Early Somali language made use of an Arabic script, and it was not until the arrival of Italian and British colonial powers that a Latin-language alphabet was introduced to the Somali language. In addition, a number of indigenous writing systems were developed in the early 20th century.

Today, a Latin-language Somali alphabet is the most widely used script. Developed under the government of former Somalian President Mohamed Siad Barre, the modern Latin-based script was designed by linguists specifically for the written Somali language, making use of all 26 letters of the English-language alphabet except for z, p and v.


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