Northern Somali (or Northern-Central Somali) forms the basis for Standard Somali.
Benaadir (also known as Coastal Somali) is spoken on the Benadir coast from Cadaley to south of Merca, including Mogadishu, as well as in the immediate hinterland.
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These lexical borrowings may have been more extensive in the past since a few words that Zaborski (192) observed in the older literature were absent in Agostini's later work. It used to be a working language in the British Somaliland protectorate.
Italian was an official language in Italian Somaliland and during the trusteeship period, but the use of Italian language in Somalia significantly diminished following independence.
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It is spoken as an adoptive language by a few ethnic minority groups in these regions.
Somali dialects are divided into three main groups: Northern, Benaadir and Maay (sometimes spelled Mai or Mai Mai).