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It hardly comes as a surprise that Somali is the dominant language of Somalia, spoken as a native language by ethnic Somalis, who make up around 85% of the country. Somali is the official language of the African nation, a status it shares with Arabic. But a number of indigenous languages are also spoken throughout the Horn of Africa country, and even Somali itself isn’t quite so straightforward. Is Maay Maay a separate language or a dialect of Somali? Either way, it’s an important linguistic variety in Somalia.


With some 2.75 million speakers, Maay Maay is one of the biggest languages in Somalia. It may also (rarely) be spelled Mai-Mai or alternatively called Af-Maay, Af-Maymay, or Maay. Even though Maay Maay is generally classified as a variety of Somali, mutual intelligibility between the two is limited, and most Maay Maay speakers learn Standard Somali as a lingua franca to participate in daily life. After all, education, administration, and media are typically conducted in Standard Somali rather than Maay Maay. The language’s official status as a dialect also means that most translation companies overlook it—but not us at TranslationServices.com, as we’ve just launched our own Maay Maay translation services.


We can give you a free quote for our Maay Maay translation services—why not ask for one today?


Maay Maay: Somali’s special southern “dialect”

Most Maay Maay speakers live in Somalia, especially the southern regions of the country. Predominantly, Maay Maay speakers in Somalia live in the states of South West and Jubaland, as well as Banadir (Mogadishu). There are also a lot of Maay Maay speakers in neighboring regions of Ethiopia and Kenya, with expat communities speaking the language in the United States, Canada, and Yemen. Though often classified as a dialect of Somali itself, Maay Maay is further divided into several dialects, including Maay Erte (Central Somali), Maay Dhete (Af-Goshe, Af-Shambarro, Lower Juba Maay, Mahaway), and Af-Helledi.


Maay Maay belongs to the Afroasiatic language family, as do most other languages in Somalia and Ethiopia. This means it’s related to such major languages as Arabic, Hebrew, Oromo, Amharic, and Hausa, although its closest relative is, naturally, Somali. Maay Maay frequently exhibits subject-verb-object and subject-object-verb word orders, with a special prefix (maay-) appended to verbs if they appear before the object. Verbs in Maay Maay are complex anyway, taking different markers for tense, aspect, subject, and object. Maay Maay isn’t an easy language to translate to and from, and it takes a native speaker’s expertise—but luckily, our Maay Maay team is filled with native speakers.


We modify our Maay Maay translation services to fit your needs.

Every Maay Maay translation project is different, and every client has a different reason for seeking Maay Maay translation services. To cater to the diversity of our clientele, we’ve recruited our Maay Maay translators from all across Somalia’s South West State, Jubaland, and Banadir, as well as communities in Ethiopia, Kenya, and beyond. They’re passionate and can cater their translation services to their particular dialects, whether you need translation to Maay Maay or from it.


We don’t only provide general Maay Maay translation services—we also work in the niches. For example, anyone looking for academic translation services for research questionnaires, educational materials, and more can rely on our academic team—and business leaders can work with our business translators for smooth translations of their business plans, financial reports, ad copy, press releases, and more. We also translate literary works like novels, poems, short stories, and more, acknowledging Maay Maay’s rich literary tradition and the ways it differs from that of Standard Somali. Whatever requests you have, don’t hesitate to ask!


Our Maay Maay translation team is excited to help you. Take a moment now to place an order for Maay Maay translation services!

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