Southern Oromo language

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Southern Oromo
Region Kenya, Ethiopia
Ethnicity Borana Oromo, Sakuye
Native speakers
(undated figure of 4.0 million)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 gax
Glottolog bora1271[2]

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. ^ Southern Oromo at Ethnologue (12th ed., 1992).
  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