|Native to||Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti|
|Region||Afar Triangle, North-Eastern Africa|
|Native speakers||1.4–1.5 million (date missing)|
|Writing system||Ethiopic (in Ethiopia), Latin|
|Recognised minority language in||Eritrea|
Afar (Qafár af) is a Lowland East Cushitic language spoken in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. It is believed to have 1.5 million speakers, the Afar. The basic word order in Afar, like in other East Cushitic languages, is subject–object–verb. Its speakers have a literacy rate of between one and three per cent. Its closest relative is the Saho language.
In Eritrea, Afar is recognized as one of nine national languages which formally enjoy equal status (though Tigrinya and Arabic are by far of greatest significance in official usage). There are daily broadcasts in the national radio and a translated version of the Eritrean constitution. In education, however, Afar speakers prefer Arabic – which many of them speak as a second language – as the language of instruction. In the Afar Region of Ethiopia, Afar is partially used in some of the few schools, while Amharic is the region's working language.
The consonants of the Afar language in the standard orthography are listed below (with IPA notation in brackets):
|Stops||voiceless||t [t]||k [k]|
|voiced||b [b]||d [d]||x [ɖ]||g [ɡ]|
|Fricatives||voiceless||f [f]||s [s]||c [ħ]||h [h]|
|Nasals||m [m]||n [n]|
|Approximants||w [w]||l [l]||y [j]|
Consonants which close syllables are released, e.g., akʰˈme.
Vowels and stress 
- a [ʌ]
- e [e]
- i [i]
- o [o]
- u [u]
- aa [aː]
- ee [eː]
- ii [iː]
- oo [oː]
- uu [uː]
Sentence final vowels of affirmative verbs are aspirated (and stressed), e.g. abeh = /aˈbeʰ/ 'He did.' Sentence final vowels of negative verbs are not aspirated (nor stressed), e.g. maabinna = /ˈmaabinna/ 'He did not do.' Sentence final vowels of interrogative verbs are lengthened (and stressed), e.g. abee? = /aˈbeː/ 'Did he do?' Otherwise, stress in word-final.
Syllables are of the form (C)V(V)(C). One exception is the three-consonant cluster -str-.
Writing system 
Linguists of the Institut des Langues de Djibouti, the Eritrean Ministry of Education and the Ethiopian Afar Language Studies & Enrichment Center are working to develop a standardized written version of Afar in order to facilitate alphabetization of its speakers.
Latin alphabet 
See also 
|For a list of words relating to in Afar, see the Afar language category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Afar language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
- Raymond G. Gordon, Jr, ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
- Marie-Claude Simeone-Senelle: Les langues en Erythrée. In: Chroniques Yeménites 8, 2000 (French)
- Interview with Afar president. IRIN News, 24 May 2002
- Ethiopian parliament: The State of Afar
- Afar Friends in Sweden: Development of the Afar Language (PDF)
-  (French source)
- Loren F. Bliese. 1976. "Afar", The Non-Semitic Languages of Ethiopia. Ed. Lionel M. Bender. Ann Arbor, Michigan: African Studies Center, Michigan State University. Pages 133–164.
- Loren F. Bliese. 1981. A generative grammar of Afar. Summer Institute of Linguistics publications in linguistics vol. 65. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics & The University of Texas at Arlington. ISBN 0-88312-083-6.
- J.G. Colby. 1970. "Notes on the northern dialect of the Afar language", Journal of Ethiopian Studies 8:1–8.
- R.J. Hayward and Enid M. Parker. 1985. Afar-English-French dictionary with Grammatical Notes in English. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
- Richard J. Hayward. 1998. "Qafar (West Cushitic)", Handbook of Morphology. Ed. A. Spencer & A. Zwicky. Oxford: Blackwell. Pages 624-647.
- Didier Morin. 1997. Poésie traditionnelle des Afars. Langues et cultures africaines, 21 / SELAF vol. 363. Paris/Louvain: Peeters.
- Enid M. Parker. 2006. English–Afar Dictionary. Washington DC: Dunwoody Press.
- Rainer M. Voigt. 1975. "Bibliographie des Saho–Afar", Africana Marburgensia 8:53–63.