Wiil yar oo Amiir ah — in Somali language.

The Somali language is an Afro-Asiatic language belonging to the Cushitic branch, which includes several languages spoken in the Horn of Africa. Somali is the official language of Somalia and is also spoken in neighbouring countries, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. It is the mother tongue of the Somali people, the nation’s most populous ethnic group, and serves as a crucial element of Somali identity and culture.

Somali has a rich vowel system with both short and long vowels, playing a critical role in distinguishing word meanings. The language includes a range of consonants, including voiced, voiceless, aspirated, and ejective sounds, which are characteristic of Cushitic languages. Somali is a tonal language, where changes in pitch can alter the meaning of words. This feature is relatively rare among Afro-Asiatic languages and plays a significant role in grammatical structure and word formation.

Somali is notable for its use of inflection and agglutination. Nouns are inflected for case (nominative, accusative, genitive), gender (masculine and feminine), and number (singular, plural). Verbs are inflected for tense, aspect, mood, and person. The typical sentence structure in Somali follows a subject-object-verb (SOV) order. However, variations can occur due to topicalization or emphasis.

Somali has been written in various scripts throughout its history, including an Arabic-based script (Wadaad writing) and the Osmanya script. In 1972, the Somali Latin alphabet was officially adopted, which uses the Latin script with some modifications to accommodate the sounds specific to Somali. This standardisation was part of a broader literacy campaign and effort to unify the various Somali-speaking regions.

Somali vocabulary is predominantly Cushitic in origin, with a significant number of loanwords from Arabic, reflecting centuries of trade and Islamic influence. There are also loanwords from Italian and English, due to colonial history and contemporary global interactions.

Somali is not only an official language in Somalia but also recognised in regional states and by international organizations. It is used across all domains of public life, including education, administration, and media. With the collapse of the Somali central government in 1991, the Somali-speaking regions have faced significant challenges, including the preservation and standardisation of the Somali language. Despite these challenges, there has been a concerted effort among Somali-speaking communities, both within the Horn of Africa and in the diaspora, to maintain the language’s vitality through literature, media, and cultural festivals.