Afaan Oromoo (Oromo) Language-Learning Resources

Afaan Oromoo (also known as Oromiffa) is spoke by 50+ million people across several countries (mainly Ethiopia and Kenya). Despite being the most common first language in Ethiopia, it was actually banned in Ethiopia from 1941-1991 (starting when Haile Selassie declared the ban, ending with the fall of the Derg regime), for political reasons.

Beginner Resources

  • VOCABULARY: This page has lists of vocabulary in Afaan Oromoo and English, organised by topics such as “colors” and “weather.”
  • VOCABULARY GAMES: Digital Dialects has several vocabulary games to practice basic vocabulary (mostly numbers and some general nouns).
  • VOCABULARY GAMES: MAL has a variety of vocabulary games, and a few games with basic phrases. More extensive than the Digital Dialects page.
  • BASIC QUESTIONS: Beekan Erena’s page (Harvard) lists a variety of introductory questions, which can be good practice exercises for either speaking or writing.
  • VOCABULARY/GRAMMAR: OPride has a PDF version of a 52-page presentation, which includes a great amount of grammar, vocabulary, and practice exercises (as well as some background on Oromo people).
  • PRONUCIATION: Tesfaye Gudeta has made a great set of videos (assembled into a playlist), teaching basic Afaan Oromoo, which is very helpful if you’re looking for audio to go along with your lessons.
  • PRONUNCIATION: Kakuu has made another great set of videos going through introductory Afaan Oromoo lessons. The playlist is here.

Intermediate Resources

  • TEXTBOOK: The old (1975) Peace Corps textbook for Oromiffa includes 20 units, covering different topics. It starts from a beginner level, but because it’s such a substantial text, completing it would bring you to an intermediate level, I believe.
  • TEXTBOOK: A newer (2014) version of the Peace Corps textbook. Completing all the content in this book should bring you to intermediate, as well.
  • DICTIONARY: If you’re working to expand your vocabulary, this Oromo dictionary is a great tool.
  • WIKIBOOK: An extensive collection of Afaan Oromoo grammar lessons — great resource! I came across this on a Peace Corps blog, which credits the Wikibook to PC Ethiopia G4 volunteer John Stevens-Garmon.

Advanced Resources

  • READING: VOA Afaan Oromoo and BBC Afaan Oromoo publish news articles in Afaan Oromoo, which makes great reading practice for those at an advanced level.
  • VIDEOS/LISTENING: BBC Afaan Oromoo also has a video page, which is great as a listening exercise.
  • VIDEOS/READING/EXERCISES: The National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland has an extensive collection of Afaan Oromoo exercises, many with audio/video clips involved. Almost all are at the advanced level. Free registration is straightforward and required to view the content.

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