|   Posted: November 20, 2003

Language Lessons
Even though sponsor Lucy can't speak Luganda, she has no trouble communicating. Children everywhere understand the languages of hugs, smiles and laughter.

English speakers will find it very easy to get around in Uganda because the official language of the country is English. The key to being understood when communicating in Uganda is speaking slowly and clearly. Also, try not to use North American slang expressions.

There are close to 15 major people groups and tribes in Uganda and even more languages and dialects.
While English is the language of trade and commerce for various East African nations, it is more widely spoken in Uganda, even outside of business transactions, due to the cultural diversity of the country.

No single group makes up more than 17 percent of the population. The largest group is the Baganda tribe who live primarily in the south-central region of Uganda. Their spoken language is Luganda. If you enjoy learning languages and plan to spend time in the Kampala area, you may want to learn some Luganda words and phrases. Here are a few to start with:

Hi (informal):  Ki kati
How are you?:  Oli otya?
I am fine:  Bulungi
Thank you:  Weebale
You are welcome:  Kale
What is your name?:  Erinnya lyo ggwe ani?
My name is . :  Erinnya lyange nze....
Water:  Mazzi
Toilet:  Akayu
White person:  muzungu
Group of white people:  bazungu