Aari (also spelled Ari, Ara, Aro, Aarai) is an Omotic language of Ethiopia. The speakers of this language have been known as Shankilla (or Shanqella), a name which is considered derogatory. According to the 2007 census, over 285,000 people speak Aari as a mother tongue.

There are ten dialects, corresponding to the ten tribes of the Aari people: Gozza, Bako, Biyo, Galila, Laydo, Seyki, Shangama, Sido, Wubahamer, and Zeddo. Literacy in Aari is about 10%. The first translation of the New Testament into Aari was published in 1997.


Richard Hayward (1990). "Notes on the Aari Language," Omotic Language Studies, Richard Hayward (editor), pp. 425–493. London: SOAS.

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