|Also Known As: Issa,Af-soomaali,Common Somali,Af-maxaad Tiri,Standard Somali,Somali
The Somali language (Somali: Af Soomaali, Arabic: الصومالية) is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Its nearest relatives are Afar and Oromo. Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies of it from before 1900.
The exact number of speakers of Somali is unknown. One source estimates that there are 7.78 million speakers of Somali in Somalia itself and 12.65 million speakers globally. A population estimate made by the Dutch Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht puts the Somali population somewhere between 10 and 15 million. Combined with a large international expatriate community, it is difficult to get a specific number of Somali speakers, but somewhere between 10 and 16 million worldwide seems a reasonable estimate.
The Somali language is spoken by ethnic Somalis in Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Yemen and Kenya, and by the Somali diaspora.
Somali has been the national language of Somalia since 1972, gaining official status with standardization (Standard Somali) and the adoption of the Latin alphabet, developed under orders of then president Siad Barre. After the collapse of the central Somali government in the Somali..... full article at Wikipedia