Somalia

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

More Information

Boon
[bnl] Jubbada Dhexe region: Jilib district, bush settlements. 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.

More Information

Dabarre
[dbr] Jubbada Dhexe region: Bu’aale district; Bay region: Dhiinsoor district area, Dabaare; Shabeellaha Hoose region: Sablaade district. 20,000 (1998 J. Leclerc). 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.

More Information

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

More Information

Garre
[gex] Shabeellaha Hoose region: Wanla Weyne and Qoryoley districts; Bay region: southeast border area. 50,000 (1998 J. Leclerc). 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.

More Information

Italian
[ita] 4,000 in Somalia (1998 J. Leclerc). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national working language (2004, Transitional Federal Charter, Article 7(2)). Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Italo-Dalmatian. Comments: Non-indigenous.

More Information

Jiiddu
[jii] Shabeellaha Hoose region: west of Moqdisho. 20,000 (1998 J. Leclerc). 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.

More Information

Maay
[ymm] Bay and Bakool regions: Gedo, Shabeellaha Hoose, Jubbada Dhexe, Hiiraan, and Jubbada Hoose regions. 1,500,000 in Somalia (1998 J. Leclerc). 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.

More Information

Mushungulu
[xma] Jubbada Hoose region: Jamaame district; urban areas Kismaayo and Muqdisho. 20,000 (1998 J. Leclerc). 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. Muslim, traditional religion.

More Information

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.

More Information

Somali
[som] Widespread. 6,460,000 in Somalia (2002). Total users in all countries: 14,655,700 (as L1: 14,560,100; as L2: 95,600). 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: Northern Somali, Benaadir, Af-Ashraaf (Ashraaf). 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.

More Information

Swahili
[swh] Jubbada Hoose region. Bajuni dialect: Kismayuu south to the border with Kenya; Mwini dialect: Baraawe and dispersed in southern towns. 164,000 in Somalia (1998 J. Leclerc). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Bajun. Dialects: Mwini (Af-Chimwiini, Barawa, Barwaani, Bravanese, Chimbalazi, Chimwiini, Mbalazi, Miini, Mwiini), Bajuni (Af-Bajuun, al-Jaziira, Bajun, Gunya, Kibajuni, Tikuu). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Swahili (G.42). Comments: Non-indigenous. May have come centuries ago from Zanzibar.

More Information

Tunni
[tqq] Shabeellaha Hoose and Jubbada Dhexe regions: Dhiinsoor, Baraawe, and Jilib districts; Bay and Jubbada Hoose regions. 20,000 (1998 J. Leclerc). 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.

More Information

Page Views Left: