Somalia

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Arabic, Standard
[arb] Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (2004, Transitional Federal Charter, Article 7(1)). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic

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Boon
[bnl] Middle Jubba Region, Jilib district, bush settlements of 2 or 3 houses. 59 (2000). Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Alternate Names: Af-Boon Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to Somali [som]. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East Comments: Distinct from Boni [bob]. ‘Boon’, low caste, including Yibir, Midgaan (Midgo, language Af-Midgood), Madiban, Tumal, Yahar, Yihir, and other clans.

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Dabarre
[dbr] May Region, Dhiinsoor district area, Dabaare; lower Shabeele Region, Baraawe district, Iroole and Qansax Dheere. 23,000 (2006). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Af-Dabarre Dialects: Dabarre, Iroole (Af-Iroole). A very distinctive language in the Digil clan family. Dialects are clan names. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali Comments: Muslim.

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English
[eng] Status: 1 (National). Statutory national working language (2004, Transitional Federal Charter, Article 7(2)). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English

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Garre
[gex] Mostly south, especially lower Shabelle Region, Wanla Weyne and Qoryoley districts; Bay Region, Bur Hakaba, Dinsor, and Baydoa districts. 57,500 (2006). Ethnic population: 100,000 (1992). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Af-Garre Dialects: None known. Reportedly linguistically similar to Boni [bob]. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali Comments: Part of the Hawiye clan family. Consider themselves part of the Garreh people in Kenya, though they now speak different languages. Some ethnic Garre in Somalia speak Maay [ymm] as L1. Muslim.

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Italian
[ita] 4,000 in Somalia (2006). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national working language (2004, Transitional Federal Charter, Article 7(2)). Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Italo-Dalmatian

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Jiiddu
[jii] Lower Shabeelle Bay and Middle Jubba regions, Qoryooley, Dhiinsoor, Jilib, and Buurhakaba districts. 23,000 (2006). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Af-Jiiddu, Jiddu Dialects: Distinct from Somali [som] and Tunni [tqq], usually grouped under Digil dialects or languages. Different sentence structure and phonology from Somali. More similar to Somali than to Baiso [bsw]. Reportedly some similarities to Konsoid languages and to Gedeo [drs], Alaba-Kabeena [alw], Hadiyya [hdy], and Kambaata [ktb]. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali Comments: Muslim.

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Maay
[ymm] South, Gedo Region, Middle and Lower Shabeelle, Middle and Lower Jubba, Baay, and Bakool regions. 1,860,000 in Somalia (2006). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Af-Maay, Af-Maay Tiri, Af-May, Af-Maymay, Rahanween, Rahanweyn Dialects: 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. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali Comments: Little travel. Muslim.

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Mushungulu
[xma] South, lower Jubba Region, Jamaame district center; urban areas: Kismaayo and Muqdisho. 23,000 (2006). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Kimushungulu, Mushunguli Dialects: None known. May be the same as, or intelligible of, Zigula [ziw] or Shambala [ksb]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Zigula-Zaramo (G.311) Comments: Descended from fugitive slaves who escaped from Somali masters in Middle Shabeelle region around 1840. Ethnonym: Wazegua in northeast Tanzania (see Zigula). Muslim, traditional religion.

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Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji
[gax] Gedo Region. 41,600 in Somalia (2000). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Southern Oromo Dialects: Borana (Booran, Boran). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo Comments: The Oromo variety in Gedo is probably Borana; that in the Lower Jubba region is probably Orma [orc]. The Oromo spoken in the Lower Jubba region may actually be Orma. The Orma controlled that area until the mid or late 19th century. They move from lower Tana River inland toward Kitui District during rainy season. Muslim.

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Somali
[som] Widespread. 6,460,000 in Somalia (2002). Population total all countries: 14,679,300. Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (2004, Transitional Federal Charter, Article 7(1)). Alternate Names: Af-Maxaad Tiri, Af-Soomaali, Common Somali, Soomaaliga, Standard Somali Dialects: Af-Ashraaf (Ashraaf), Benaadir, Northern Somali. Northern Somali is basis for standard Somali. Readily intelligible to Benaadir Somali speakers, but difficult or unintelligible to most Maay [ymm]. Those in Merka and Muqdisho speak Af-Ashraaf, a distinct variety which may have limited inherent intelligibility of standard Somali. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali Comments: Muslim.

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Swahili
[swh] Mwini dialect: Lower Shabeelle, Baraawe and scattered in southern towns; Bajun dialect: Kismaayo district and nearby coast. Most fled to Kenya due to civil war. 184,000 in Somalia (2006). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Dialects: Bajuni (Af-Bajuun, Bajun, Kibajuni), Mwini (Af-Chimwiini, Barawa, Barwaani, Bravanese, Chimbalazi, Chimwiini, Mbalazi, Miini, Mwiini). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Swahili (G.42) Comments: May have come centuries ago from Zanzibar.

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Tunni
[tqq] Lower Shabeelle and Middle Jubba regions, Dhiinsoor, Baraawe, and Jilib districts. 23,000 (2006). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Af-Tunni Dialects: Distinct from Somali [som] or Jiiddu [jii], usually grouped under the Digil dialects or languages. Different sentence structure and phonology from Somali [som]. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali Comments: Maay [ymm] language influences. Nomadic. Muslim.

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