SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa

Somali 1

Module Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Full Year
Aim of this course is to provide students with a basic knowledge of the grammar of Somali along with vocabulary which will be of use to them in day to day situations in the Horn of Africa. In taking the course students will develop language learning skills which will enable them to further their competence in Somali either through taking further formal courses or on their own through working with Somalis and/or other textbooks available on the language.


None. Available as an open option course to students on other degrees within SOAS.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate:

  1. knowledge and understanding of basic Somali grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of essential Somali vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Somali structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand short passages in written Somali on everyday topics
  5. the ability to produce short passages in written Somali on everyday topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Somali and to engage in short spoken discourse on everyday topics


This course will be taught 2 evenings a week during term time and with an intensive week in the 3rd term before the exams.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (60%); one oral examination taken in May/June (30%); course assessment (10%).

Suggested reading

  • Colloquial Somali (M. Orwin; Routledge, London; 1995).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules