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Somali Translation Service

The Somali language is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Its nearest relatives are Afar and Oromo. Somali is the best-documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies of it from before 1900.

Before the colonial period, educated Somalis and religious fraternities either wrote in Arabic or used an ad hoc transliteration of Somali into Arabic script. Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan's letter to a scholar, betraying him to the colonial powers, was in Arabic. The Qur'an was taught throughout Somalia, so children were exposed to the Arabic alphabet from a young age. Material discovered in 1940, mainly ancient letters and tomb inscriptions, demonstrates that the Somali language was written with the Arabic alphabet, like the Urdu and Persian languages. But this was not certainly "codified", and questions remain about the extent of its use.

A number of attempts had been made from the 1920s onwards to standardize the language using a number of different alphabets. Pamphlets explaining the new standardization were released to the public in a soccer stadium in Mogadishu on October 10, 1972.

The first comprehensive dictionaries were produced in 1976, the Qaamuus kooban ee af Soomaali ah and Qaamuuska Af-Soomaaliga. Civil servants were required to pass language proficiency exams and in the rural literacy campaign students were sent to rural areas to teach others the new script. Reportedly, by 1978 the majority of Somalis were literate, the fastest development of literacy in the history of Africa, although in recent times the civil war and resulting breakup of central control of Somalia has seen a decline in literacy and a stagnation of cultural development in the language.

Accurate Somali translation the first time around

Trust in your translation provider is the key to receiving the quality translation you are looking for. At WorldAccess we pride ourselves on delivering your Somali translation project that is backed up with a guarantee.

Your Somali translation will only be done by in-country translators with proven experience in the subject of your original document. A Project Manager, who is also an experienced linguist, will be dedicated to your translation project.

We'll provide your Somali translated document in exactly the same format as your original unless specified different. This means you'll have an accurate Somali translation you can use straight away.

Things to consider when translating between Somali and other Languages

Layout designs - Text typically expands or contracts when translating one language to another. English to Somali translations and Somali to English translations, will contract or expand depending on the subject matter.

Which Somali do you need for your translation?

Getting the Somali translation of your documents right can be very tricky. Clearly there's only one Somali language but as in most countries different sections of the population will have different ways of saying things. Your Account Manager will discuss the target market of your document with you. Clearly if your Somali translation is aimed at teenagers it will need to use their phrases and maybe even slang. Missing these small issues can be the difference between a successful translation and a bad one.

Specialist industry Somali translators

With a large network of in-country, bilingual Somali translator, WorldAccess Translations can respond quickly and effectively to your Somali language translation needs. Our translation teams are professional linguists performing translation from English to Somali and Somali to English for a range of documents in various industries.

Somali Translation Quality Procedures

We work within documented quality procedures and will adopt additional quality controls in order to align with client-side process. Each Somali translator is selected based on their experience and special areas of expertise.

Translation Confidentiality

All translators are bound by a commercial confidentiality and corporate nondisclosure agreement.
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