Your own personal wrang-wrang (darth_spacey) wrote in linguaphiles,
Your own personal wrang-wrang

Languages of Ethiopia

I have an opportunity to do some volunteer work in the Omo River region of Ethiopia this coming winter. I've already started in on learning Amharic, and I'm starting to look into learning some Oromo. What fascinates and worries me are the local languages. There appear to be around a dozen languages or so (at least) spoken along the Omo River, primarily of the Omotic family (which might be either Cushitic (like Oromo) or Semitic (like Amharic)), but others too. They seem to be sparsely documented at best.

I'm not actually going on a linguistic fieldwork trip, but it would seem a waste of an opportunity not to at least try to do some fieldwork while I'm there.

Does anyone have any pointers on any of these languages beyond what can be found on Wikipedia and WALS? For that matter, what advice do y'all have on learning by immersion in a situation where there may well be no language directly in common?

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