Afar

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A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Adal, ’Afar Af, Afaraf, “Danakil” (pej.), “Denkel” (pej.), Qafar
Population

1,280,000 in Ethiopia (2007 census). Population total all countries: 1,379,200. 906,000 monolinguals (1994 census). L2 users: 22,800 in Ethiopia.

Location

Eastern lowlands, Afar, Amara, and Sumale states; may be in Somalia.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial working language in Afar Region (1994, Constitution, Art 47).

Dialects

Aussa, Baadu (Ba’adu), Central Afar, Northern Afar. Related to Saho [ssy].

Typology

SOV.

Language Use

Also use Sudanese Spoken Arabic [apd].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 3%. Poetry. New media. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1994.
Writing

Ethiopic script [Ethi], used in Ethiopia. Latin script [Latn], used since 1840, primary usage.

Other Comments

Called “Danakil” in Arabic and by others, but that is considered offensive by the Afar. Called Adal in Amharic. Nomadic. Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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