Dialects We Speak

When the first question is asked by your client for an interpreter, you instantly have a question to answer of your own. Differentiating between telephonic and on-site appointments can mean finding the situation that works best for you. And not only that, differentiating between which dialect the client speaks is also vital.

Somalis have many dialects, but the main three dialects are:

  -Waqooyi dialect is spoken in the  Northwest regions. Central Somalia which forms the basis for the standard Somali language.

-Banaadir (also known as Af-Reer xamar) is spoken on the Mogadisho Coast from A’dale to south of Marka and in the immediate hinterland.

-Maay Maay spoken by Rahaweyn and Bantus in Southwest Somalia, Lower Shabelle, and many parts of Jubba Land.


Most language services do not understand the variations of the unique Somali dialects. It’s almost impossible to have a northerner interpret for someone who came from the coastal or the inlands of Somali. At SLS, we offer a full staffed team of Interpreters that are capable of speaking the right dialect for the client, eluding confusion. Below is our diagram explaining the dialects and what they mean to your client.