Shinasha 101

The Shinasha people is one of the five indigenous ethnic groups of Benishangul-Gumuz region. They are the only “Highlander” indigenous ethnic group (Berta and Gumuz are Nilotic, while Tigray, Amhara and Oromifa are immigrants from other parts of Ethiopia), mainly from the Metekle zone to the north. Shinashas are known as the most educated indigenous group in the region and I work with three of them in my department. They have been teaching me some of the Shinasha language, which I love! It seems to have less gender differentiation! Yay!


How are you? – Ah-kway?

Are you fine? – Jenehneh?

I am fine – Je-nah

And you? – Neh-hey?

Thank you – Tongo

Let’s go- Ah-moh

Come on – Wo

Let’s go drink coffee – Buno uyo

Let’s go drink tea – Shayo uyo

Ayzosh/Ayzoh (I’m sorry/be strong/don’t worry) -Ku-Pao

You are beautiful – Shanga neh na

I love this collection of Shinasha words. What more do you need? 🙂



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