Department of Afan Oromo Language And Literature

Mettu University

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities


Department of Afaan Oromoo and Literature

 Background of The Department

The Oromo nation has a single common mother tongue, called Afaan Oromoo which is the third most-widely spoken language in Africa, after Hausa and Arabic. It is obvious that, every language has its own background information or history. As different scholars studied, a large number of languages in the world are used only in the spoken form. They do not have a written form. A few years ago Afaan Oromoo was one of the languages which have been used only in the spoken form. The development of a language is determined by the context in which it is used. For example political, economical and socio-cultural reasons are the main issues.  If a language has a right to be a medium of instruction, official language, mass media, art and literature it become developed.

Afaan Oromoo, as a language of wider communication in Ethiopia, could not get the opportunity to be used as a written language until Abba Gammachis, the prominent Oromo, translated the Bible into Afaan Oromoo in 1880's. Moreover, Abba Gammachis made efforts to use Afaan Oromoo as a medium of instruction. However, this was short lived because the Ethiopian ruling regime of that time banned the use of the language in schools and media.


In 1991, after the overthrow of the Derg, an alphabet using Latin characters known as Qubee was officially adopted for written Oromo. Soon after,  Afaan Oromoo was allowed to be used as the medium of instruction in elementary schools throughout Oromiyaa and in print and broadcast media. The adoption of a single writing system allowed a certain amount of standardization of the language, and more texts were written in Afaan Oromoo between 1991 and 1997 than had been in the previous 100 years.

Moreover, it has become a medium of instruction in teachers' training institutes and colleges in the region. Thus, having qualified personnel in Afaan Oromoo has become an urgent need of the region. And  Oromiyaa Regional State Government due attention to promote Afaan Oromoo to BEd, MEd/ BA and MA  degree level at Universities in order to meet this urgent demand for qualified professional in Afaan Oromoo since 2004/2005 academic year.


Due to these, Afaan Oromoo and Literature department is launched at Mettu University as soon as the University opened.


Service Offered By the Department

The department has been training students in undergraduate degree both in regular and summer programs with many technical activities in the department.  Conducting research on language, linguistics, literature, culture, folklore and other related topics and giving consultancy service and/ or training for the community.  


External links        

Governmental organization the department has strong link and work with Ilu Abba Bor  Zone Cultural and Tourism bureau