Wolaytta

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A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Borodda, Ometo, Uba, Wolaita, Wolaitta, Wolataita, Wolayta, “Ualamo” (pej.), “Uollamo” (pej.), “Walamo” (pej.), “Wallamo” (pej.), “Welamo” (pej.), “Wellamo” (pej.), “Wollamo” (pej.)
Autonym
Wolaytta
Population

1,799,800, all users. L1 users: 1,710,000 (2007 census). L2 users: 89,800. 1,000,000 monolinguals.

Location

Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region: Wolaytta zone, Lake Abaya area.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication).

Dialects

Zala. Dorze [doz], Melo [mfx], and Oyda [oyd] may be dialects of Wolaytta. Lexical similarity: 79%–93% with Gamo [gmv], 84% with Gofa [gof], 80% with Dawro [dwr] and Dorze [doz], 48% with Koorete [kqy], 43% with Male [mdy].

Typology

SOV.

Language Use

Also use Amharic [amh]. Used as L2 by Baiso [bsw], Kachama-Ganjule [kcx].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 30%. Also taught as a major at the university level. Taught in primary schools in grades 1–4 as the medium of instruction, in grades 5–10 as a subject. Dictionary. Bible: 2002–2003.
Writing

Ethiopic script [Ethi], primarily used by adults. Latin script [Latn], taught in school.

Other Comments

Geographic names: Balta, Borodda, Ganta, Otschollo, Uba. Traditional religion, Christian.

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