French Dialect Spoken in Djibouti
Thread poster: shfranke

United States
Local time: 13:28
English to Arabic
+ ...
Apr 7, 2006


Pardonez mois pour votre derangere.

S'il vous plais, I am interested in contacting persons familiar (preferably with direct experience in the region) with features of the dialect of French spoken in Djibouti / Horn of Africa.

Also would appreciate citations of any descriptive references in French, English or other languages.

Some sources have said that that local dialect is a patois or pidgin variant of Metropolitan French, and used commonly in business and official / administrative / legal settings (courts, police, social work, military training, etc.).

I am researching such details for possible use in developing a software program for interactive language training.

Many thanks in advance.

Merci beaucoup.

E-mail: < >


Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California, USA

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-04-07 16:30]


Mamie (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:28
French to Spanish
+ ...
See this link... Apr 7, 2006

There is also others links.

Happy Easter!


Jean-Christophe Vieillard
Local time: 22:28
German to French
no french dialect Apr 7, 2006

Mamie ! Afar is not a french dialect ! It's a language.

Stephen, they speak Arabic (omani dialect but 95% of the population is muslim) and French (official languages) in Djibouti !

Hope it helps.

(traduction : l'afar n'est pas un dialecte français mais une langue.
Les langues officielles de Djibouti sont l'arabe et le français).
(in french)

Bien que les langues officielles soient le français et l'arabe, le français est réservé à la capitale et uniquement aux communications formelles ou officielles; le somali demeure la véritable langue véhiculaire dans tout le pays, alors que l'arabe djiboutien est la seconde langue. La langue afar semble en régression à Djibouti-Capitale au profit du somali et du français. D'ailleurs, l'afar emprunte massivement à ces deux langues. L'afar est parlé différemment à Djibouti, en Éthiopie et en Érythrée. Personne ne parle l'arabe officiel au sein de la population djiboutienne, mais c'est la langue du Coran et d'une partie de l'enseignement secondaire.

[Edited at 2006-04-07 20:44]


United States
Local time: 13:28
English to Arabic
+ ...
Afar as local language; French as (no pun intended) official "lingua franca" Apr 7, 2006

Greetings.... bonjour...

Thank you for your note about Afar.

Knew earlier from the Ethnolgue website that Afar is the original, local language and that French is largely used for formal, technical, educational and administrative purposes as (no pun intended) official "lingua franca" of Djibouti.

Appreciate and welcome all of these several replies, as they provide clarity and also help me to "select out" possible existence of a distinctive local variant of French, in favor of the apparently-prevalent "standard educated French."

Arabic and Persian are my main "working languages" as a dialectologist, so this research in the French language as found in sub-Sahelian Africa (esp. the Horn of Africa region) is a new field of research.

Many thanks again to all for their kind replies and clarifications.


Stephen H. Franke


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French Dialect Spoken in Djibouti

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