The development of the national language of Somalia

Through which processes did Somali develop into it?


  • Thomas Maximilian Wolfger Student at the University of Vienna, Austria



Somalia, language, Somali, linguistic development


The present work deals with the development of the Somali language in the 20th century, and tries to explain the different stages of development and development processes. Linguistically speaking, Somalia is an outstanding example as it is one of the few African countries with a homogeneous language group. This means that around 95% (cf. Warsame 2001, p. 342) of the Somali population speaks the Somali language, and communicates predominantly in this language. The focus of this work is mainly on the process of decision-making about a fixed writing style, and why Somalia came to a decision about a uniform writing form relatively late. In addition, the possibilities are explained that were up for discussion and thus seriously discussed, as well as how the decision made was justified. The literacy campaign, which was carried out between 1973 and 1975, represents a central aspect of this development and thus of this work. In addition, from a linguistic and strategic point of view, the processes by which the Somali language was modernized and which bodies played a role are described.



2021-07-04 — Updated on 2024-03-12


How to Cite

Wolfger, T. M. . (2024). The development of the national language of Somalia: Through which processes did Somali develop into it?. Journal of Central and Eastern European African Studies, 1(1-2), 90–111. (Original work published July 4, 2021)