Where & What is Uthiopia?

Uthiopia is the abode of Yves-Marie Stranger author, translator,  interpreter.

I’m based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and I work in languages – in fact I’m fascinated with them, in all their aspects – from shibboleths on the Barbary Coast to አይታወቅም (Ethiopia’s ineffable answer to all mysteries), from gibberish in Amharic (a secret language for initiates, children and imbeciles) to close shaves with unpronounceables  – I translate, interpret, write and ghostwrite languages.



Utopia [juːˈtəʊpɪə]. An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. The word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More. Synonyms:   paradise, heaven (on earth), Eden, Garden of Eden, Shangri-La, Elysium, Zion.

Ethiopia [iːθɪˈəʊpɪə]. A republic in northeastern Africa on the Red Sea; formerly called Abyssinia. In classical antiquity the term was loosely applied to all of the lands beyond southern Egypt.

Uthiopia [juːθɪˈəʊpɪə]. A portmanteau word, a toponyme for the land of Prester John, John de Mandeville, &  the blood line of Solomon where the lion of Juda roams alongside the unicorn, and Herodotus’ troglodytes now make their abode in condominiums.


Translations (Fr↔En/Am, Sp→En,Fr – more info)


Portraits controversés d’un prince éthiopien

Baghdad Arts Deco

Addis Ababa, the city and its architectural heritage

Un Train Africain/የባቡር ወጎች/African Train



Contributing author


Un Train Africain/የባቡር ወጎች/African Train

Toute la Lire (Cahier No.1)




Ces Pas qui Trop Vite s’Effacent

Ethiopia Through Writers’ Eyes (Eland Books, March 2016)

Le Syllabaire Abyssin (2016)




The Guardian, CNN Traveller, Africa Geographic, Qantara, What’s Out


Interpreting (more info)




Posts from Uthiopia


Tintin in Ethiopia: at last, the long lost classic is reviewed here

Mefaqia: give me a fulcrum and a lever and I shall prise your mouth open

A Shibboleth on the Barbary coast

Little is known about this topic

Members only: how the story of the Ethiopian condom stretches the imagination

The real story of Kaldi and the dancing goats

Abyssinia Dreaming: pictures by Nicolas Henry

The Language of the Birds: a secret language for initiates, children and imbeciles