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Somali Language

Somali Translation & Somali Interpretation Services

Providing Professional Translation, Interpretation and Localization services in Somali and more than 200 other languages and dialects.

Autonym(s)

Af-Soomaali

Number of Speakers

Native Speakers: 15 million

Geographic Distribution

Horn of Africa

Official or Recognized Status

Official: Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti; Recognized minority language in Kenya

Classification

Afroasiatic, Cushitic

Features

An agglutinative language with a subject-object-verb (SOV) word order. Shows properties of inflection and affixes are used to mark tense, case, and aspect. Verbs are conjugated through the addition of suffixes to the verb stem or with the addition of prefixes. Nouns have tonal markings for number, gender, and case, and plural nouns take the opposite gender agreement of the singular form.

Dialects

Northern, Benadir, and Maay, with the Northern variety forming the basis of Standard Somali, spoken by roughly 60% of Somalis. Each of these major dialect groups also contains multiple dialects. The Benadir dialect group is largely mutually intelligible with Standard Somali but the Maay dialect group is not (although speakers of Maay dialects often also speak Standard Somali).

Writing System

Latin script. Previously used a modified form of the Arabic alphabet, known as Wadaad’s writing.

U.S. Distribution

Roughly 135,000 Somalis and Somali-Americans in the United States. The largest community is found in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, totaling around 25,000, with the majority being born in Somali. Other large communities are located in Columbus, Ohio; Seattle; San Diego; and the Washington, DC Metro Area.

At Latitude Prime, we offer Somali translation, Somali interpretation, and Somali localization services in numerous specialized subject areas and multiple dialects. Whether you need to translate public information notices into Somali, need a Somali interpreter for an immigration hearing, or want to localize your website into Somali to market your products or services in the Horn of Africa, Latitude Prime has the customized language solution to meet all of your Somali language needs.

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