Luganda 101 – Simple Phrases for Visitors to Uganda
Luganda 101- Simple Lugandan Phrasebook for Travelers to Uganda – that you can use in the Central Area of Uganda
Luganda 101- Simple Ugandan Phrases for Travelers to Uganda -Ugandans will appreciate it when you address them in Luganda – you will make instant friends here in the Pearl pf Africa. Luganda is not an official language as English and Swahili are, but it has become the Lingua Franka in the country. Luganda is the language of the Baganda, the largest ethnic group in the Country. Most Radio and TV programs are in Luganda. Foreign Films are narrated in Luganda by a Video Jock.
You as a foreigner will delightfully surprise Ugandans by knowing some phrases in Luganda. It will enrich your time in Uganda. Enjoy the Pearl of Africa.
Luganda 101- Simple Lugandan Phrases for Travelers to Uganda
Those Important Ugandan Greetings in Luganda:
You do not say Good morning in the morning, but how was your night? When someone comes back from a day’s work, one will ask, how was your day? and the same in the evening.
- Good Morning: Wasuze otya nno?
- Good afternoon or Good Evening: Osiibye otya nno?
Some other greetings depending on day or night as you leave or come, are:
- Hi: Ki kati the ki is pronounced Chi
- How are you?: Oli Otya
- The answer is -I am ok: Gyendi, the G here is pronounced like a j
- Have nice day: Siiba bulungi the g like a j
- Good night when going to bed or leaving for the night: Sula bulungi
- Saying goodbye to one person: Weeraba
- Saying goodbye to more than one person: Mweraba
- Welcome to one or several people: Tukusanyukidde
- See you later: Tunaalabagana
Those polite phrases and other pleasant things to say:
- Please: Mwattu
- Thank you: Weebale
- Thank you very much: Weebale Nnyo
- Please come in: Mwattu yingira
- Excuse me in order to get someone’s attention: Owange
- Please sit down: Mwattu tuula wansi
- Pardon me, what did you say?: Wangi or Ogamby Ki?
- apologize by saying I am sorry: Nsonyiwa
- OK: Kale
- No thanks: Nedda
- I do not know: Simanye
- What time is it?: Sawa mmeka?
- How much is it?: Mmekka Ssente?
- I do not have any money: Sirina Sente
- I love you: Nkwagala
I am: Nze (your name)
- Madam: Nyabo
- Sir: Ssebo
Sharing your feelings:
- I am angry: ndi munyiivu
- cold: mpulira empewo
- am full: ndi mukkufu
- happy: ndi musanyufu
- hot: mpulira ebbugumu
- hungry: Enjala ennuma
- sad: ndi munakuwavu
- scared: ntidde
- sick: ndi wulwadde
- thirsty: ennyonta ennuma
- tired: nkooye
- worried: ndi mweraliikirivu
- Do you speak English?: Omanyi olungereza
- Yes, I do: Weewawo
- No, I do not: Nedda
- Does anyone here speak English?: Wano waliwo amanyi olungereza?
- Do you understand? Otegeera?
- I understand: Ntegeera
- I don’t understand: Sitegeera
- Please speak slowly: Ekigambo ekyo kimpandiikire
- I like: Njagala
- I do not like: Saagala
Luganda 101- Simple Lugandan Phrases for Travelers to Uganda – Learning a few phrases in Luganda will endear you to the Ugandans that you meet – may it be that waitress in a restaurant or the clerk at the hotel where you are staying – it will simply enhance your time in Uganda…. enjoy the Pearl of Africa…
Uglish Spoken Here!
Uglish – is the Ugandan form of English spoken at every level of society, from the President on down. You see it on Twitter or Facebook, and you can be left out in a conversation with Ugandans, an email, or even on Facebook.
Each day new phrases are added and become common through usage. It is good to know some of the words and phrases before arriving in Uganda. Otherwise, when someone excuses themselves to make a short call, you might think that it is a phone call they are making while, in reality, they are going to the bathroom for nothing but a short call.
English has taken on various forms. There is British English, American English, Canadian English, and Australian English with multiple conditions and expressions. It is Uglish and when you wonder what spewing Buffaloes mean. At the same time, everyone else laughs around you. It would have been good to know that it means speaking bad English ahead of time.
Take a look at the various phrases we have gathered on our Uglish – Ugandan English Page. You might smile, laugh and learn Uglish 101.
How to communicate Ugandan Style:
The things you say, how they are interpreted, the different meanings -how to communicate effectively in Uganda beyond empty chatter.
Empty chatter is equally essential since it is not considered open but part of the greeting and welcoming process that is so important to Ugandans.
Greeting and how you dress for the get-together are critical factors to being heard in Uganda by Ugandans.
Most importantly, never make promises that you cannot or do not intend to keep. That is an unforgivable sin in Uganda.
In Uganda, everything is relational, including communication. Things are said and not said because it will impact the relationships between people. Direct confrontation is seen as a no-no since it would impact the relationship.
Cultural Mistakes to Avoid in Uganda:
African – Ugandan Culture is quite different from almost anywhere globally – it is based on relationships, and confrontational Conversation is not accepted here.
Ugandans will aim to please you and agree to do whatever is necessary by saying yes, please, but you better checkup since it may not get done.
Ugandans tend to communicate more directly in certain situations and indirectly in others. For example, people may ask whether or not you are married and have children but may not directly voice their displeasure about something in a public setting. Bring some pictures of them, and have them on your electronic device.
It is simply smart for visitors to know what cultural mistakes to avoid. It will make your visit to Uganda more pleasant.