Qwara dialect

Native to Ethiopia
Region Amhara Region
Ethnicity Beta Israel
Extinct ca. 2000 (3,200 L2 speakers)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog hwar1238[1]

Qwara, or Qwareña (called "Falasha" (Hwarasa) in some older sources), was one of two Agaw dialects, spoken by a subgroup of the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) of the Qwara area. It is a dialect of Qimant. It is nearly extinct. Several early Falashan manuscripts, using the Ge'ez alphabet, exist; in more recent times, the language has been recorded by several linguists and travellers, starting with Flad in 1866.

The language was on the decline in the early 20th century, as it was being replaced by Amharic. During Operation Solomon, most of its remaining speakers were airlifted to Israel, where it continues to lose ground to Hebrew.

See also


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Hwarasa". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

Further reading

  1. Hayward, R.J.; Lewis, I., eds. (1996), Kaïliña – a 'new' Agaw dialect and its implications for Agaw dialectology, London: SOAS, pp. 1–19, ISBN 0-7286-0257-1 
  2. Flad, J. M. (1866). A Short Description of the Falasha and Kamants in Abyssinia: Together with an Outline of the Elements and a Vocabulary of the Falasha Language. Mission Press.
  3. Freeburg, E. (2013). The Cost of Revival: the Role of Hebrew in Jewish Language Endangerment (Doctoral dissertation, Yale University).

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