Eritrea

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Afar
[aar] Northern Red Sea and Southern Red Sea regions. Population: 487,000 in Eritrea (2016), increasing. Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Afaraf, Qafar, Qafar af, ʿAfár af, “Danakil” (pej.), “Denkel” (pej.). Dialects: Central Afar, Northern Afar, Aussa, Ba’adu. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar.

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Arabic, Hijazi Spoken
[acw] Northern Red Sea and Southern Red Sea regions. Population: 29,300 in Eritrea (2016). Ethnic population: 80,000 (2010). Status: 6a* (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Rashaida, Rashida. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic.

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Arabic, Standard
[arb] Widespread. Population: 2,420,000 in Eritrea (2015 SIL), all users. Status: 1 (National). De facto national language. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic.

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Arabic, Sudanese Spoken
[apd] Anseba and Gash-Barka regions: possibly Asmara and other urban communities. Population: Status: 6a* (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Arabi. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic.

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Bedawiyet
[bej] Anseba and Gash-Barka regions. Population: 194,000 in Eritrea (2016). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Beḍauye, Bedawi, Bedawiye, Bedawye, Bedja, Bedwi, Bedya, Bedàwie, Beja, Bidhaaweet, Bidhaawyeet, Lobat, Tu Bdhaawi. Dialects: Hadareb (Hadaareb), Bisharin (Bisariab, Bisarin), Hadendoa (Hadendowa), Beni-Amir, Ababda, Amara. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, North.

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Bilen
[byn] Anseba region: Keren town area. Population: 112,000 (2016). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Balen, Belen, Beleni, Bilayn, Bilein, Bilene, Bileno, Bilin, Bogo, Bogos, North Agaw. Autonym: Blin, ብሊን‎ (Blin). Dialects: Senhit, T’aqwur. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Northern.

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Dahalik
[dlk] Northern Red Sea region: Dahlak Archipelago. Population: 2,500 (2012 J. McLaughlin). Status: 6b* (Threatened). Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to Tigré [tig]. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North.

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English
[eng] Widespread. Population: Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English.

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Geez
[gez] Widespread. Population: No known L1 speakers in Eritrea. Ethnic population: No ethnic community. Status: 9 (Second language only). Alternate Names: Ancient Ethiopic, Ethiopic, Ge’ez, Giiz. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North.

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Italian
[ita] Maekel region: Asmara area. Population: A few monolinguals. Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Alternate Names: Italiano. Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Italo-Dalmatian.

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Kunama
[kun] Gash-Barka region: between Gash river and Ethiopia border; Aimara west of Barentu, Barka south of Barentu, Marda north, northeast, and east of Barentu, Barentu. Population: 229,000 in Eritrea (2016), increasing. Total users in all countries: 236,570 (as L1: 236,430; as L2: 140). Status: 4 (Educational). Alternate Names: Baada, Baaden, Baaza, Baazayn, Baazen, Bada, Baden, Baza, Bazen, Cunama, Diila. Autonym: Kunama. Dialects: Barka (Berka), Marda, Aymasa (Aaimasa, Aimara, Odasa), Tika (Lakatakura-Tika, Tiika), Ilit (Iiliit, Iilit, Iliit), Bitama (Bitaama), Sokodasa (Sogadas, Sogodas), Takazze-Setiit (Setiit, Setit), Tigray. Bitama and Ilit are nearly unintelligible to other Kunama dialect speakers. Barka is largest and is intelligible to speakers of all others. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Satellite-Core, Satellites, Kunama.

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Nara
[nrb] Gash-Barka region: north of Barentu. Population: 99,800 (2016), increasing. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Nera, “Barea” (pej.), “Baria” (pej.), “Barya” (pej.). Dialects: Higir, Koyta, Santora. Little intelligibility of Kunama [kun]. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Satellite-Core, Core, Eastern Sudanic, Northern (k languages), Nara.

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Saho
[ssy] Debub, Northern Red Sea, and Southern Red Sea regions. Population: 235,000 in Eritrea (2016), increasing. Total users in all countries: 271,180 (as L1: 267,800; as L2: 3,380). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Sao, Shaho, Shiho, Shoho. Autonym: Saho. Dialects: Irob dialect only in Ethiopia. Very similar to Afar [aar]. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar.

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Tigré
[tig] Anseba, Gash-Barka, and Northern Red Sea regions. Widespread except in Southern Red Sea region. Population: 1,290,000 in Eritrea (2016), increasing. Status: 4 (Educational). Autonym: ትግራይት‎ (Tigrayit/Tigraayit). Dialects: Mansa’ (Mensa), Habab, Beni-Amir, Semhar, Algeden, Senhit (Ad-Tekleis, Ad-Temariam, Bet-Juk, Marya Kayah, Mensa), Dahalik. Between dialects (except Dahalik) intelligibility is above 91% (Idris 2005); between Dahalik and the other dialects 24%–51% (Idris 2010). Lexical similarity: 71% with Ge’ez [gez], 64% with Tigrigna [tir] (Bender, M. 1971). Intelligibility of Dahalik undetermined, Tigre dialectical lexical similarity is 86%–97% (Idris 2005); 55%–60% with Dahalik and other Tigre dialects (Idris 2010). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North.

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Tigrigna
[tir] Widespread, especially south and central. Population: 3,110,000 in Eritrea (2016), increasing. Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language. Alternate Names: Habashi, Tigray, Tigrinya. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North.

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