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Amharic News, Breaking News Amharic, Ethiopian

The 84 Ethiopian Languages

Published Posted on by | By TZTA News

Aari
[aiz] 158,857 (1998 census). 129,350 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 155,002 (1989 census). North central Omo Region, southern tip of Ethiopian plateau, near the Hamer-Banna. Alternate names: Ari, Ara, Aro, Aarai, “Shankilla”, “Shankillinya”, “Shankilligna”. Dialects: Gozza, Bako (Baco), Biyo (Bio), Galila, Laydo, Seyki, Shangama, Sido, Wubahamer (Ubamer), Zeddo. Galila is a significantly divergent dialect. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South.

Afar
[aar] 979,367 in Ethiopia . 905,872 monolinguals (1998 census). Population total all countries: 1,439,367. Eastern lowlands, Afar Region. May also be in Somalia . Also spoken in Djibouti , Eritrea . Alternate names: Afaraf, ” Danakil “, “Denkel”, `Afar Af, Adal. Dialects: Northern Afar, Central Afar, Aussa, Baadu (Ba`adu). Related to Saho. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar.

Alaba
[alw] 126,257 (1998 census). 95,388 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 125,900 (1998 census). Rift Valley southwest of Lake Shala . Separated by a river from the Kambatta. Alternate names: Allaaba, Halaba. Dialects: Lexical similarity 81% with Kambaata, 64% with Sidamo, 56% with Libido, 54% with Hadiyya. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland .

Amharic
[amh] 17,372,913 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 14,743,556 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 17,417,913. Ethnic population: 16,007,933 (1998 census). North central Ethiopia , Amhara Region, and in Addis Ababa . Also spoken in Egypt , Israel , Sweden . Alternate names: Abyssinian, Ethiopian, Amarinya, Amarigna. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Amharic-Argobba.

Anfillo
[myo] 500 (1990 SIL). Ethnic population: 1,000 (1990 SIL). Anfillo Forest , west of Dembi Dolo. Alternate names: Southern Mao. Dialects: Lexical similarity 53% with Shekkacho. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, Central.

Anuak
[anu] 45,646 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 34,311 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 45,665 (1998 census). Gambela Region in the southwest. Along the Baro, Alworo, and Gilo rivers and on the right bank of the Akobo River . Gambela town is the main center. Alternate names: Anywak, Anyuak, Anywa, Yambo, Jambo, Yembo, Bar, Burjin, Miroy, Moojanga, Nuro. Dialects: Adoyo, Coro , Lul, Opëno. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Western, Luo, Northern, Anuak.

Arbore
[arv] 4,441 (1998 census). 3,907 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 6,559 (1998 census). Extreme southwest, Omo Region, near Lake Stefanie . Alternate names: Arbora, Erbore, Irbore. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana.

Argobba
[agj] 10,860 (1998 census). 44,737 monolinguals. Population includes 47,285 in Amharic, 3,771 in Oromo, 541 in Tigrigna (1998 census). Ethnic population: 62,831 (1998 census). Fragmented areas along the Rift Valley in settlements like Yimlawo, Gusa, Shonke, Berket, Keramba, Mellajillo, Metehara, Shewa Robit, and surrounding rural villages. Dialects: Ankober, Shonke. It is reported that the ‘purest’ Argobba is spoken in Shonke and T’olaha. Lexical similarity 75% to 85% with Amharic. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Amharic-Argobba.

Awngi
[awn] 356,980 (1998 census). 279,326 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 397,491 (1998 census). Amhara Region. Widely scattered parts of Agew Midir and Metekel, southwest of Lake Tana . Alternate names: Awiya, Awi, Agaw, Agau, Agew, Agow, Awawar, Damot, Kwollanyoch. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Southern.

Baiso
[bsw] 1,010 (1995 SIL). Ethnic population: 3,260 (1994 M. Brenzinger). Alge village near Merab Abaya, halfway between Soddo and Arba Minch (390); Gidicho Island, Baiso and Shigima villages (200); and Welege Island on Lake Abaya (420), and the western shore of the lake. Alternate names: Bayso, Alkali. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana

Bambassi
[myf] 5,000 (1982 SIL). Beni Shangul Region, in and around Bambesi. Alternate names: Bambeshi, Siggoyo, Amam, Fadiro, Northern Mao, Didessa. Dialects: Kere, Bambassi. Lexical similarity 31% with other Omotic languages, 17% with Hozo-Sezo (Bender 1983). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, East.

Basketo
[bst] 57,805 (1998 census). 42,726 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 51,097 (1998 census). North Omo Region, on a plateau west of Bulki. Alternate names: Basketto, Baskatta, Mesketo. Dialects: Lexical similarity 61% with Oyda. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, West.

Bench
[bcq] 173,586 (1998 census). 149,293 monolinguals. Population includes 10,002 She, 1,070 Mer. Ethnic population: 173,123 (1998 census). Kafa Region, in and around Mizan Teferi and Shewa Bench towns. Alternate names: Gimira, Ghimarra, Gimarra, Dizu. Dialects: Bench (Bencho, Benesho), Mer (Mieru), She (Sce, Kaba). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Gimira.

Berta
[wti] 124,799 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 99,689 monolinguals including 4,146 Fadashi. Population includes 8,715 Fadashi. Population total all countries: 146,799. Ethnic population: 125,853 including 7,323 Fadashi (1998 census). Beni Shangul Region, the corner formed by the Blue Nile River and Sudan border north of Asosa, and Dalati, a village east of the Dabus River. Also spoken in Sudan . Alternate names: Beni Shangul, Bertha, Barta, Burta, Wetawit, Jebelawi. Dialects: Shuru, Bake, Undu, Mayu, Fadashi, Dabuso, Gobato. Probably two or more languages. Fadashi may be separate. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Berta.

Birale
[bxe] 19 (2000 M. Brenzinger). Ethnic population: 89 (2000 M. Brenzinger). One village on the west bank of the Weyt’o River, southeast Omo Region. Alternate names: ‘Ongota, Birelle, Ifa’ongota, “Shanqilla”. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Unclassified Nearly extinct.

Boro
[bwo] 19,878 (1998 census). Population includes 144 Gamila; 2,276 second-language speakers including 45 Gamila; 18,567 monolinguals including 77 Gamila. Ethnic population: 32,894 including 186 Gamila (1998 census). Southwest Amhara Region, near the Blue Nile River . Alternate names: Bworo, Shinasha, Scinacia. Dialects: Amuru, Wembera, Gamila, Guba. Related to Kafa. Scattered dialect groups. Lexical similarity 46% with Shekkacho. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, North.

Burji
[bji] 35,731 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 29,259 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 42,731. Ethnic population: 46,565 (1998 census). South of Lake Ciamo . Also spoken in Kenya . Alternate names: Bambala, Bembala, Daashi. Dialects: Lexical similarity 41% with Sidamo (closest). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland .

Bussa
[dox] 6,624 (1998 census). 4,955 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 9,207 (1998 census). Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo . Alternate names: Dobase, D’oopace, D’opaasunte, Lohu, Mashile, Mashelle, Masholle, Mosiye, Musiye, Gobeze, Gowase, Goraze, Orase. Dialects: There is a dialect chain with Komso-Dirasha-Dobase. Lexical similarity 78% with Gawwada, 51% with Komso, 86% with Gollango, 80% with Harso, 61% with Tsamai. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay.

Chara
[cra] 6,932. 5,556 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 6,984 (1998 census). Central Kafa Region, just north of the Omo River . Alternate names: Ciara. Dialects: Lexical similarity 54% with Wolaytta. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Chara.

Daasanach
[dsh] 32,064 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 31,368 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 34,564. Ethnic population: 32,099 (1998 census). Lower Omo River , along Lake Turkana, extending into Kenya . Also spoken in Kenya . Alternate names: Dasenech, Daasanech, Dathanaik, Dathanaic, Dathanik, Gheleba, Geleba, Geleb, Gelebinya, Gallab, Galuba, Gelab, Gelubba, Dama, Marille, Merile, Merille, Morille, Reshiat, Russia, “Shangilla”. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana.

Dime
[dim] 6,501 (1998 census). 4,785 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 6,197 (1998 census). Kafa Region, north of the Omo River , just before it turns south. Alternate names: Dima. Dialects: Lexical similarity 47% with Banna. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South.

Dirasha
[gdl] 50,328 (1998 census). 41,685 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 54,354 (1998 census). Omo Region, in the hills west of Lake Chamo , around Gidole town. Alternate names: Dhirasha, Diraasha, Dirayta, Gardulla, Ghidole, Gidole. Dialects: Part of a dialect cluster with Komso and Bussa. Lexical similarity 55% with Komso. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Konso-Gidole.

Dizi
[mdx] 21,075 (1998 census). 17,583 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 21,894 (1998 census). Kafa Region, near Maji town. Alternate names: Maji, Dizi-Maji, Sizi, Twoyu. Dialects: Related to Sheko, Nayi. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid.

Dorze
[doz] 20,782 (1998 census). 9,905 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 28,990 (1998 census). Mostly in North Omo Region in and around Chencha, but a significant community is in Addis Ababa . Dialects: Lexical similarity 82% to 87% with Gamo, 77% to 81% with Gofa, 80% with Wolaytta, 73% to 75% with Kullo, 54% with Koorete, 48% with Male. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central.

Ethiopian Sign Language
[eth] Classification: Deaf sign language.

Gamo-Gofa-Dawro
[gmo] 1,236,637 (1998 census). 1,046,084 monolinguals including 597,130 Gamo, 259,633 Dawro, 189,321 Gofa. Population includes 690,069 Gamo, 313,228 Dawro, 233,340 Gofa. Ethnic population: 1,292,860 (1998 census) including 719,847 Gamo, 331,483 Dawro, 241,530 Gofa (1998 census). Omo Region, in and around Arba Minch, and in the mountains west to Lake Abaya . Dache is a place name, not a language. Dialects: Gamo (Gemu), Gofa (Goffa), Dawro (Dauro, Kullo, Cullo, Ometay). Subdialects of Dawro are Konta (Conta) and Kucha (Kusha, Koysha). Gamo has 79% to 91% lexical similarity with Gofa, 79% to 89% with Wolaytta, 82% to 87% with Dorze, 73% to 80% with Dawro, 49% with Koorete, 44% with Male. Dawro has 76% with Gofa, 80% with Wolaytta, 73% to 75% with Dorze, 48% with Koorete, 43% with Male. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central .

Ganza
[gza] 5,400 (2004). Ethnic population: 6,291 (2000 WCD). Western Oromo, near the Blue Nile . Alternate names: Ganzo, Koma. Dialects: Related to Hozo-Sezo (Ruhlen 1987.322). Lexical similarity 14% with Omotic languages, 6% with Mao. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West.

Gawwada
[gwd] 32,698 (1998 census). 27,477 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 33,971 (1998 census). Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo . Alternate names: Gauwada, Gawata, Kawwad’a, Kawwada. Dialects: Dihina (Tihina, Tihinte), Gergere (K’ark’arte), Gobeze, Gollango (Kollanko), Gorose (Gorrose, Korrose), Harso (Worase). Lexical similarity 78% with Bussa, 73% with Tsamai, 77% with Harso, 92% with Gollango, 41% with Komso. Harso has 80% with Dobase, 56% with Tsamai. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay.

Gedeo
[drs] 637,082 (1998 census). 438,958 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 639,905 (1998 census). Central highland area, southwest of Dilla and east of Lake Abaya . Alternate names: Geddeo, Deresa, Derasa, Darasa, Derasanya, Darassa. Dialects: Lexical similarity 60% with Sidamo (closest), 57% with Alaba, 54% with Kambaata, 51% with Hadiyya. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland .

Gumuz
[guk] 120,424 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 88,192 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 160,424. Ethnic population: 121,487 (1998 census). Near Metemma on Sudan border south through Gondar and Gojjam, along Blue Nile and south into Wellaga and Didessa Valley up to Leqemt-Gimbi Road , and villages southwest of Addis Ababa , around Welqite (possibly 1,000). Also spoken in Sudan . Alternate names: Bega-Tse, Sigumza, Gumuzinya, Gumis, Gombo, Mendeya, “Shankillinya”, “Shankilligna”, “Shanqilla”, Debatsa, Debuga, Dehenda, Bega. Dialects: Guba, Wenbera, Sirba, Agalo, Yaso, Mandura, Dibate, Metemma. There are noticeable dialect differences, and not all dialects are inherently intelligible. Mandura, Dibate, and Metemma form a distinct dialect cluster. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Gumuz.

Hadiyya
[hdy] 923,958 (1998 census). 595,107 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 927,933 (1998 census). Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region, between the Omo and Billate rivers, in and around Hosaina town. Alternate names: Adiya, Adiye, Hadiya, Hadya, Adea, Hadia. Dialects: Leemo, Soro. Lexical similarity 82% with Libido, 56% with Kambaata, 54% with Alaba, 53% with Sidamo. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland .

Hamer-Banna
[amf] 42,838 (1998 census). 38,354 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 42,466 (1998 census). South Omo Region, near the Omo River , and north of Lake Turkana, in the southwest corner, near the Kenya , Uganda , Sudan borders. Alternate names: Hamar-Koke, Hammercoche, Amarcocche, Cocche, Beshada, Hamer, Hammer, Hamar, Amer, Amar, Ammar, Banna, Bana, Kara Kerre. Dialects: Hamer and Banna are separate ethnic groups who speak virtually the same language. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South.

Harari
[har] 21,283 (1998 census). 2,351 monolinguals. 20,000 in Addis Ababa , outside Harar city (Hetzron 1997:486). Ethnic population: 21,757 (1998 census). Homeland Eastern, traditionally within the walled city of Harar . Large communities in Addis Ababa , Nazareth , and Dire Dawa. Alternate names: Hararri, Adare, Adere, Aderinya, Adarinnya, Gey Sinan. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage.

Hozo
[hoz] 3,000 (1995 SIL). Western Oromo Region, Begi area, 50 or more villages. Alternate names: Begi-Mao. Dialects: Related to Bambassi (Bender 1975). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West.

Inor
[ior] 280,000. Population includes 50,000 Endegeny. West Gurage Region, Innemor and Endegeny woredas. Alternate names: Ennemor. Dialects: Enegegny (Enner). Part of a Gurage cluster of languages. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group.

Kachama-Ganjule
[kcx] 4,072 (1998 census). 1,002 monolinguals including 816 Kachama, 186 Ganjule. Population includes 2,682 Kachama,1,390 Ganjule; 419 second-language speakers including 223 Kachama, 196 Ganjule. Ethnic population: 3,886 (1998 census) including 2,740 Kachama, 1,146 Ganjule. Kachama is on Gidicho Island in Lake Abaya . Ganjule originally on a small island in Lake Chamo . Ganjule have recently relocated to Shela-Mela on the west shore of Lake Chamo . Alternate names: Gats’ame, Get’eme, Gatame. Dialects: Ganjule (Ganjawle), Ganta, Kachama. Lexical similarity 46% with Wolaytta. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East.

Kacipo-Balesi
[koe] 4,120 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). Southern Ethiopia-Sudan border, Boma Plateau in Sudan (Kacipo). Dialects: Balesi (Baale, Bale), Zilmamu (Silmamo, Zelmamu, Zulmamu, Tsilmano), Kacipo (Kachepo, Suri, Western Suri ). Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southwest, Kacipo-Balesi.

Kafa
[kbr] 569,626. 445,018 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 599,188 (1998 census). Kafa Region, in and around the town of Bonga . There may be some in Sudan . Alternate names: Kaficho, Kefa, Keffa, Kaffa, Caffino, Manjo. Dialects: Kafa, Bosha (Garo). Related to Shekkacho. Bosha may be a separate language. Manjo is an argot based on Kafa (Bender 1983). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, South.

Kambaata
[ktb] 606,241 (1998 census). 345,797 monolinguals including 278,567 Kambaata, 51,541 Timbaro, 15,689 Qebena (1998 census). Population includes 487,655 Kambaata, 82,803 Timbaro, 35,783 Qebena. Ethnic population: 621,407 (1998 census). Southwest Gurage , Kambaata, Hadiyya Region. Durame is the main town. Alternate names: Kambatta, Kambata, Kembata, Kemata, Kambara, Donga. Dialects: Tambaro, Timbaro (Timbara, Timbaaro), Qebena (Qabena, Kebena, K’abena). Qebena may be a separate language. Lexical similarity 95% with Timbaro dialect, 81% with Allaaba, 62% with Sidamo, 57% with Libido, 56% with Hadiyya. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland .

Karo
[kxh] 200 (1998 M. Yigezu). South Omo Region, upstream from the Daasanach, riverside settlements near the Hamer-Banna. Alternate names: Kerre, Cherre, Kere. Dialects: Dialect or closely related language to Hamer-Banna. Lexical similarity 81% with Hamer-Banna. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South.

Kistane
[gru] 254,682 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 363,867 (1998 census) including 4,000 Gogot. Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region, just southwest of Addis Ababa . Alternate names: Soddo, Soddo Gurage, North Gurage . Dialects: Soddo (Aymallal, Aymellel, Kestane, Kistane), Dobi (Dobbi, Gogot, Goggot). Not intelligible with Silte or West Gurage . Dobi speakers’ comprehension of Soddo is 76%, and Soddo speakers’ comprehension of Dobi is 90%. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, n-Group.

Komo
[xom] 1,500 in Ethiopia (1975 Bender). South and west of Kwama. Alternate names: Madiin, Koma, South Koma, Central Koma . Dialects: Koma of Begi, Koma of Daga. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman.

Komso
[kxc] 149,508 (1998 census). 138,696 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 153,419 (1998 census). South of Lake Ciamo in the bend of the Sagan River . A few migrants in Kenya . Alternate names: Konso, Conso, Gato, Af-Kareti, Karate, Kareti. Dialects: Lexical similarity 51% with Bussa, 41% with Gawwada, 31% with Tsamai. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Konso-Gidole.

Koorete
[kqy] 103,879. 84,388 monolinguals (1998 census). About 60 Harro families in Harro village on Gidicho (Gidicció) Island . Ethnic population: 107,595 (1998 census). In the Amaro mountains east of Lake Abaya , Sidama Region. Alternate names: Amarro, Amaarro, Badittu, Nuna, Koyra, Koore, Kwera. Dialects: Lexical similarity 54% with Dorze, 53% with Wolaytta, 52% with Gofa, 49% with Gamo, 48% with Kullo, 45% with Male. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East.

Kunfal
[xuf] 2,000 (2000 M. Brenzinger). West of Lake Tana . Alternate names: Kunfäl, Kunfel, Kumfel. Dialects: Related to Awngi. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Southern.

Kwama
[kmq] 15,000 (1982 SIL). Along Sudan border in southern Beni Shangul Region, from south of Asosa to Gidami, and in Gambela and Bonga. 19 villages, including one (Yabus) in Sudan . Alternate names: Takwama, Gwama, Goma, Gogwama, Koma of Asosa, North Koma , Nokanoka, Afan Mao, Amam, T’wa Kwama. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman.

Kwegu
[xwg] 103 (1998 census). 73 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 173 (1998 census). Kuchur village on the western bank of the Omo River in southwestern Ethiopia . Alternate names: Koegu, Kwegi, Bacha, Menja, Nidi. Dialects: Yidinich (Yidinit, Yidi), Muguji. The dialects listed may not be inherently intelligible with Kwegu; it may be a name for several hunter groups. Lexical similarity 36% with Mursi. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Kwegu.

Libido
[liq] 36,612 (1998 census). 14,623 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 38,096 (1998 census). Hadiyya, Kambaata, Gurage Region, northeast of Hosaina. Alternate names: Maraqo, Marako. Dialects: Syntactic, morphological, and lexical differences from Hadiyya. Lexical similarity 82% with Hadiyya, 57% with Kambaata, 56% with Allaaba, 53% with Sidamo. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland .

Majang
[mpe] 15,341 (1998 census). 10,752 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 15,341 (1998 census). Southwest. Mainly within a long, narrow belt between Bure (east of Gambela) and Guraferda to the south. Covers part of Gambela, Oromo, and Kafa administrative regions. They have been scattered, but are now settling in villages. Alternate names: Mesengo, Masongo, Masango, Majanjiro, Tama, Ojanjur, Ajo, Ato Majang, Ato Majanger-Onk. Dialects: Minor dialect variation. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, North, Majang.

Male
[mdy] 53,779 (1998 census). 40,660 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 46,458 (1998 census). Omo Region, southeast of Jinka. Dialects: Lexical similarity 48% with Dorze, 46% with Gofa, 45% with Koorete, 44% with Gamo, 43% with Wolaytta and Kullo. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo.

Me’en
[mym] 56,585 (1998 census). 51,446 monolinguals including 4,553 Bodi. Population includes 4,570 Bodi. Ethnic population: 57,501 (1998 census) including 4,686 Bodi. Central Kafa Region, the Tishena in and around Bachuma, the Bodi in lowlands to the south, near the Omo River . Not in Sudan . Alternate names: Mekan, Mie’en, Mieken, Meqan, Men. Dialects: Bodi (Podi), Tishena (Teshina, Teshenna). Tishena is inherently intelligible with Bodi. Close to Mursi. Lexical similarity 65% with Surma, 30% with Murle. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Me’en.

Melo
[mfx] 20,151 (1998 census). 13,264 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 20,189 (1998 census). North Omo Region, in and around Malo-Koza, northeast of the Basketo. Alternate names: Malo. Dialects: Related to Gamo-Gofa-Dawro, but may not be inherently intelligible. The Language Academy said it should be considered a separate speech variety. Lexical similarity 70% with the majority of Ometo language varieties. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central.

Mesqan
[mvz] 25,000 (2002). West Gurage Region, Mareqo woreda, principle villages: Mikayelo, Mesqan, and Hudat. Alternate names: Masqan, Meskan. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group.

Murle
[mur] 200 in Ethiopia (1975 Tournay). South of the Akobo River . Olam is in southwest Ethiopia and on the Sudan border. It is between Murle and Majang culturally and linguistically (Bender 1983). Alternate names: Murele, Merule, Mourle, Murule, Beir, Ajibba. Dialects: Olam (Ngalam, Bangalam). Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southwest, Didinga-Murle, Murle.

Mursi
[muz] 3,278 (1998 census). 3,155 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 3,258 (1998 census). Central Omo Region, lowlands southwest of Jinka. Alternate names: Murzi, Murzu, Merdu, Meritu, Dama. Dialects: Close to Suri of Sudan . Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Suri.

Nayi
[noz] 3,656 (1998 census). 1,137 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 4,005 (1998 census). Decha Awraja, Kafa Region, and scattered in other parts of Kafa. The nearest town is Bonga. A few in Dulkuma village of the Shoa Bench Wereda, and Aybera, Kosa, and Jomdos villages of Sheko Wereda. Alternate names: Na’o, Nao. Dialects: Related to Dizi, Sheko. Lexical similarity 58% with Dizi. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid.

Nuer
[nus] 64,907 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 61,640 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 64,534 (1998 census). Along the Baro River , in Gambela Region. Alternate names: Naath. Dialects: Eastern Nuer (Ji, Kany, Jikany, Door, Abigar). Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Western, Dinka-Nuer, Nuer.

Nyangatom
[nnj] 14,177 (1998 census). 13,797 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,201 (1998 census). Extreme southwest corner of Ethiopia , Omo Region. Two settlement centers: Omo River and Kibish River . Transhumance into the region of Moru Angipi in Sudan . Alternate names: Inyangatom, Donyiro, Dongiro, Idongiro. Dialects: Inherently intelligible with Toposa and Turkana. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Eastern, Lotuxo-Teso, Teso-Turkana, Turkana.

Opuuo
[lgn] 301 in Ethiopia . 235 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 307 (1998 census). 5 villages along the Sudan border north of the Anuak and Nuer. Also spoken in Sudan . Alternate names: Opo-Shita, Opo, Opuo, Cita, Ciita, Shita, Shiita, Ansita, Kina, Kwina, “Langa”. Dialects: Lexical similarity 24% with Koma. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman.

Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji
[gax] 3,634,000 in Ethiopia . Population total all countries: 3,827,616. South Oromo Region. Also spoken in Kenya , Somalia . Alternate names: Afan Oromo, Southern Oromo. Dialects: Borana (Boran, Borena), Arsi (Arussi, Arusi), Guji (Gujji, Jemjem), Kereyu, Salale (Selale), Gabra (Gabbra, Gebra). Harar is closely related, but distinct enough to need separate literature. In Kenya , Gabra and Sakuye may have significant dialect and language attitude differences from the Boran dialect. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo.

Oromo, Eastern
[hae] 4,526,000 (1998 census). Eastern and western Hararghe zone in northern Bale zone. Alternate names: “Qotu” Oromo, Harar, Harer, “Qottu”, “Quottu”, “Qwottu”, “Kwottu”, Ittu. Dialects: Close to Borana Oromo, but divergent. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo.

Oromo, West Central
[gaz] 8,920,000 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Ethnic population: All ethnic Oromo are 30,000,000 in Ethiopia . Oromo Region, West and Central Ethiopia , and along the Rift Valley escarpment east of Dessie and Woldiya. Also spoken in Egypt . Alternate names: Afan Oromo, Oromiffa, Oromoo. Dialects: Western Oromo, Central Oromo. Subdialects are Mecha (Maccha, Wellaga, Wallaga, Wollega), Raya, Wello (Wollo), Tulema (Tulama, Shoa, Shewa). Harar and Boran are different enough to need separate literature. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo.

Oyda
[oyd] 16,597 (1998 census). 6,244 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,075 (1998 census). Northwest Omo Region, southwest of Sawla. Dialects: Lexical similarity 69% with Wolaytta, 61% with Basketo. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central.

Qimant
[ahg] 1,650 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Ethnic population: 172,327 (1998 census). Northwest Amhara Region, north of Lake Tana . Communities of Qwara or Kayla are near Addis Ababa and in Eritrea . None in Sudan . Also spoken in Eritrea . Alternate names: Kimanteney, Western Agaw . Dialects: Qimant (Kemant, Kimant, Kemanat, Kamant, Chemant, Qemant), Dembiya (Dembya, Dambya), Hwarasa (Qwara, Qwarina, “Kara”), Kayla, Semyen, Achpar, Kwolasa (Kwolacha). Distinct from Awngi, Bilen, and Xamtanga. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Western.

Saho
[ssy] 22,759 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Tigray. Alternate names: Sao, Shaho, Shoho, Shiho. Dialects: Irob. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar.

Sebat Bet Gurage
[sgw] 440,000. Population includes Chaha 130,000, Gura 20,000, Muher 90,000, Gyeto 80,000, Ezha 120,000. West Gurage Region, Chaha is spoken in and around Emdibir, Gura is spoken in and around Gura Megenase and Wirir, Muher is spoken in and around Ch’eza and in the mountains north of Chaha and Ezha, Gyeto is spoken south of Ark’it’ in K’abul and K’want’e, Ezha is spoken in Agenna. Alternate names: Central West Gurage, West Gurage , Guragie, Gouraghie, Gurague. Dialects: Chaha (Cheha), Ezha (Eza, Izha), Gumer (Gwemarra), Gura, Gyeto, Muher. A member of the Gurage cluster of languages. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group.

Seze
[sze] 3,000 (1995 SIL). Western Oromo Region, near Begi, north of the Hozo. Alternate names: Sezo. Dialects: Related to Bambassi (Bender 1975). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West.

Shabo
[sbf] 400 to 500 (2000 M. Brenzinger). Ethnic population: 600 or more (2000). Kafa Region, between Godere and Mashi, among the Majang and Shekkacho. Alternate names: Shako, “Mekeyer”, “Mikeyir”, “Mikair”. Dialects: Apparently a hybrid. Distinct from Sheko. Lexical similarity 30% with Majang, 12% with other West Cushitic (Omotic) languages. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Unclassified.

Shekkacho
[moy] 54,894 (1998 census). 36,449 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 53,897 (1998 census). North Kafa Region, in and around Maasha. Alternate names: Mocha, Shakacho, Shekka. Dialects: Close to Kafa. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, South.

Sheko
[she] 23,785. 13,611 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 23,785 (1998 census). Kafa Region, Shako District. Gaizek’a is a monolingual community. Bajek’a, Selale, and Shimi are multilingual. Alternate names: Shekko, Shekka, Tschako, Shako, Shak. Dialects: Dorsha, Bulla (Daan, Dan, Daanyir). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid.

Sidamo
[sid] 1,876,329 (1998 census). 1,632,902 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,842,314 (1998 census). South central Ethiopia , northeast of Lake Abaya and southeast of Lake Awasa (Sidamo Awraja). Awasa is the capital of the Sidama Region. Alternate names: Sidámo ‘Afó, Sidaminya. Dialects: Lexical similarity 64% with Allaaba, 62% with Kambaata, 53% with Hadiyya. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland .

Silt’e
[xst] 827,764 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 900,348 (1998 census). About 150 km south of Addis Ababa . Alternate names: East Gurage , Selti, Silti. Dialects: Enneqor (Inneqor), Ulbarag (Urbareg), Wolane (Walane). Not intelligible with West or North Gurage . 40% or less intelligible with Chaha (Central West Gurage ). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage.

Somali
[som] 3,334,113 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). 2,878,371 monolinguals. Southeast Ethiopia , Somali Region. Alternate names: Standard Somali, Common Somali. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali.

Suri
[suq] 19,622 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 19,269 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 20,622. Ethnic population: 19,632 (1998 census). Southwestern Kafa Region toward the Sudan border. Some are west of Mizan Teferi. Also spoken in Sudan . Alternate names: Surma, Shuri, Churi, Dhuri, Shuro, Eastern Suri . Dialects: Tirma (Tirima, Terema, Terna, Dirma, Cirma, Tirmaga, Tirmagi, Tid), Chai (Cai, Caci). Lexical similarity 81% with Mursi. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Suri.

Tigrigna
[tir] 3,224,875 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 2,819,755 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 4,449,875. Ethnic population: 3,284,568 (1998 census). Tigray Province . Also spoken in Eritrea , Germany , Israel . Alternate names: Tigrinya, Tigray. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North.

Tsamai
[tsb] 8,621 (1998 census). 5,298 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 9,702 (1998 census). Omo Region, lowlands west of Lake Chamo . Alternate names: Ts’amay, S’amai, Tamaha, Tsamako, Tsamakko, Bago S’aamakk-Ulo, Kuile, Kule, Cule. Dialects: The Tsamai say Gawwada is difficult to understand. Possibly related to Birale. The most aberrant Dullay variety. Lexical similarity 56% to 73% with Gawwada dialects, 61% with Bussa, 31% with Komso. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay

Turkana
[tuv] 25,163 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). Southwestern region west of the Omo River . Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Eastern, Lotuxo-Teso, Teso-Turkana, Turkana.

Uduk
[udu] 20,000 in Ethiopia (1995 W. James). Large refugee camp at Bonga, near Gambela town, Gambela Region. Some still in Sudan (1995). Also spoken in Sudan . Alternate names: Twampa, Kwanim Pa , Burun, Kebeirka, Othan, Korara, Kumus. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman.

Wolaytta
[wal] 1,231,673 (1998 census). 999,694 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,269,216 (1998 census). Wolaytta Region, Lake Abaya area. Alternate names: Wellamo, Welamo, Wollamo, Wallamo, Walamo, Ualamo, Uollamo, Wolaitta, Wolaita, Wolayta, Wolataita, Borodda, Uba, Ometo. Dialects: Zala. Dorze, Melo, Oyda may be dialects of Wolaytta or of Gamo-Gofa-Dawro. Lexical similarity 79% to 93% with Gamo, 84% with Gofa, 80% with Kullo and Dorze, 48% with Koorete, 43% with Male. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central.

Xamtanga
[xan] 143,369 (1998 census). 93,889 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 158,231 (1998 census). North Amhara Region, Avergele District and Lasta and Waag zones, 100 km north of Weldiya. Alternate names: Khamtanga, Simt’anga, Agawinya, Xamta, Xamir. Dialects: Low inherent intelligibility of Qemant. Lexical similarity 45% with Qemant. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Eastern.

Yemsa
[jnj] 81,613 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 165,184 (1998 census). Oromo Region, recognized as separate district, northeast of Jimma, southwestern Ethiopia, Fofa, and mixed with the Oromo in their villages; Sokoru, Saja, Deedoo, Sak’a, Jimma. Alternate names: Yem, Yemma, “Janjero”, “Janjerinya”, “Janjor”, “Yangaro”, “Zinjero”. Dialects: Fuga of Jimma, Toba. Fuga of Jimma may be a separate language. Lexical similarity 24% with Mocha language. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Janjero.

Zay
[zwa] 4,880 (1994 SIL). Ethnic population: 4,880. Shores of Lake Zway and eastern islands in Lake Zway . Alternate names: Zway, Lak’i, Laqi, Gelilla. Dialects: No dialect variations. Lexical similarity 61% with Harari, 70% with Silte (M. L. Bender 1971). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage.

Zayse-Zergulla
[zay] 17,800 (1998 census). 7,530 monolinguals including 7,371 Zayse, 159 Zergulla. Population includes 10,172 Zayse, 7,625 Zergulla. Ethnic population: 11,232 (1998 census) including 10,842 Zayse, 390 Zergulla. Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo . Alternate names: Zaysse. Dialects: Zergulla (Zergullinya), Zayse. Close to the Gidicho dialect of Koorete. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East.

Extinct languages

Gafat
[gft] Extinct. South Blue Nile area. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, n-Group.

Geez
[gez] Extinct. Also spoken in Eritrea . Alternate names: Ancient Ethiopic, Ethiopic, Ge’ez, Giiz. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North.

Mesmes
[mys] Extinct. Gurage, Hadiyya, Kambatta Region. Dialects: Related to West Gurage . Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group

Rer Bare
[rer] Extinct. Wabi Shebelle River around Gode, eastern Ogaden, near Somali border, and along the Ganale and Dawa rivers. Alternate names: Rerebere, Adona. Classification: Unclassified.

Weyto
[woy] Extinct. Ethnic population: 1,631 of whom 1,519 (93%) speak Amharic as first language, others speak other first languages. Lake Tana Region. Alternate names: Wayto, Weyt’o. Dialects: The former language was possibly Eastern Sudanic or an Awngi variety (Bender 1983), or Cushitic (Bender, Bowen, Cooper, and Ferguson 1976:14). Classification: Unclassified.


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