IME (keyboard input) for Amharic/Tigrinya in Win XP?
Thread poster: Jan Sundström

Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:58
English to Swedish
+ ...
Jan 12, 2010

Hi all,

I'm helping a translator to set up an XP machine for Amharic/Tigrinya.
I understand that XP doesn't support input of these scripts natively, so I need to download a separate IME (keyboad input tool). Harry Bornemann wrote about this earlier:

I've found a few links, but I have no clue which one to use:

For those of you working in Amharic/Tigrinya, which ones do you prefer?
Quite a few postings seem to recommend Tavultesoft Keyman, but as I understand, this is a 30 day trial. Have any of you tried it, or are the freeware offerings just as good?

Also, I wonder if most of these IMEs are compatible with Open Office? I found a post indicating that there might be issues:

As a last workaround, I thought about suggesting an upgrade to Vista instead. IIUC, there is native support for both languages, which eliminates the need for an IME alltogether?

Thanks a lot for any feedback!


United States
Local time: 07:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
Ask the practitioners at Jan 12, 2010


Perhaps one way to get helpful advice on that technical matter of workable keyboard input settings is to ask the practitioners in those two languages at EthioTrans, website URL: < >.

EthioTrans is a language services firm based in San Diego, California. Some of their registered translators who work in those languages have likely encountered and resolved the same technicality.

Hope this helps.

Stephen H. Franke
English - Arabic,
Kurdish, and Persian
San Pedro, California


Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
English to German
+ ...
Power Geez Jan 13, 2010

Hi Jan,

I would use Power Geez or Visual Geez because they are installed in every internetcafe in Addis. I also tried Tavultesoft Keyman (because I could not find anything else for Nuer) and it worked, but it was very cumbersome for my Amharic friends to use because they are accustomed to the keyboard layout and key combinations of Power Geez (which can be emulated by Visual Geez), and for the Nuer translator it was even stranger.

BTW, although Power Geez is no freeware, you may distribute the fonts from it freely, because you need them to view Word documents in Amharic.

Actually I have not done or managed any CAT tool translations from or into Amharic yet, because there were too many other problems which would be more urgent or important to solve.

At the moment I am in Mexico for some months to check out which problems I will have here.

Good speed,



Local time: 07:58
Amharic to English
+ ...
We have the solution Jan 13, 2010

Well at we face this every day. Amharic has more than 250 letters and IME is too slow and time consuming but the software we have will use keyboard combination (Phonetic) and east to learn. Our software supports both UNICODE and NONUnicode Others software support only one may be UNICODE or NON-UNICODE. For more info please send your question to


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IME (keyboard input) for Amharic/Tigrinya in Win XP?

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