Dahalik language

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Dahaalik, Dahalik, Dahlak
Native to Eritrea
Region Dahlak Archipelago
Native speakers
2,500  (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 dlk

Dahalik ([haka (na)] dahālík, "[language (of)] the people of Dahlak";[2] also Dahaalik, Dahlik, Dahlak) is a language spoken exclusively in Eritrea off the coast of Massawa, on three islands in the Dahlak Archipelago: Dahlak Kebir, Nora and Dehil. Only recently discovered[when?] by linguists, it has around 2,500–3,000 speakers.

It belongs to the Afro-Asiatic language group and is closely related to Tigre and Tigrinya. It is not mutually intelligible with Tigre (see Shaebia below), and, according to Simeone-Senelle,[3] is sufficiently different to be considered a separate language.


  1. ^ Dahalik at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Marie-Claude Simeone-Senelle: Dahālík, a newly discovered Afro-Semitic language spoken exclusively in Eritrea (PDF), in: shaebia.org, 2005
  3. ^ *Simeone-Senelle, Marie-Claude. 2000. 'Situation linguistique dans le sud de l'Erythrée', in Wolff/Gensler (eds) Proceedings of the 2nd World Congress of African Linguistics, 1997, Köln: Köppe, p. 261–276.

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