A language of Somalia

Alternate Names
Af-Maay, Af-Maay Tiri, Af-May, Af-Maymay, Rahanween, Rahanweyn

1,860,000 in Somalia (2006).


Bay and Bakool regions: Gedo, Shabeellaha Hoose, Jubbada Dhexe, Hiiraan, and Jubbada Hoose regions.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Af-Helledi. May be more than 1 language; dialects form a continuum. Within the Maay dialect continuum, at least two dialect groupings may be discerned, largely between the Digil clans (e.g, Wenle Weyn) and the Mirifle clans (based on Bay Bakool). The Digil consider themselves the “royal clan class” of the Maay-speaking Rahanweyn. Somali [som] is difficult or unintelligible to Maay speakers, except when learned through mass communications, urbanization, and internal movement. Different sentence structure and phonology from Somali. Af-Helledi is a Maay secret language used by hunters.

Language Use

Used as L2 by Dabarre [dbr], Garre [gex], Jiiddu [jii], Mushungulu [xma], Tunni [tqq].

Language Development
Bible portions: 2006–2007.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Little travel. Muslim.