A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Gamotso, Gemu

1,070,000 (2010 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 24,400. 600,000 monolinguals.


Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region: Gamo-Gofa zone.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).


Dache. Lexical similarity: 79%–91% with Gofa [gof], 82%–87% with Dorze [doz], 73%–80% with Dawro [dwr], 79%–89% with Wolaytta [wal], 49% with Koorete [kqy], 44% with Male [mdy].


SOV; derived nouns formed by suffixation of verbs; passives; case suffixes; postpositions; tonal.

Language Use

Everyday rural life. Neutral attitudes. Also use Amharic [amh]. Used as L2 by Baiso [bsw], Bussa [dox].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 18%. Church-based literacy program started 2007. Also taught as a major at the university level. Taught in primary schools in grades 1–4 as the medium of instruction, in grades 5–9 as a subject. NT: 2011.

Ethiopic script [Ethi], used in Church literature. Latin script [Latn], official usage.

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