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Welcome everyone to my small web page.

What is Tigrigna Online?

Tigrigna Online is just a personal project of mine. It is an online tool to help people learn the Tigrigna language; a database of Tigrigna exercises, grammar work, and memory games, which I either written myself, borrowed from other sources, or adapted from other language exercises.

First, I want to make it very clear that I am not a scholar in Tigrigna grammar, and I really I don't want to paint my self as such. My working knowledge of the language is very limited. Also, this site is written from the perspective of a student trying to learn Tigrigna, then of a teacher trying to teach it. This is because I started this site to help me teach myself Tigrigna. Due to this, I can't claim that everything on this site will be completely accurate. I have tried to insure that everything on this site is grammatically correct, however understand that I am merely a fellow student. With that said I hope all of you will find this site interesting and helpful with your studies.

The history to this webpage.

Why did I create this site? How did it first start up? Good questions. Being from a small city in Canada I found it very difficult to learn the mother tongue of my parents, as there are few resources available from which I can learn. So, I decided to create a resource for myself, somewhere I could collect everything I know about the language and use it at my leisure. I thought about using my limited knowledge on HTML to create a web page, that way I could have easy access to my work wherever I go.

Inspired, I started to collect everything I could about the language; at first I spent much of my time researching: searching the Internet, articles, buying books online, asking native speakers, etc... Often, the information I received was difficult to understand or (at times) contradictory, which became discouraging; however with help from family and friends I managed to piece together a good collection of some grammar exercises. I based all the grammar work on techniques often used to learn other languages and adapted some of them for online use.

Early on I found that the biggest difficulty was that most (if not all) Tigrigna dictionaries were only uni-directional (English to Tigrigna). This is very helpful for those who are native speakers of Tigrigna and are learning English, as they can look up any newly encountered English word and find the Tigrigna equivalent, but for those who are learning Tigrigna it's horrible as they can't look up any unknown Tigrigna words. This seriously hampered my project.

I knew that if I was to continue with my work I needed a basic bi-directional dictionary, so I started to create one. Being an English speaker I first found my new project very difficult; luckily, I was not alone. I had help from my family, my friends, and also from a large anonymous Internet diaspora of Eritreans to work with. So, I quickly gathered a collection of commonly used English words and organized them by subject (food, clothes, body parts, household items, outdoor items, etc...) and asked many people for their Tigrigna translation. Everyone I asked was very helpful -especially those at and after a month or two I had a small collection of 300 words. I was very happy with the results, however I needed more words. This is when I discovered a book for sale on it was a Tigrigna-French/French-Tigrigna dictionary. I bought it and used my elementary knowledge in French to help translate it to English. Much of the bi-directional Tigrigna-English dictionary is in fact based on this French book.

This website and dictionary would have to be the most effort that I have ever put into a single project, as I spent a lot of time typing and translating it; but once it was done and checked for accuracy it has enabled me to continue creating other language exercises.

I first started this site about three years ago, at the time it's main purpose was to help me teach myself Tigrigna; however, I believe it has grown into something much more complete now, something everyone can use. Also, it is my life-long belief that education and information should be free to all those who want it. It is because of this belief that I have resisted the temptation to charge people for the use of this site; I see no need to deny this language to anyone who wants to learn it. Thank you.

Efrem Zecarias
Tigrigna Online
December 18, 2007