For other uses please see Tigre (disambiguation) Tigre ( tigre or ትግሬ tigrē), better known in Eritrea by its autonym Tigrayit (Ge’ez: ትግራይት), and also known by speakers in Sudan as Xasa ( ), is an Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Northeast Africa. It belongs to the North Ethiopic subdivision of the family’s South Semitic branch, and is primarily spoken by the Tigre people in Eritrea. Along with Tigrinya, it is believed to be one of the direct descendants of the ancient Ge’ez language (Ethiopic), a Semitic tongue which is still in use as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. As of 1997, Tigre was spoken by approximately 800,000 Tigre people in Eritrea. The Tigre mainly inhabit western Eritrea, though they also reside in the northern highlands of Eritrea and its extension into the adjacent part of Sudan, as well as Eritrea’s Red Sea coast north of Zula. The Tigre people are not to be confused with their neighbors to the south, the Tigray-Tigrinya people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. The northern Ethiopian province which is now named the Tigray Region is a territory of the Tigrayans. Tigrinya is also derived from the parent Ge’ez tongue, but is quite distinct from Tigre despite the similarity in name.