Afar (Qafaraf)

Afar is a Lowland East Cushitic language spoken by a about 2.5 million people mainly in Ethiopia, and also in Djibouti and Eritrea. In 2018 there were about 1.8 million speakers of Afar in the regions of Afar, Amhara and Somali in eastern Ethiopia. There were about 505,000 Afar speakers in the Northern Red Sea and Southern Red Sea regions of eastern Eritrea in 2020, and there were about 196,000 speakers of Afar in Djibouti in 2018,

Afar is also known as 'Afar Af, Afaraf or Qafar af. It is closely related to the Saho language, and is also related to Somali.

Afar is recognised as a national language in Djibouti and in Eritrea. There are radio broadcasts in Afar in both countries. Afar is recognized as an official working language in the Afar Region of Ethiopia.

The Afar alphabet or Qafar Feera was created by Dimis and Redo, two Afar intellectual nationalists who published their work in the early 1970s.

Afar alphabet

A a B b T t S s E e C c K k X x
a ba ta sa e ca ka xa
I i D d Q q R r F f G g O o L l
i da qa ra fa ga o la
M m N n U u W w H h Y y    
ma na u wa ha ya    

Afar pronunciation

Afar alphabet

Download an Afar alphabet chart (Excel)

Sample text in Afar

Karaamat kee garwawagittaamal seehada inkih gide akkuk, currik taabuke. Usun kas kee cissi loonuuh, keenik mariiy mara lih toobokinni kasat gexsitam faxximta.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


Sample video in Afar

Information about Afar | Numbers in Afar


Information about the Afar language

AFARAF - Manuel de langue afare (online Afar lessons, in French)

Language courses for Afar (en français)

Afar history

Cushitic languages

Afaan-Oromo, Afar, Awngi, Beja, Blin, Daasanach, Gawwada, Hadiyya, Iraqw, Sidama, Somali, Waata, Xamtanga

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 01.05.21


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