SOAS University of London

Africa Section, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Advanced somali:formal usage

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 of 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Full Year


For mother tongue speakers of Somali a short assessment will be made to ascertain they are of a suitable standard for this module or whether another module would be more appropriate. For other students a minimum of a good 2:1 mark in Somali II will be a minimum prerequisite.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of this module the student will be able to read, write, listen to and speak formal standard Somali with fluency. They will have expanded their vocabulary particularly in the area of current affairs and Somali culture. They will be able to write accurate and fluent Somali and will be aware of different styles. They will be able to translate from Somali into English and from English into Somali with accuracy and fluency and an awareness of style of language. The development of writing and translation skills in Somali is one which, for these students, will be transferable to any situation in which they are using the language formally.


A total of 22 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination in May/June (60%); an oral examination of 20 mins approx (10%); a translation from Somali into English to be submitted at the beginning of week 10, term 1(10%); a translation from English into Somali to be submitted at the beginning of week 10 of term 2(10%); a short essay of 1000 words written in Somali to be submitted at the beginning of week 1 of term 3 (10%) .

Suggested reading

Most materials for this module will be provided by the teacher. The main dictionary and grammar book which will be referred to are the following: 

  • Abdalla Omar Mansur & A. Puglielli. 1999. Barashada Naxwaha Af Soomaaliga. Haan Associates, London. 
  • Zorc, R.D. and Madina M. Osman 1993. Somali_English Dictionary: with English Index. Dunwoody Press, Kensington.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules