Amharic ( or ; Amharic: , ) is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second-most spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Amharic is also the official or working language of several of the states within the federal system. It has been the working language of government, the military, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church throughout medieval and modern times. The 2007 census counted nearly 22 million native speakers in Ethiopia. Outside Ethiopia, Amharic is the language of some 2.7 million emigrants. It is written (left-to-right) using Amharic Fidel, , which grew out of the Ge'ez abugida—called, in Ethiopian Semitic languages, fidel ("writing system", "letter", or "character") and abugida (from the first four Ethiopic letters, which gave rise to the modern linguistic term abugida).