Language of the Oromo people, spoken in Northeast Africa and primarily Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as parts of Somalia and Egypt. As a macro language, it is estimated that Oromo is spoken by as many as 30,000,000 people. Oromo is the fourth most widely spoken African language after Arabic, Hausa and Swahili. From the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family, it is used as a lingua franca also by non-Oromo groups in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Other Cushitic languages are Somali, Sidamo (Ethiopia), Hadia, Kambata and Afar. The dialects of Oromo fall into 3 main groups: Western (including Wellegga), Eastern (especially Harer) and Southern (e.g. Borena). Dialectical differences do not impede comprehension between people from different communities. Since the early 1970s, the Latin alphabet has been the orthography used for Oromo.
In Ethiopia, Oromo is the most important national language alongside Amharic, and is used in trade, local government and the mass media. There the Oromo people are the largest ethnic group , representing roughly 40% of the population. In Kenya there are roughly 8 different Oromo groups. The original homeland of the Oromo people was in Ethiopia and Northern Kenya.
CLASSIFICATION = Afroasiatic family, SCRIPT = Roman