Tigre language

Spoken in

  • Afro-Asiatic languages Semitic languages West Semitic languages West Semitic languages Äthiosemitische languages Tigre


Tigre (also:. Tigré in Ethiopian font ትግረ Tigre Tigre or ትግሬ; Sudan ኻሳ Xasa, arab ألخاصية al - ḫāṣiyah ) is a Semitic language that is very close to the old Ethiopian language Ge'ez and Tigrinya.

It is spoken by about 800,000 people, mostly Tigre, (as of 1997 ), mainly in Eritrea, but also in Sudan.

Language situation

In addition to the Tigre also have many Beni Amir ( which belong to the Beja ) Tigre adopted as the main language in Eritrea. The language has two groups of dialects: Mansa ', which is spoken in the area of Keren and on the Mansa' Plateau, and Beni Amir, the Tigre Beni Amir with Bedscha substrate.

The Dahlik, which is spoken on the islands of the Dahlak Archipelago, was formerly considered a dialect of Tigre. According to recent findings, it shows, however, an independent language that developed in isolation from the rest of Tigre away and was influenced by Arabic and Afar.

Tigre is recognized as one of nine " national languages ​​" of Eritrea that apply formally as equal ( in fact Tigrinya and Arabic have by far the greatest importance as official languages). Thus, the Constitution of Eritrea was translated to Tigre.

Linguistic characteristics

The old laryngeal consonants of Semitic languages ​​are preserved in Tigre.

The Tigre has the basic word order subject-object - verb ( SOV ).


The language has no written tradition, but written today with the Ethiopic script.


  • Helmut Glück ( ed.): Metzler Lexikon Sprache. Metzler, Stuttgart and Weimar 1993.