Africa is a big continent. It’s the world’s second-biggest continent in both geographical area and population, more than three times the physical size of Europe and boasting a population of 1.3 billion. So it’s no wonder that Africa is also home to a wealth of linguistic diversity, with indigenous languages still spoken widely across the continent. Among these languages we find Afar, spoken as one of the main languages in the Horn of Africa.
Afar boasts nearly 2 million native speakers, so it’s certainly not as big as some of its neighboring languages, such as Arabic, Somali, Amharic, or Tigrinya. Nonetheless, it’s a prominent language in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, where its speakers account for a decent portion of the population. Afar is recognized as a national language in Djibouti, where it shares the spotlight with Somali, as well as in Eritrea, even though Eritrean Afar speakers generally receive education in Arabic. In Ethiopia’s Afar Region, Afar is the dominant language. While Afar is a relatively strong language, its larger neighbors tend to overshadow it, resulting in a dearth of translation services—so we at TranslationServices.com compiled our own Afar translation team.
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Discover more about the Afar language
The majority of Afar speakers live in Ethiopia, with around 300,000 calling Djibouti home and fewer than 100,000 residing in Eritrea. The language is closely related to some of the nearby languages, particularly Somali and Saho. In fact, Afar is so similar to Saho that some linguists even regard them as different dialects of the same language. Afar is a Cushitic language of the Afroasiatic family and today is usually written in the Latin alphabet but sometimes in the Arabic script. Historically, Afar speakers used the Ethiopic Ge’ez script.
Afar uses a subject-object-verb word order, the most common in the world. Verbal morphology in Afar, as in other Afroasiatic languages, can be complicated, with vowel changes representing different tenses and aspects. However, despite the multiple verb types that inform different conjugation patterns, the system is much less complex in Afar than in Arabic. Subject is marked on Afar verbs, with a gender distinction for the third-person singular. Afar also features the jussive mood, not found in English, used for issuing orders or giving permission.
We’re ready to translate to and from Afar for you.
Our Afar translators are native speakers of this proud Afroasiatic language, and they’re eager to help translation clients around the globe bridge the language gap between the Horn of Africa and the wider world. Despite the challenges that come with translating languages as different as English and Afar, our translators are ready to translate both to and from Afar for a variety of projects. This includes translations from Afar to English for business materials, educational texts, prized literature, and historical documents—yes, even those written in the Ge’ez script! We also translate from English to Afar for a wide range of applications, from corporate to promote your business initiatives in the Horn of Africa, to pedagogical materials that encourage enhance the education of native Afar children, to interesting books, poems, websites, apps, and games that help cement Afar as a literary and digital language, allowing native speakers and learners alike to cherish the precious Afroasiatic tongue.
Whatever you need Afar translation services for, we’re here to help! Simply shoot us a message to discuss your needs.