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Oman
INTRODUCTION
1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. History
11. Cities and Towns



























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Index / Languages
Open map of OmanFlag of OmanOman /
Languages



Languages
Figures in 1000.
Semitic 2,750 81.0%
Arabic
2,650 78.0%
Omani
1,500 44.0%
Gulf
900 26.0%
Dhofari
150 4.4%
Egyptian
50 1.5%
Shihi
20 0.6%
Baharna
10 0.3%
Other
10 0.3%
Mehri
55 1.6%
Shehri
40 1.2%
Harsusi
2 0.1%
Iranian 210 6.2%
Balochi
160 4.7%
Persian
40 1.2%
Luwati
10 0.3%
Lori
2 0.1%
Kumzari
2 0.1%
Other 440 13.0%
Other
440 13.0%

Statistical inaccuracies are up to 5%.

Arabic of Oman is spoken in several dialects, reflecting the diversity of the country. Mountains have divided specific groups, and the sea has allowed migrations. Still, with the exception of Egyptian, all dialects must be seen as indigenous to the country, even Baharna.
Balochi is today spoken by a dwindling percentage of the Balochi population, it is now down below 40%.
Mehri and Shehri are two South Arabian languages native to southern Oman, both have their positions challenged by Arabic, and among the Mahra people, an estimated 50% use their native tongue as the first language.
The miniature languages, Harsusi and Luwati are also native to Oman, and face the danger of extinction. Kumzari is a dialect of the Iranian language Lori, which is spoken by 3.5 million altogether.
A last language of Oman is Hobyot, which by 1998 estimates was spoken by only 100 persons. It could very well be effectively extinct by now.
Different sources indicate the use of Swahili in Oman; it was certainly a language used up to the late 20th century, but today is seems to be no more than a second language among a small group. Ethnologue indicates 22,000 Swahili speakers in 1993.
Among the languages in the group Other, are those of the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi foreign workers. Close to 300,000 speak an Indian language.




By Tore Kjeilen