CIT offers Oromiffa interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.
Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Oromiffa language services including interpretation, translation, and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field-tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Oromiffa language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Oromiffa language interpreters and translators possess in-depth knowledge of the Oromiffa language, as well as of the culture and history of the Oromiffa people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.
The Oromiffa Language
The Oromiffa, or Oromo, language, is a Cushitic language spoken by about 30 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Egypt. It is the third most popular language in Africa. The Oromo people makeup about 40% of the Ethiopian population and are the largest ethnic group in the country. They are spread all over Ethiopia, especially in Wollega, Sho, Illubabour, Jimma, Arsi, Bale, Haraghe, Wollo, Borana and parts of Gojjam.
Prior to the 1970s, the Oromo language was written using two scripts: either the Ge’ez of the Latin scripts. In the 70s, however, the OLF (Oromo Liberation Front) decided to use solely the Latin script to write the Oromo language. From then until the early 1990s, it was forbidden by the Mengistu regime to write Oromo in any script (except minimally in the Ge’ez script). Where there are Muslims in an Oromo area, Arabic script had been used as well. In 1991, the OLF had met with over 1,000 Oromo intellectuals and historians who decided unanimously, after several hours of debate, to adopt the Latin alphabet to write the Oromo language.
History of the Oromo
The Oromo people could originally be found in the southeastern parts of Ethiopia. However, in the 1500s, they had migrated heavily towards other parts of the country. At that point, they had inhabited all of the southern lands of Ethiopia along with settlements on the Tana River in Kenya. They had also settled in most of the western and central provinces of Ethiopia, including parts of the Amhara region along with the Welo and Tigre regions. Wherever they had settled, even in the areas that were quite different than what they were used to do, they meshed well and adapted customs along with intermarried others. Because of these actions, a lot of their original culture was lost. Eventually, they were controlled by the Amhara people, which are the next biggest ethnic group in Ethiopia.
The Oromo people got their name from the initial tribe they came from, Oromia (or Biiya-Oromo). For a large part of history, the Oromo people were called the “galla.” One reason for this name was given by the French explorer, Antoine d’ Abaddie, who stated that “galla” was a war cry by the Oromo people. Another reason for the name is believed to be that when the Islamic prophet Muhammad asked the Chief of the Oromo to accept Islam, his response was “gha la,” which means “no.” It is believed that the Oromo are originally from the Lake Shamo area.
Because of their heavy influences from the Somalis, Afar and Bejas people, they follow a form of an organization called, “gadaa.” Gadaa is a form of social system where the leaders are chosen every eight years. It regulates the political, religious and social life of the Oromo people.