A Small Luganda Crash Course
Luganda/Liganda
Luganda (Oluganda) is spoken by approx. 5 million baganda (people of Uganda). It is the language of the Kingdom of Buganda which makes up the
biggest part of the southern part of Uganda.


As Luganda is a Bantu language its grammar and sentence structure is somewhat unsusual for people used to European languages. Additionally the
pitch and stressing of syllables can change the meaning of a word (e.g. kabaka = king but kábaka = 'the little one fetches') another unusual feature of
bantu langugaes is that a prefices can change the meaning of words (e.g. omununzu = 'the Englisch man' , abazungu = 'the Englisch men'. This is
further complicated by the fact that luganda has 10 noun classes that have thier respective prefices.

As you can see the plural is also formed by changing the prefix which can be confusing in the beginning especially when Baganda (aba (plural) -
ganda (person from Uganda)) uses this form on an English word (e.g by saying 'babottle' instead of 'bottles')

The best way to pick up on these forms and specialties is by buying a grammar guide. These can be bought in bookstores in the bigger cities
(especially Kampala).

Prefices also determine the conjugation of verbs:

njagala = I want
oyagala = You want
ayagala = he/she/it wants
muyagala = you want
tuyagala = we want
bayagala = they want
and the nagative is also determined by the prefix:
nlya nyama = I eat meat
silya nyama = I do not eat meat
This can be very confusing for people trying to learn Luganda.
Howevere there are some good links which can help you.
If you want to learn Luganda vocabularys with recorded
pronounciation 'memrise.com' provides multiple courses
of different difficulty levels :






How Luganda affects the Ugandan English

The way Luganda works has influence on the way the Baganda speak and pronounce English. We will shortly describe some of these influences to
prepare people who come here on what they can expect.

Of course many Baganda use some Luganda words in their English especially in the rural areas where may people did not learn English for longer
that maybe a year in primary school.
However even people who learned a lot of English sometimes remodel Englisch word to fit to the general sound of Luganda.
It is for example common for Baganda to add vowels to the end of Englisch words. This is due to the fact that most luganda words end on a vowel.
This means that words like 'food' and 'good' become "foodu" and 'goodu'.
Also the letter 'r' is in Luganda pronióunced as 'l' and the other way around so 'play' becomes 'pray' and 'pray' becomes 'play'.

As described above prefices play an important role in the grammar of Luganda and people use them often on English words. This can mean that they
use something like 'akabucket' to say 'a small bucket'.

In the beginning it not easy to understand but after some time you will learn to hear the underlying melody in the Ugandan way of speaking English.
Uganda is a multi-laguage country

As Uganda as a country was created by the colonial europeans its population is made up of many different people with different cultures and laguages. There are approx. 35 different languages spoken in Uganda. These belong to three different language families (Bantu, Niloitic and Central Sudanic). The official languages are Englisch and Swahili. However in the broad population both of these languages are spoken only partially.

In the area of the project language mainly used is Luganda. Therfore we will only describe Luganda here.
Yes
Yee (often just rising of the eyebrows)
No
Neda
hello/how is the day
wasuze otya
good bye
weraba
thank you
webale
how are you?
oli otya?
I am fine
bulingi/ jjendi
thank you for cooking
webale kufumba
thank you or eating
webale kulya
I want/like/love
njagala
I love you
nkwagala
I dont want
saagala
can you speak English?
Osobola okwogera olungereeza
how much does this cost?
kigula  meka


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