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Mehri language resources

Mehri is spoken on a daily basis in: Yemen Mehri--> --> --> -->

Additional background on Mehri

Mehri or Mahri is a Semitic language spoken by minority populations in the eastern part of Yemen and western Oman and is a remnant of the ancient indigenous language group spoken in the southern Arabian Peninsula before the spread of Arabic along with the Islamic religion in the 7th century AD. It is also spoken today in Kuwait by guest workers originally from these areas. Given the dominance of the Arabic language in the region and bilingualism with Arabic among Mehri speakers, Mehri is at risk of extinction. It is primarily a spoken language with little existing in print and almost no literacy in the written form among native speakers.

Linguistically, it is classified as a South Arabian language within the South Semitic language group, akin to Semitic languages such as Amharic in Ethiopia, which are all part of the larger Semitic language family, which in turn is part of the overarching Afro-Asiatic language family. Mehri has 70,643 speakers in Yemen, 50,763 in Oman and 14,358 in Kuwait. Population total for all countries is 135,764 (SIL estimate, 2000). Mehri speakers are known in the region as the Mahra people.


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