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Learn Somali

Somali or Af-Soomaali is the official language of Somalia and is also spoken in Djibouti and Ethiopia. It is a Cushitic language whose closest relative is Oromo, spoken in Ethiopia. Arabic has influenced approximately 20% of the Somali vocabulary, with other words coming from Italian and English. There are three main varieties of Somali: Northern, on which Standard Somali is based, Benadir, which is mutually understandable with Northern, and Maay, which is not mutually intelligible with the other two.

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Planet Earth

Where is it spoken?

Somalia

Djibouti

Somaliland

People Talking

Number of speakers

15,000,000

Family Tree

Language family

Afro-Asiatic

Cushitic

Lowland East Cushitic

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Fun facts — Somali

Somali sayings include 'A home without a mother is like a desert' and 'He who has not travelled has no understanding'.

Somali prepositions come before the verb and the verb comes at the end of the sentence! 'Bring the car for Ali' is literally 'Ali the car for-bring'. 'Bring the car from Ali' is 'Ali the car from-bring!'.

Somali is spoken by about 95% of the population of Somalia.

Somali has 2 tones which can change meaning. For example, 'boy' is ínan, and 'girl' is inán.

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