Somali Writing/Documents/Speeches Vocabulary

I (strangely, to most) enjoy reading academic texts. It’s always stunning to me how much information there is on the internet, and it astounds me how easy it is to dig into some random topic, oftentimes at 2am, and quickly find yourself reading specific research from the most knowledgeable people in the world. What an era!

Oftentimes, I find myself reading academic texts about languages. While academic texts aren’t great pedagogic tools, they oftentimes contain a huge amount of really interesting vocabulary used in that language. So, my goal here is to go through an academic text (in this case, it’s Dimensions of Register Variation in Somali, by Mohamed Hared and Douglar Biber), and sort through some of the vocabulary included, making it into a more useful language-learning tool for Somali-learners.

The text itself is a really cool analysis of different variations in language and formality, and how often they’re used in different registers (comparing high school textbooks to different types of newspaper articles, speeches compared to government memos, etc.). It’s a really cool combination of the language, and mathematics — if you’re interested, would definitely recommend checking it out.

First, the article contained some useful vocabulary about written texts — here are the words I think would be most commonly used and useful for language-learners.

  1. war = news
    1. wargeysada = press
    2. ra’yiga iyo aqoonta = opinion and knowledge (title for a newspaper’s editorial page)
  2. qor = write (verb)
    1. qoraalo = writings/documents
    2. qoraalo barabagaandha = propaganda
    3. qoraalo waxbarasho = academic/educational texts (barasho = learn)
  3. warqad = letter
  4. buugta dugsiyada sare = high school textbooks
  5. suugaan = literature
  6. sheeko = stories

Next, the article contained some interesting words related to speeches and meetings — again, I’ve pulled out some vocabulary which I think would be useful to language-learners.

  1. cashar jaamcadeed = university lectures
    1. cashar = lesson (academic)
    2. jaamcada = university
  2. lakjar = academic conference lectures (this is an English cognate — “lecture”)
  3. ciyaar-tebin = sports broadcasts (ciyaar = sports)
  4. hadal raadiyo = radio broadcasts (hadal = the verb “speak”)
  5. hadal shir = meeting
    1. shir guddi = committee meeting
    2. shir qoys = family meeting

So, there you go! Happy language-learning.

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