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Languages of Oman

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Sultanate of Oman, Saltanat `Uman. 2,903,165. 535,000 are expatriates (1993 census). National or official language: Standard Arabic. Literacy rate: 59.75% (1993 census). Also includes Baharna Spoken Arabic (10,000), Gujarati, Portuguese, Shihhi Spoken Arabic (22,000), Sindhi, Somali, Swahili (22,000), Urdu (30,000), people from Bangladesh (88,000), Egypt (33,000), India (268,000), Jordan (8,000), Pakistan (63,000), Philippines (10,000), Sri Lanka (25,000), Sudan (9,000), other Gulf States (6,000), other Arab (10,000), United Kingdom (7,000). Information mainly from T. M. Johnstone 1967; C. Holes 1988, 1990. Deaf population: 103,131. The number of languages listed for Oman is 13. Of those, all are living languages.

Living languages

Arabic, Dhofari Spoken

[adf] 70,000 (1996). In Salala and its nearby coastal regions. Alternate names: Dhofari, Zofari.  Dialects: Related to Hadromi Spoken Arabic and Gulf Spoken Arabic.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Arabic, Gulf Spoken

[afb] 441,000 in Oman (1995). Most coastal regions and most border regions with the United Arab Emirates. Alternate names: Omani Bedawi Arabic, Bedawi, Gulf Arabic, Khaliji.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Arabic, Omani Spoken

[acx] 720,000 in Oman (1996). Population total all countries: 815,000. Mainly in the Hajar Mountains highlands and a few coastal regions. Also spoken in Kenya, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates. Alternate names: Omani Hadari Arabic.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Arabic, Standard

[arb]  Middle East, North Africa. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic 
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Balochi, Southern

[bcc] 130,300 in Oman (1993). Ethnic population: 312,000 in Oman (1993). Most were in Mutrah, but have dispersed a bit up the coast. Alternate names: Baluchi, Baluci, Baloci.  Dialects: Makrani (Lotuni, Zadgaali), Barahuwi, Bashgaadi, Huuti.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Balochi 
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Bathari

[bhm] 200 in Oman. Dhofar Governorate, in coastal towns of Shuwaymiya and Sharbithat. Alternate names: Batahari, Bathara.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, South Arabian 
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Farsi, Western

[pes] 25,000 in Oman (1993). Scattered in cities along the coast. Many in a community in Jabroo, on the way out of Mutrah, going toward Ruwi. Alternate names: Persian.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Persian 
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Harsusi

[hss] 1,000 to 2,000 (1998 H. Mutzafi). Jiddat al-Harasis, Dhofar Province, south central Oman. Alternate names: Hersyet, Harsi `Aforit.  Dialects: Close to Mehri, but usually considered to be a separate language.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, South Arabian 
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Hobyót

[hoh] 100 in Oman (1998 Hezy Mutzafi). Near the Yemen border. Also spoken in Yemen. Alternate names: Hewbyót, Hobi.  Dialects: Related to Mehri and Jibbali. Possibly a mixed language from Shehri and Mehri.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, South Arabian 
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Kumzari

[zum] 1,700 (1993 census). Spoken only on the Musandam Peninsula of northern Oman. Alternate names: Kumzai.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Luri 
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Luwati

[luv] 5,000 (1996). In a walled quarter of Mutrah, facing the old harbor, and in Muscat and other cities. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Unclassified 
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Mehri

[gdq] 50,763 in Oman (2000 WCD). South Oman near Yemen border. Alternate names: Mahri.  Dialects: Nagdi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, South Arabian 
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Shehri

[shv] 25,000 (1993 census). Dofar, in the mountains north of Al-Salala. Alternate names: Geblet, Sheret, Sehri, Shahari, Jibali, Jibbali, Ehkili, Qarawi.  Dialects: Central Jibbali, Eastern Jibbali, Western Jibbali. Eastern Jibbali includes Kuria Muria ('Baby' Jibbali). Speakers are reported to be increasingly bilingual in Dhofari Arabic.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, South Arabian 
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