How Many Languages in Ethiopia?
There are 90 individual languages of Ethiopia according to Ethnologue, with the 1994 Ethiopian census indicating that some 77 tongues were spoken locally. Most of these languages belong to the Afro-Asiatic family (Semitic and Cushitic; Omotic languages are also spoken, though their classification is uncertain). Additionally, Nilo-Saharan languages are spoken by the nation's Nilotic ethnic minorities.
English is the most widely spoken foreign language and is the medium of instruction in secondary schools and universities. Amharic was the language of primary school instruction but has been replaced in many areas by local languages such as Oromo and Tigrinya.
According to the 2007 Ethiopian census, the largest first languages are: Oromigna 24,929,268 speakers or 33.8% of the total population; Amharic 21,631,370 or 29.33% (official language; Somali 4,609,274 or 6.25%; Tigrinya 4,324,476 or 5.86%; Sidamo 2,981,471 or 4.84%; Wolaytta 1,627,784 or 2.21%, Gurage 1,481,783 or 2.01%; and Afar 1,281,278 or 1.74%. Widely-spoken foreign languages include Arabic and English (major foreign language taught in schools)
Aari, Afar (also in Eritrea and in Djibouti), Agaw, Alaba, Amharic (the official language; also spoken in Eritrea, Sudan, and other countries), Anfillo, Anuak (also in Sudan), Arbore, Argobba, Awngi, incl. dialect Kunfal, Baiso, Bambassi, Basketo, Bench, Berta, Boro, also called Shinasha, Burji, Bussa, Chaha (Sebat Bet), Chara, Daasanach (also in Kenya), Dime, Dirasha, Dizi, Dorze, Ezha, Gafat (extinct), Gamo-Gofa-Dawro, Ganza, Gawwada, Gayil, Ge’ez (extinct, liturgical), Gedeo, Goggot, Gumer, Gumuz, Gura, Gyeto, Hadiyya, Hamer-Banna, Harari, Hozo, Indegen, Iner, Inor, Kachama-Ganjule, Kacipo-Balesi (also in Sudan), Kafa, Kambaata, Karo, Komo, Konso, Koorete, Kwama, Kwegu, Libido, Majang, Male, Me’en, Melo, Mesmes (extinct), Mesqan, Muher, Murle (also in Sudan), Mursi language, Nayi, Nuer language (also in Sudan), Nyangatom
Ongota (moribund; possibly Omotic or its own branch of Afro-Asiatic or not Afro-Asiatic at all), Opuuo, Oromo (also in Kenya), Oyda, Qimant, Rer Bare (extinct, maybe Bantu), Saho (also in Eritrea), Seze, Shabo, Shekkacho, Sheko, Sidamo, Siltie (Ulbareg, Inneqor), Soddo, Somali (also in Somalia), Suri, Tigre (also in Eritrea), Tigrinya (also in Eritrea), Tsamai, Uduk (also in Sudan), Weyto (extinct), Wolane, Wolaytta, Xamtanga, Yemsa, Zay, Zayse-Zergulla
These are the widely known languages in Ethiopia and many more known and less known languages Ethiopia has.
There are many languages in Ethiopia, and if you want to learn more about this interesting country and its languages, go check out this article.
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