The Somali leid (Somali: Afsoomaali, Arabic: الصومالية‎) is a member o the East Cushitic branch o the Afro-Asiatic leid faimily. Its nearest relatives are Afar an Oromo. Somali is the best documentit o the Cushitic leids,[3] wi academic studies beginnin afore 1900.

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اللغة الصومالية
Native taeSomalie, Somaliland,[1] Djibouti,
Ethiopie, Yemen, Kenyae
RegionHorn o Africae
Native speakers
16.6 million (2006)[2]
Offeecial status
Offeecial leid in
Leid codes
ISO 639-1so
ISO 639-2som
ISO 639-3som
Somali-speakin region

Number o speakers


The exact number o speakers o Somali is unkent. Ane source estimates that there are 7.78 million speakers o Somali in Somalie itself (includin Somaliland) an 12.65 million speakers globally.[4] A population estimate made bi the Dutch Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht puts the Somali population somewhaur atween 10 an 15 million.[5] Combined wi a lairge internaitional expatriate community, it is difficult tae get a specific number o Somali speakers, but somewhaur atween 10 an 16 million warldwide seems a reasonable estimate. Accordin tae Gordon (2005), approximately 13 million fowk speak Somali, but upwards o 25 million individuals are commonly estimatit tae speak the leid.[1] Archived 2010-12-30 at the Wayback Machine


  1. Nae internaitionally recognized. See Leet o sovereign states
  2. "Somali". SIL International. 2013. Retrieved 4 Mey 2013.
  3. A software tool for research in linguistics and lexicography: Application to Somali Archived 2020-03-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Ethnologue: Somalia
  5. SOMALIA historical demographic data of the whole country Archived 2006-05-02 at the Wayback Machine Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht