Uganda, once a British protectorate, has two official languages, English and Swahili. Despite these being the official languages, in addition to English, the majority of the population speaks Luganda, the tongue of the Buganda people, or one of 50 local languages. Possessing a basic understanding of a local language increases your effectiveness in the field. Local people appreciate your effort to understand them and their communities.

Is worrying about learning the local language keeping you from accessing your intern potential? Fear no more. Below we have complied a list of the most important Rukiga (Rukungiri’s local language) words and phrases you need to get started!

Interested in learning more about our programs? Visit us at www.isla-serve.org

English Rukiga
Greetings
Good morning Orire ota?
Good afternoon Osiibire ota?
Good evening Osiibire ota?
Hello Agandi
Welcome! ( when you see a visitor coming ) Nashemererwa okukureeba
Greetings Agandi
What is your name? Eizina ryawe oryoha?
My name is Eizina ryangye ni
What country are you from? Nooruga nkahi?
I come from… Ninduga …….
Nice to meet you Nashemererwa Okukureba
Bye Kare
Stay well Ogume kurungi
Please Nyaaburawe
Thank you Webare
Thank you very much Webare munoga
Thanks for coming Webare kwija
Emergency Vocabulary  
Help me Nyamba
Fire Omuriro
Thief Omushuma
Leave me alone ndeka
Call Sylvia, Lilian Yeta Sylvia,Lilian
Call for medical help Nyetara omushaho
Call the police Yeta police
I need a doctor. Ninyenda omushaho
Medicine Omubazi
Pain Nishaasha/obusasi
Where are you? Orinkahi?
I am sick Ndwire
Where is the hospital? Eirwariro ririnkahi?
Daily Vocabulary
Let’s go Tugyende
Come and we’ll go Ija tugyende
Where is….? (depends on what you are asking eg. where is the bank?,where is the boda boda station [stage])? Bank erahi?,stage ya boda erahi?
Bathroom Ekinaabiro
Hospital Eirwariro
Do you speak English? Nomanya kugamba oruzungu
I don’t speak Rukiga Nyowe ti kugamba rukiga
Dress Ekiteteyi
I am dressing Ndiyo ninjwara
Ask Buza
Which place is this? Ogumwanya nibagweta guha?
Market Akaatare
How much is this? Eki nokyiguza zingahi?
What is the price? Noguza ota?
Expensive Nosera
Cheap/inexpensive Noguzagye
In the house Omunju
People Abantu
A friend Omunywani
A man Omushaija
A woman Omukazi
A Boy Omwojo
A girl Omushiki
Old man Omugurusi
Old woman Omukaikuru
A child Omwana
Going Okugyenda
Running Okwiruka
Tree Omuti
Planting trees Okumbyara emiti
Food/Meals
Food Ebyokurya
Eat Rya
Drink Ekyokunywa
Water Amaizi
Drinking water Amaizi ngokunywa
Rice Omukyeeri
Plantains (cooked) Ekitookye
Posho (flour-water based starch) Obuhunga
Bread Omugati
Fruit Ekijuma
Banana Omunekye
Mango Omuyembe
Papaya Eipapari
Apple Apple
Passion Fruit Akatunda
Jack Fruit Ekifeneesi
Pineapple Enaanisi
Vegetable Eboga
Green beans (French beans) French beans
Cabbage Kabegi
Carrots Karoti
Cucumber Cukamba
Beans Ebihimba
Meat enyama
Chicken Enyama yenkoko
Beef Enyama yenta
Pork Enyama yempunu
Goat Enyama yembuzi
I like eating… Ninkunda kurya
I do not like eating Tinkunda kurya
Scheduling Vocabulary
Sunday Sande
Monday Orwokubanza
Tuesday Orwakabiri
Wednesday Orwakashatu
Thursday Orwakana
Friday Orwakatano
Saturday Orwamukaga
Day Omwihangwee
Night Nyekiro
One day Ekiro kimwe
Week Esande
One week Esande emwe
Month Okwezi
One month Okwezi kumwe
Weather/Environment
Moon Okwezi
Sun Eizooba
Rain Enjura
River Omugyera
Lake enyaja
Valley Oruhanga
Road Omuhanda
Hill/mountain Ekibungo
Visitor omugyenyi
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