South Arabic and Ethiopic

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South Arabic

     The basis of the South Arabic script originated at the end of the second millenium b.c. The Sabaean and Minoan scripts are descended from it, as is the Ethiopic script. It was written from right to left or boustrophedon, "as the ox plows," back and forth. The four letters represent w, h,   (a glottal stop-a sound like a in "army"), and r.

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     Amharic is a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic. It originated in the 1st century and is the official language of Ethiopia. It is a syllabic language which uses an alphabet based on the Ge`ez alphabet, which is a descendant of the South Arabic alphabet. Each of its 33 characters has seven forms to distinguish the vowels used. It is written from left to right. On these stamps "Ethiopia," the name of the lake, the value of the stamp, and "Ethiopian Lakes" are in Amharic

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