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Oromo language information

Afaan Oromoo / ئافان ئورومو
"Afaan Oromoo" in the Sheek Bakrii Saphaloo script invented by Bakri Sapalo[1]
Native toEthiopia, Kenya, Somalia[2]
Native speakers
45.5 million (all countries) (2022–2024)[3]
Language family
  • Cushitic
    • Lowland East
      • Oromoid
        • Oromo
Writing system
Latin (Qubee, Oromo alphabet)
Qubee Sheek Bakrii Saphaloo
Official status
Official language in
Oromo language Ethiopia[4]
Recognised minority
language in
Oromo language Kenya
Language codes
ISO 639-1om
ISO 639-2orm
ISO 639-3orm – inclusive code
Individual codes:
gax – Borana–Arsi–Guji Oromo
hae – Eastern Oromo
orc – Orma
gaz – West Central Oromo
ssn – Waata
Areas in East Africa where Oromo is spoken
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Oromo (/ˈɒrəm/[5] or /ɔːˈrm/;[6][7] Oromo: Afaan Oromoo), historically also called Galla[8] (a name regarded as pejorative by the Oromo),[9] is an Afroasiatic language that belongs to the Cushitic branch. It is native to the Ethiopian state of Oromia and Northern Kenya and is spoken predominantly by the Oromo people and neighboring ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa. It is used as a lingua franca particularly in the Oromia Region and northeastern Kenya.[10][11][12]

With more than 36 million speakers[13] making up 33.8% of the total Ethiopian population,[14] Oromo has the largest number of native speakers in Ethiopia, and ranks as the second most widely spoken language in Ethiopia by total number of speakers (including second-language speakers) following Amharic.[15] Forms of Oromo are spoken as a first language by an additional half-million people in parts of northern and eastern Kenya.[16] It is also spoken by smaller numbers of emigrants in other African countries such as South Africa, Libya, Egypt and Sudan. Oromo is the most widely spoken Cushitic language and among the five languages of Africa with the largest mother-tongue populations.[17]

Oromo serves as one of the official working languages of Ethiopia[4] and is also the working language of several of the states within the Ethiopian federal system including Oromia,[14] Harari and Dire Dawa regional states and of the Oromia Zone in the Amhara Region. It is a language of primary education in Oromia, Harari, Dire Dawa, Benishangul-Gumuz and Addis Ababa and of the Oromia Zone in the Amhara Region. It is used as an internet language for federal websites along with Tigrinya.[18][19] Under Haile Selassie's regime, Oromo was banned in education, in conversation, and in administrative matters.[20][21][22]

  1. ^
  2. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2024). "Oromo". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (Twenty Seventh ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  3. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2024). "Oromo". Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved February 22, 2024.
  4. ^ a b Shaban, Abdurahman (2020-03-04). "One to Five: Ethiopia Gets Four New Federal Working Languages". Africa News. Archived from the original on 2020-12-15. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  5. ^ Bauer, Laurie (2007). The Linguistics Student's Handbook. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-2759-2.
  6. ^ "Oromo". Dictionary Reference.
  7. ^ "Oromo".
  8. ^ Hodson, Arnold W.; Walker, Craven H. (July 1924). "Grammar of the Galla or Oromo Language". African Affairs (Review). XXIII (XCII): 328–329. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a100016.
  9. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D. "Oromo, West-Central [gaz]". Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Twenty-fifth edition. Dallas: SIL International. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  10. ^ Bulcha, Merkuria (1997). "The Politics of Linguistic Homogenization in Ethiopia and the Conflict over the Status of Afaan Oromoo". African Affairs. 96 (384): 325–352. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a007852. JSTOR 723182.
  11. ^ "Oromo (Afaan Oromo, Oromiffa, Oromoo)". Language Centre Resources. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Oromo Language". MustGo. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Ethiopia". Ethnologue. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Ethiopia". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 6 June 2022.
  15. ^ "Amharic". Ethnologue.
  16. ^ "Oromo". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  17. ^ "Children's Books Breathe New Life Into Oromo Language". BBC. 16 February 2016.
  18. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2019-11-19. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  19. ^ "ቤት | FMOH". Archived from the original on 2021-02-05. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  20. ^ Davey, Melissa (2016-02-13). "Oromo Children's Books Keep Once-Banned Ethiopian Language Alive". The Guardian. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  21. ^ "Oromo" (PDF) (Brochure). National African Language Resource Center (NALRC).
  22. ^ "Ethiopians: Amhara and Oromo". International Institute of Minnesota.

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