Somalia - Languages
Somali, classified as a lowland Eastern Cushitic language, is spoken by all Somalis, with dialectal differences that follow clan family divisions. Loanwords from Arabic, English, and Italian have been thoroughly assimilated by Somali phonetic rules. Until 1972, the official languages of Somalia were oral Somali, Arabic, English, and Italian. In 1973, a written form of Somali, with a script based on the Latin alphabet, was adopted as the nation's chief official language. This official script largely replaced the use of English and Italian in newspapers and public documents. It is used in all schools. However, Arabic, English, and Italian are all still widely spoken and understood.