Afar

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A language of Ethiopia

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

1,280,000 in Ethiopia (2010 UNSD). L2 users: 22,800 in Ethiopia. 906,000 monolinguals (1994 census). Total users in all countries: 1,828,800 (as L1: 1,806,000; as L2: 22,800).

Location

Eastern lowlands, Afar, Amhara, and Somali regions.

Language Status

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

Dialects

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

Typology

SOV.

Language Use

Also use Sudanese Spoken Arabic [apd].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 3%. Used in education. Poetry. New media. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 2013.
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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