In this series of articles we overview languages present in any given country. This time we are looking at the languages spoken in Djibouti

The biggest languages present in Djibouti include:

  • French – 494 thousand speakers;
  • Arabic – 30 thousand speakers;
  • Somali – 593 thousand speakers;
  • Afar – 296 thousand speakers;

The following languages are legally recognized as the “official languages” of the country:

  • French
  • Arabic

Below you will find summaries for the languages supported by our translation services.

French

French belongs to the Romance branch of the Indo-European language family. It is one of the official languages of Djibouti, alongside 2 other.

French language summary
Number of speakers worldwide274 million
Language familyIndo-European
WritingFrench alphabet
Major French-speaking populations in:49 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

More than a hundred million people use French as their language of day-to-day communication. With regard to the number of speakers, the most notable 3 countries are France, Canada, and Switzerland.

Less than 50% of the population speaks French on a daily basis, but the number of speakers is still significant for the country – around 494 thousand.

Writing

French uses the Latin alphabet. It employs the extended version of the script, however, with 16 additional symbols. It is written from left to right.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Djiboutian market via the French language, you might be interested in the following services:

Arabic

Arabic is a Semitic language, which is a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It is one of the official languages of Djibouti, alongside 2 other.

Arabic language summary
Number of speakers worldwide422 million
Language familyAfro-Asiatic
WritingArabic abjad
Major Arabic-speaking populations in:22 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

There are major Arabic-speaking populations in more than 20 countries of the world. With regard to the number of speakers, the most notable 3 countries are Algeria, Bahrain, and Comoros.

In Djibouti approximately 3% or 30 thousand people use Arabic in their day-to-day communication.

Writing

The Arabic abjad is used for writing the Arabic language. It employs the standard version of the script with no additional, language-specific symbols.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Djiboutian market via the Arabic language, you might be interested in the following services:

Somali

Somali belongs to the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It has no country-wide official status in Djibouti.

Somali language summary
Number of speakers worldwide16 million
Language familyAfro-Asiatic
WritingLatin alphabet
Major Somali-speaking populations in:5 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

There are major Somali-speaking populations in 5 countries. Somali, Kenyan, and Djiboutian markets, for example, might be expected to use Somali in business and daily communications, at least to some extent.

More than half of Djiboutian citizens speak Somali.

Writing

Somali employs the Latin alphabet. It is written in the left-to-right fashion.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Djiboutian market via the Somali language, you might be interested in the following services:

Related services

We hope you have found the answers to the question about what languages are spoken in Djibouti“. If you wish to know more about these languages or would like to inquire about our translation services, please contact us at [email protected].

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  • Dekra

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Software Localization for an Online-Shop

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Engineering

Translation and Desktop Publishing of Technical Drawings

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