Amharic is one of the Ethiopian Semitic languages, which are a subgrouping within the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages. It is spoken as a first language by the Amharas and as a lingua franca by other populations residing in major cities and towns of Ethiopia. The language serves as the official working language of Ethiopia, and is also the official or working language of several of the states within the Ethiopian federal system. With 21,811,600 total speakers as of 2007, including around 4,000,000 L2 speakers, Amharic is the second-most commonly spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic.
Amharic is written left-to-right using a system that grew out of the Ge'ez script, called, in Ethiopian Semitic languages, Fidäl (ፊደል), "writing system", "letter", or "character" or abugida (አቡጊዳ), from the first four symbols, which gave rise to the modern linguistic term abugida. There is no agreed way of romanising Amharic into Latin script.
(Courtesy of Amharic Language Wikipedia)