Somali

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A language of Somalia

Alternate Names
Af-Maxaad Tiri, Af-Soomaali, Common Somali, Soomaaliga, Standard Somali
Population

6,460,000 in Somalia (2002). Population total all countries: 14,679,300.

Location

Widespread.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (2004, Transitional Federal Charter, Article 7(1)).

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.

Typology

SOV.

Language Use

Language of most of the people of the country. Also use Italian [ita], Standard Arabic [arb].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 25% in cities, 10% rural. Taught in primary schools. Poetry. New media. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1979.
Writing

Arabic script [Arab], no longer in use. Latin script [Latn], used since 1972. Osmanya script [Osma], no longer in use.

Other Comments

Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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