them and they, they tortured them and they closed their church and made it a, a, you know, like political bureaus and stuff.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Lloyd Bolick

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY: N/A

COMMENTARY BY: N/A

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

The archive provides:

  • Recordings of accent/dialect speakers from the region you select.
  • Text of the speakers’ biographical details.
  • Scholarly commentary and analysis in some cases.
  • In most cases, an orthographic transcription of the speakers’ unscripted speech.  In a small number of cases, you will also find a narrow phonetic transcription of the sample (see Phonetic Transcriptions for a complete list).  The recordings average four minutes in length and feature both the reading of one of two standard passages, and some unscripted speech. The two passages are Comma Gets a Cure (currently our standard passage) and The Rainbow Passage (used in our earliest recordings).

 

For instructional materials or coaching in the accents and dialects represented here, please go to Other Dialect Services.