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The Somali Language Landscape
Population of Somalia: 9,558,666 note: this estimate was derived from an official census taken in 1975 by the Somali Government; population counting in Somalia is complicated by the large number of nomads and by refugee movements in response to famine and clan warfare (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English
Internet country code: .so
Internet users: 94,000 (2006)
Somali is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by ethnic Somalis in Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Yemen and Kenya, as well as by the Somali diaspora around the world – an estimated total population of between 10 and 16 million speakers.
In 1972, Somali was declared the official language of Somalia and is used in education, administration and the media.
The exact number of speakers of Somali is unknown. However, it is estimated to be anywhere between 10 to 16 million worldwide. One source estimates that there are 7.78 million speakers of Somali in Somalia itself and 12.65 million speakers globally.
Sources: CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia – Content available under GNU Free Documentation License Related Article: The Global Language Landscape – Languages in Use on the Internet
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