Somali is a Cushitic language spoken by the Somali people. It is the official language of Somalia and Somaliland. Somali is also spoken by a minority in Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. It has official status in Djibouti, where it is a national language, and in Ethiopia, where it is a working language. It has about 16 million speakers.
Somali is written with the Latin alphabet. There is no standard orthography, but several Somali linguists have proposed one. Somali has been written with the Arabic script, which is also used for other Cushitic languages, but this is not very common.
The Somali language is related to other Cushitic languages, such as Oromo, Afar and Saho. It is also related to the Beja language, which is spoken in Sudan and Egypt.
Somali is a tonal language, with two tones: high and low. It is a subject–object–verb language, and has a complex system of morphology and syntax.
Somali has a rich oral tradition, and many Somali proverbs and poems are well known. The Somali people also have a rich musical tradition.