Hadiya Ethiopia: Leemo Hadiya: Cattle market in Liisaana (1970-1)

Hadiyyisa-English Dictionary by Stefan Ritter

This is the most comprehensive Hadiyyisa (Hadiyya) to English dictionary I have ever seen.  Mr. Ritter is a German missionary, Hadiyyisa/Hadiya researcher and an excellent friend of the Hadiya people who, with his wife, lived in Hadiya Zone 2005 – 2010.  He continues work on Hadiya culture and literature.  Hadiya Journey is indebted to him for the vast Hadiyyisa contents that he has gifted to us which I will continue to add to the website.

He says that he does not considers his dictionary as a finished product, but to me this is the best that we have now and one we can put online for the world to use (he has graciously allowed us to do so).  I have attached the files here as he sent them to us.  You can open/download them and search within for the Hadiyyisa or English words you are interested in, I will be doing so many times myself. In fact I think we should read them from start to end.

Open PDF of Hadiyyisa-English Dictionary by Stefan Ritter

Open PDF Hadiyyisa Word List of Hadiyyisa by Stefan Ritter

Open DOCX  of Abbreviations Used by Stefan Ritter

I have included below some of Mr. Ritter’s comments about the Hadiyyisa dictionary. It showcases how he thinks big for our community. You will see that he asked some questions.  Please add your answers to his questions in the comment section below.

I agree that a fully elaborated dictionary will be crucial for the status of Hadiyyisa. I very much wish that an expert task force will be put together (including an academically trained [and hopefully also computer savvy] linguist) to implement this vision.

May I ask whether you have visited the Hadiyya area recently? Do you know the current Hadiyya staff members at the
Hadiyya Education Desk (some former text book & dictionary compilers seem to have retired)
Teachers Training College (esp. the trainers of the prospective Hadiyyisa teachers)
School of Hadiyya Language & Literature at Wachemo University (est. 2014 G.C.)
Linguistics or related dept. at Addis Ababa University (if applicable)

I hope that a good team could be put together to produce a high level dictionary comparable to:
Eeva Gutt / Hussein Mohammed. Silt’e – Amharic – English Dictionary (with a Concise Grammar of Silt’e by Dr. E.-A. Gutt). Addis Ababa: A.A. Univ. Press, 1997.

However, nowadays dictionaries must no longer be keyboarded in MS Word. The organization called SIL (originally known as “Summer Institute of Linguistics”) offers specialized software for free. Please visit:


SIL Fieldworks

SIL Wesay


Attached please find the output of a preliminary Hadiyya / English database (SIL software called “Toolbox”, now replaced by “Fieldworks”). The entries were mainly compiled from the “Hadiyyis – Ingilliisis Saga’l Doona” compiled by the Hadiyya Zone Education Desk and former publications like Hudson’s “Highland East Cushitic Dictionary.”

I see opportunities to collaborate and take this to the next level.

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