Learn Oromo

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About Oromo

Oromo is the most widely spoken of the Cushitic languages, a family which includes the Somali language. It is an official language in Ethiopia and is also spoken in Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti. There are many dialects of Oromo - not all of them understandable by speakers of other dialects - which tend to borrow words from neighbouring languages. For example, the Oromo of Ethiopia may borrow Amharic words.

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Where is it spoken?



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Number of speakers


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Language family



Lowland East Cushitic

Fun facts — Oromo

  • Before the 1970s, Oromo could be written in either the Latin or the Ge'ez script. Today only the Latin script is used.
  • The Oromo people refer to their language as Afaan Oromo. Afaan means mouth or language.
  • Oromo has the fourth number of speakers of all languages spoken in Africa, coming after Arabic, Swahili and Hausa.

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