Somali is Somalia’s official language. However, Arabic is widely spoken and is considered a secondary language. Because Somalis are nearly entirely Sunni Muslims, much religious language has been taken from Arabic, but there are also Persian or Arabic loan terms for ordinary things (for example, Somali albab-ka (the door), from the Arabic al baab). While the country’s southern region was a former protectorate and colony of Italy, it is unknown how much Italian is currently spoken there. Many Somalis know English in order to interact with the people who do all of the menial tasks in their nation. If you can learn a few Somali words, your hosts and any other natives you encounter will be extremely pleased and grateful.