Southern Oromo language

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Southern Oromo
RegionKenya, Ethiopia
EthnicityBorana Oromo, Sakuye
Native speakers
3.9 million (2000-2009)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3gax

Southern Oromo, or Borana (after one of its dialects), is a variety of Oromo spoken in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya by the Borana people. Günther Schlee also notes that it is the native language of a number of related peoples, such as the Sakuye.[3]

Dialects are Borana proper (Boran, Borena), possibly Arsi (Arussi, Arusi) and Guji (Gujji, Jemjem) in Ethiopia and, in Kenya, Karayu, Salale (Selale), Gabra (Gabbra, Gebra) and possibly Orma and Waata.

The language is locally and commonly known as afaan borana ("Borana language").


  1. ^ "Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Borana-Arsi-Guji Oromo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Schlee, "Interethnic Clan Identities among Cushitic-Speaking Pastoralists", Africa, 55 (1985),p. 21