There are no superior or inferior languages in Ethiopia
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There are no superior or inferior languages in Ethiopia

By Abdirahman Alale
Tigrai Online, Nov. 10 2017

There are no superior or inferior languages in EthiopiaAll Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition there are no superior or inferior languages


The Ethiopia my good-looking and multicultural diversity state or the country of Origin is a nation that has more than eighty two diverse nations who speak more than eighty two different languages. The earlier Ethiopian government regimes were those using merely Amharic language as national language with no will of the other Ethiopian nations. We Ethiopians have been enjoying Amharic for long-ago centuries due to its early age written form and its civilisation and popularity in Ethiopia. Using one of the Ethiopian languages as national or as federal working language is nothing but the most important issue is the acceptance of all other Ethiopian nations and nationalities. According to the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia article 5 says:

 1. All Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition.

2. Amharic language shall be the working language of the federal Government.

The Existing Young  Democratic Government didn't simply believe as mandatory or forced its people that Amharic as federal working  but the will and acceptance of all other Ethiopian nations. However, more than a week I have been reading and evaluating several pieces of writings on the social media owned by terrorist members and their followers. They were saying that their language must be the Ethiopia's national language. Even they didn't say working language.

I didn't bolt from the blue since everybody fully knows that a single nation or one of the Ethiopian nation cannot make compulsory that its language to be Ethiopia's national language or even working language without the will and acceptance of all other Ethiopian nations.

Apart from the above facts, if one of those more than eighty two languages nations want that its language to be Ethiopia's federal working language it be supposed to fulfilled the will and acceptance of the other nations only. There are other national and international language criteria and if you want that you language to be Ethiopian language it should fulfill those criteria first. According to the world's definition of national or international working language, it should be a language that is spoken internationally or is a language that is spoken more than two countries and is learned and spoken by a large number of people as a second language. A world language is characterized not only by the total number of speakers, but also by its geographical distribution, as well as use in international organizations and diplomatic relations.


Thought, Amharic language itself cannot cross international boundaries even our neighboring countries. The writer is considering here that all Ethiopian languages are equal and no superior language than others but based on our constitution, using amharic language as federal level is important if and only if all other Ethiopian nations continuing their will and acceptance. If not, I would like to suggest and propose Somali language. It is an Ethiopian language as well as an international. It can fulfill all locally and internationally acceptance criteria. To prove the above point, people living in more than four countries in east Africa particularly our neighboring countries in the Horn of Africa speak Somali language.

Abdirahman Alale, an independent writer, is mainly interested in Ethiopia. He is currently self employed.

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