Somali
Country:
Somalia
Language: Somali
Exploration: Ethnicity
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Contents

Somalia is often called one of the most homogenous countries of Africa. Why, then, is it also listed as one of the most dangerous country in the world? The answers lies in the complex ethnic relations due to what is called clans. The Exploration called Ethnicity offers several activities attempting to address this issue. Most Somalis and the remaining ethnic groups have the same religion - Islam. The number of languages spoken within the current borders of Somalia is only thirteen or so in comparison over 500 for instance for Nigeria. Somali, af tiiri and Maay-Maay, af Maay are considered the dominant languages or dialects as some would still prefer to call them. As evident from the language maps provided in this Exploration Somali is also spoken in the countries bordering Somalia: Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti. The fate of Somalia as a country largely depends on the inter-clan relations. The clan and sub-clan interactions and clan affiliation have far-reaching consequences for defining the identity of an individual. While it is often stated that the majority of Somalis desire to overcome the bounds of their clans, the interclan relations cannot be disregarded in Somali politcs.

CHALLENGES / GOALS

Complex cultural issues can make seemingly simple tasks complex. Review information and concepts for talking about clans, languages, the varieties of Somali, locations, names, politics, inter-clan fighting in a culturally sensitive manner. Conflict lexicon, continued. Edit the translation of radio reports with emphasis on accuracy in rendering the names of administrative divisions, numbers and other quantifiers. Proficiency levels 1-4.



Table of contents

INTRODUCTION

Clans, languges, dialects, locations

Contents

Review the phraseology for talking about clans and languages through map and image-based activities.

Activity 1

Major clans, their languages and dialects. Drag and drop matching activity.

Activity 2

A fill-in puzzle activity using a clan map and names of clans as clues.

Activity 3

Learn how to obtain personal information about clans and sub-clans from a member of the Islamic Courts in culturally appropriate manner through a question-answer matching activity.

Activity 4

Match the names of politicians and the expressions about their clan origin.


ASSIGNMENT 1

Standard Somali, its varieties/dialects and other language spoken in Somalia

Activity 1

Presentation: view a webcast/mini-lecture by your instructor about the standard Somali and its varieties. Use the links to Tools to get maps and Key Phrases. Study an ethnic map identifying languages and dialects. Apply your observations in Activities: 2 and 3.

Activity 2

Review an interactive map displaying languages spoken in Somalia and the information about these languages. Use the information in a matching activity: languages and the corresponding greetings.

Activity 3

Listen to a telephone conversation and identify the greeting expressions in a conversation between a southern dialect Benadiiri speaker and a speaker of standard Somali. View the video track of the same passage to identify the speakers.

Activity 4

In next issue Focus on sound: southern and northern varieties of Somali.


ASSIGNMENT 2

Inter- clan fighting

 

Activity 1

Listen to a radio Benadiir newscast delivered in the rapid speech pattern. Identify the names of the Somali regions and towns you heard in the newscast through an interactive map activity.

Activity 2

Review the conflict vocabulary using a drag and drop activity.

Activity 3

Become an editor. Listen to Part 1 of the newscast from Activity 1 in a version re- voiced by your instructor. Read the translation text and evaluate its accuracy by selecting the button: accurate, inaccurate, partially accurate. Then read the comments provided in the Feedback: emphasis on locations, numbers and other quantifiers.

Activity 4

Repeat the task from Activity 3 applied to Part 2 of the newscast.


ASSIGNMENT 3

In next issue

 

Activity 1

Activities 1-4; topic: Inter-clan fighting to be continued. Skill: Reading.and translation

Activity 2

 

Activity 3

 

Activity 4

 


ASSIGNMENT 4

In next issue

The Somali oral tradition

 

Activity 1

The northern clans in the Somaliland. Watch a home video from a nomad wedding. Focus on the visual aspect of the video clip

Activity 2

Listen to a folk-tale by the clan elder. A puzzle activity. 

Activity 3

Discourse: narration style, tenses. 

Activity 4

Cultural values prescribed for women. Drawing inferences. 


ASSIGNMENT 5

In next issue

Language versus dialect distinction

 

 

Activity 1

Watch the fire dance, listen to a song, read its transcript and translation. Then analyze to discern some of the basic differences between the sound inventories of the two languages.

Activity 2

Watch an interview with a Maay-speaking Bantu woman in southern Somalia video-taped on site in Somalia. Witness communication between two bilinguals each speaking his variety/language.

Activity 3

Work with the Maay video clip continued

Activity 4

Work with the Maay video clip continued