Afaan Oromo will be among the new language services that the BBC World Service will launch as part of its biggest expansion “since the 1940s”, according to the corporation. The expansion is a result of the funding boost announced by the UK government last year.
The other new languages will be Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, Pidgin, Punjabi, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Yoruba. The first new services are expected to launch in 2017.
The new language services mean the BBC World Service will be available in 40 languages, including English.
After BBC World services announced last year that it would start new language services in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, Afaan Oromo Global Coordinating Committee (AGCC) created a petition page www.gopetition.com website to ask the BBC World Service to consider Afaan Oromo, one of the widely spoken languages in Africa, for its new broadcasts to Ethiopia. AGCC coordinated the signing of the petition by 37,635 petitioners between September 9, 2015 and November 1, 20015.
To the delight of millions of Oromos, 11November2016, the BBC World Service announced that Afaan Oromo will be one of the three languages to be broadcast to Ethiopia; the other two being Amharic & Tigrigna.
About Afaan Oromo (Oromo Language)
The Oromo language is an Afroasiatic language. It is the most widely spoken tongue in the family’s Cushitic branch. This language is spoken as a first language by more than 30 million Oromo and neighboring peoples in Ethiopia and parts of northern Kenya. About 95 percent of Oromo speakers live in Ethiopia, mainly in Oromia Region. In Somalia, there are also some significant number of speakers of the language. In Kenya, the Ethnologue lists 322,000 speakers of Oromo- primarily Borana and Orma, two dialects of the Oromo language spoken by Ethiopian Oromo. Within Ethiopia, Oromo is the language with the largest number of native speakers. Within Africa, Oromo is the language with the fourth most speakers, after Arabic, Swahili, and Hausa (see more at https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/afan-oromo.html).
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