19 NOVEMBER 1910, Page 61


Initia Amharica; and English-Amharic Vocabulary, with Phrases. By C. H. Armbruster, M.A. (Cambridge University Press. 15s. net.)—Mr. Armbruster, who is a member of the Soudan Civil Service, gives us in these volumes the result of many years' labour, labour expended in the field as well as in the study. Amharic, the mother-tongue of the Shoan race, is the official language of Abyssinia, and it is on the frontier of that country that the work, the first of its kind, has been put together. Part I. contains the grammar of the language ; Part II. a vocabulary and phrases likely to be of use in practical life, whether military, commercial, or sporting. The grammar is a well-defined entity, bearing traces of Semitic origin, as in the masculine and feminine inflections of the verb paradigm. The student will be materially helped by the plan followed of expressing every Amharic word both in its proper characters—there are two hundred and sixty-nine of these—and phonetically in English. Mr. Armbruster's painstaking labours have the approval of the Egyptian Government, why it is easy to see, for they are sure to be of use in our dealings with an important nation. We must not omit a word of hearty com- mendation of the University Press for undertaking the publica- tion of this book. Profitable it can hardly be, and it might never have seen the light but for the patronage, if the word may be used, which the Cambridge University Press has extended to it.