Yes, they Speak English in Uganda-It’s the Official Language.
Tourists-Visitors often ask: Do they speak English in Uganda?
Will I have a Problem communicating in Uganda? Do they speak English in Uganda? Questions our clients and tourists often ask us.
Tourists love to see wildlife, primates, scenic wonders, and cultural sites. They also want to communicate, have enriching conversations, and learn beyond the things to do and see in Uganda.
Do They Speak English in Uganda? Why communicating in English so crucial for Tourists?
English has become the lingua franca in the world of tourism. English has become the common language and mode of communication that enables people to communicate with one another regardless of cultural or ethnic background. In Uganda, it is one of the official languages.
The added plus for English as the Lingua Franca of Tourism is that it is easy to learn to read and write. Something we witnessed when Rwanda adopted English as an official language.
If you visit Uganda and speak English, you will get along fine. You might want to know about Uglish, the Ugandan form of English that is becoming quite popular.
Do They Speak English in Uganda? Ugandans are the Best at using English in all of Africa.
English is the Official Language in Uganda, and its use has increased since the introduction of Universal Primary Education in Uganda. Not only that, but according to a study by the World Linguistic Society released in 2017, Ugandans speak the best English in all of Africa, followed by Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ghana, Botswana, Sudan, and Rwanda. A major Safari Tourist Destination, Tanzania did not even make the top 10 list of Best English-Speaking countries since they heavily rely on Kiswahili.
English is one of Uganda’s two official languages, and the other is Kiswahili, and that has not been fully implemented in the school system. Something different with children being taught English as early as in Baby Class, a pre-school in Uganda.
English-speaking tourists coming on a Safari will have no problems ordering food or drink, going on a gorilla or Chimpanzee Trek, or being with a safari driver-guide at their side. In Uganda, the plus for tourists is that you can have some intelligent conversations in English. This is a plus not communicated and taken advantage of by the Uganda Tourism Board in promoting Uganda as a great tourism destination.
Yes, they speak English in Uganda.
Do They Speak English in Uganda? Yes, and a resounding yes it is. Ugandans do a pretty good job communicating in English. One may find it enjoyable to have a Ugandan TV or Radio personality speak in pucker – Queens English, or another sounding like they just came from Boston, Seattle, or Cleveland, Ohio. In some cases, they have been outside of Uganda, while others taught themselves by watching movies and TV in English. In contrast, a few have engaged in English or American accent language coaches.
Uganda, the Number-1 English-speaking Country in Africa, is an Added Plus for Tourists going on a Safari in the Pearl of Africa.
On a Safari, all staff at lodges, rangers in parks, the Tourism Police, Porters for your Gorilla Trek, and your driver-guide all speak English. There might still be cultural differences; however, almost everyone you contact will understand your requests and attend to your needs if you talk in English. Compared to Rwanda, Burundi, DDRD Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, and other African countries, this is added plus.
That is an added comfort and convenience that most visitors do not realize from our perspective. Visitors to Uganda do not learn that the Ugandan English Speaker is at home with a few other languages in most cases.
Do They Speak English in Uganda? Yes, but many will resort to Uglish Phrases.
If it sounds English, but you do not know the meaning – it is Uglish
Most often, they do speak English. At times, they throw in phrases that you think mean one thing but locally, they mean something different. One is a phrase you will often hear. “I am going to make a short call.” You think that they are going to make a phone call, but locally it means that they are going to the bathroom
It is called UgLish – Ugandan English, a form of English but with a Ugandan Twist. Here and some phrases often leave you clueless.
Phrases such as “eating money,” which is someone illegally enriching themselves. “Spewing buffaloes” is a phrase used for someone using improper English.
Westerners are often perplexed. Ugandan English has its own, let us say, personality, English with a Ugandan Twist locally referred to as UgLIsh, meaning Ugandan English.
UgLish has its critics among Professors, commentators, Educational Officials, Journalists, and others. And yet, it has become ingrained into everyday conversation, even on Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
The downside of Uglish is this. While Uglish creators have new ways of expressing local concepts, a globalized world means that people should communicate in standard English. “It is important to be understood the same way in Kampala, New York or London,” he says.
We have a whole page with some of the most common UgLish Phrases that you might find helpful and enjoy.
Ugandans are Welcoming – Friendly – Hospitable, and most Speak English.
Ugandans are friendly, welcoming, and open to learning about their Country. Culturally, they might be reserved at the initial meeting, which is cultural, once they get to know you and are like people elsewhere enjoying good conservations sprinkled with humor and warmth.
Do They Speak English in Uganda? Darn, Good English – most of the time, it is not Pucker English nor the informal American Version, it is not the down-under Australian kind of English – it is English Ugandan style. Simply delightful and refreshing.
What may surprise you is how well young people can speak English, and one must take into account that most of them speak another language at home, such as Luganda. When Ugandans attend school, they learn English, though Uglish has and is creeping in.
Uganda is Africa’s Top English-Speaking Country that might surprise you, which surprised many here in the Pearl of Africa. As a Ugandan Tour Operator, we are delighted since it is an added plus in promoting the Pearl of Africa.