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Luganda Survival Phrases

Luganda Survival Phrases - GREETINGS;

Note: Greetings are very important in Luganda. They are often used to start-up conversations. See below for some short conversations;

... But before we set off, you will notice that I have kept the translations as close as possible to the literal meaning to give you an insight of the actual sensitivity and feeling attached to the phrase.

Morning greetings; (Formal)

A: Wasuze otyanno ssebo/nnyabo? - How did you spend the night Sir/Madam?

B: Bulungi ssebo/nnyabo, wasuze otyanno? - Well sir/madam, how did you spend the night?

A: Bulungi. - Well

Key words: Ssebo - Sir , Nnyabo - Madam

Afternoon and Evenning greetings; (Formal)

A: Osiibye otyanno ssebo/nnyabo? - How have you spent the day sir/madam?

B: Bulungi, osiibye otyanno ssebo/nnyabo? - Well, how have you spent the day?

A: Bulungi - Well

Greetings Cont'd; (Informal)

Beth: Oli otya Robert? - How are you Robert?

Robert: Gyendi, oli otya Beth? - I am fine, how are you Beth?

Beth: Gyendi - I am fine.

Luganda Survival Phrases - HOW TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

Note; As a common practice with majority of Ugandan languages, it's always good to start with a greeting especially if you are meeting someone for the first time.

Robert: Nze Robert, ggwe ani? - I am Robert, who are you?

Beth: Nze Beth. - I am Beth.

Robert: Nva Uganda, ova wa? - I come from Uganda, where do you come from?

Beth: Nva Canada - I am from Canada.

Robert: Obeera wa mu Canada? - Where do you live in Canada?

Beth: Mbeera Alberta mu Canada. - I live in Alberta in Canada.

Robert: Ndi Musomesa, ggwe okola ki? - I am a teacher, what do you do?

Beth: Ndi Musawo. - I am a doctor.

Luganda Survival Phrases - SAYING GOODBYE;

Weeraba - Goodbye.

Sula bulungi - Spend the night well (used as 'have a goodnight')

Beera bulungi - Stay well

Siiba bulungi - Spend the day well (used as 'have a good day')

Tunaalabagana - We will see each other (used as 'see you later')

Luganda Survival Phrases - More handy phrases;

Weebale nyo - Thank you very much, (also see; weebale ssebo/nnyabo - thank you sir/madam)

Nsanyuse okukulaba - I am happy/glad to see you. (Often used as the welcome phrase)

Weebale kufumba or Ofumbye nyo - thanks for cooking or You cooked well.

Saagala Kaawa - I don't want coffee.

Ate ggwe? - How about you?

Ddamu - repeat

Mpola / mpola mpola - slowly / quite slowly.

Genda mpola - go slowly.

Ddamu mpola - repeat slowly.

Sirina sente. - I have no money.

Yee / Nedda - Yes / No

Simanyi - I don't know

Sitegedde - I have not understood.

Otegeeza ki? - what do you mean?

Luganda Survival Phrases - SAYING SORRY AND SYMPATHY;

Luganda does not have a particular word for 'sorry'; but depending on the situation, there are different ways to apologize and show sympathy or even empathy.

Nga olabye. - I am sorry for what has happened to you.

Nga kitalo. - What a tragedy / What a horrible thing. (only used during bereavement to express your condolence)

Nsonyiwa - Forgive me

Tofaayo - don't mind

Luganda Survival Phrases - ASKING FOR DIRECTION;

Barclays Banka eri wa? - Where is Barclays Bank?

Eri ku Kampala Road. - It's on Kampala road

Barclays banka eri kumpi ne Nandos - Barclays bank is near/next to Nandos.

Tooyi eri wa? - Where is the toilet?

John ali wa? - Where is John?

Simanyi - I don't know

lindako - Please wait

Kono / Ddyo - Left / Right

Luganda Survival Phrases - IN THE RESTAURANT;

Olinayo mmere ki? - what food do you have?

Mpa 'menu' ssebo/nnyabo - Give me the menu sir/madam

Njagala matooke ne nnyama - I want matooke (plantain) and beef.

Olina biya? - Do you have beer?

Njagala biya - I want beer

Njagala mazzi. - I want water

Mpa sooda - Give me soda

Mpa egilaasi ya mazzi. - Give me a glass of water

Sente meka? - How much money?

Mpa biilu yange. - Give me my bill.

Weebale era weerabe. - Thank you and goodbye.

That's it! - go out confidently with an open mind and explore - You could quite easily continue learning Luganda to build on these phrases - if you wish too. It's that simple!

Weebale nyo! (thank you very much!)

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