The two principal Cushitic languages are Oromo, the tongue of 20 million people in Ethiopia and Kenya, and Somali, spoken by 9 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Among the many other Cushitic languages are Agaw, Bedawi, Burji, Daasanach, Komso, Saho-Afar and Sidamo. Oromo is written in the Ethiopic script (see discussion of writing below); Somali, in the Roman alphabet. The Omotic languages were formerly classified with the Cushitic and are spoken by perhaps 3 million people who live in SW Ethiopia in the Omo River region. Dizi, Gonga, Gimira, Janjero, Kaficho, and Walamo are among the Omotic languages.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.