Talk:Oromo language

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Afan Oromo[edit]

Afan Oromo is sometimes (especially in Kenya) referred to as Afan Borana, not Afan Borana Oromo. Depending on the location it is sometimes called Afan Boran, Afan Arsi, Afan Orma, Afan Gujji or Afan Ittu. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gurachaa (talkcontribs) 02:32, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Can we add more[edit]

Can we find out why they would want to use latin to write a language, an African language with a non-African script. Now there letters are like 13 charecters due to the limits of latin, more history on the politics behind this would be good as i am very confused to the perks of this shift.--HalaTruth(ሀላካሕ) 04:07, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, the the fact is that the majority of African languages are written with Latin script. Each script has its own limitations when it comes to representing a language. The Latin script was obviously not designed for English or German or Polish, let alone Swahili, Oromo, or Hausa, so it had to be adapted in each case, and this was not particularly difficult in any of these cases. Latin doesn't have any particular advantage or limitation when it comes to representing Oromo (any more than it does for English, which phonologically is probably as different from Latin as Oromo is); I believe it was adopted in part because of its use for many other languages, certainly not because Latin is "European" rather than "African". In fact, the European origin of Latin script can hardly be seen as very relevant anymore, given that this script is now used for languages as diverse as Vietnamese, Tagalog, Quechua, and Zulu. As with English, Swahili, and other languages, the adaptations for Oromo included character combinations to represent particular phonemes (for example, "ch", "th", "ng" for English; "ch", "th", "ng" for Swahili; "dh", "ny", "ph" for Oromo). I guess the question being asked is why the Ge'ez script wasn't chosen, and in this case, politics of course enters in. It isn't any more difficult to adapt the Ge'ez script to Oromo than it is to adapt the Latin script (well, some arguments have been made that it is more difficult, but these seem to me to be politically oriented arguments). Of course Ge'ez script has been used for Oromo, going to back Onesimus. But not today. — MikeG (talk) 05:45, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
There is one point for which the Latin alphabet seems to suit better for writing Oromo than the Ge’ez writing system, that is the representation of vowels. You can represent seven different vowels with the Ge’ez system but Oromo has ten vowels, five short and five long vowels. And especially different length of final vowels can change the meaning of verb forms. Since the Ge’ez system is a syllabic system (every sign representing a consonant and a following vowel) it would be a little bit difficult to represent the missing three vowels. The Latin writing system differentiates between consonants and vowels. I think that is the most important advantage. But I would have also been possible to write Oromo with Latin or Ge’ez without representing vowel length. Haussa is written with Latin, but vowel length and tone are usually not marked. You could do the same with Oromo using one of the two writing systems at the risk of ambiguity in cases where vowel length changes the grammatical meaning. But, remembering the political situation in the early nineties, I also think that the main reason for choosing Latin was a political one. By the way there is also a remarkable body of Oromo literature in Arabic script, mainly from the Harar region and Wollo. Driss 09:49, 23 December 2006 (UTC)


In the part about dialects and especially about the Wollo dialect there is mentioning of “the city of Wollo”. But there is no city with that name. Wollo is, as most people know, the name of the respective region. I think it is a mistake and the author meant another city/town. In fact, the area where Oromo is spoken stretches approximately from the area of Shewa Robit in the south to somewhere in the north of Bati. Driss 07:52, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I think I wrote that, and I meant the city of Dessie, not Wollo. Feel free to edit this part if you know more about the boundaries of the dialect. — MikeG (talk) 14:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the whole question of dialects is being avoided in this article. Variation in the way that many Oromo people speak is not addressed by politicians, but certainly scholars should be able to dispassionately address this huge issue. Somebody please write something, but not just a parroting of the politicians. Pete unseth (talk) 12:34, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Statistics about number of speakers[edit]

The article currently states Oromo "is spoken as a first language by more than 35 million." However, no source is quoted for this claim. The Ethnologue lists a total of 17,273,000 mother tongue speakers in Ethiopia and Kenya. Also, the article states "Within Ethiopia, Oromo is the first most spoken (more than 40%)." The Ethnologue states that there are 17,372,913 speakers of Amharic.[1] That is larger than the number cited speakers of Oromo. There are many people who speak Oromo and Amharic as a second language, but the claim that it is the most widely spoken language in Ethiopia needs some documentation or it must be changed in the Wikipedia article. Wikipedia is a place where documented information is the rule.

Wikipedia List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers says that Amharic has 25,000,000 versus 24,000,000 for Amharic. Ethnologue and most other souces say that Oromo is a group of several languages, none having as many as 10,000,000 [1]. It seems decisive; I will remove the claim that Oromo is Ethiopia's most-spoken language. (talk) 23:44, 21 June 2014 (UTC)


I am not language expert but from what I know, Oromo has both definite and indefinite articles. The indefinite article in Oromo is tokko. Tokko is a number actually which means one, but it is also used as indefinite article. For example, mucaa tokkon arge means I saw some/a boy. However, articles in general are not commonly used in Afan Oromo . I speak Western Oromo myself and I am telling you from my experience. Please, consider revising the idea that Afan Oromo does not have indefinite article. Tumsaa (talk) 16:18, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^