Note: Greetings are very important in most if not all Ugandan languages. 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 otya eyo sebo/nyabo? - How did you spend the night Sir/Madam?
B: Bulungi sebo/nyabo, wasuze otya eyo? - Well sir/madam, how did you spend the night?
A: Bulungi. - Well
Key words: Sebo - Sir , Nyabo - Madam
Afternoon and Evenning greetings; (Formal)
A: Osiibye otya eyo sebo/nyabo? - How have you spent the day sir/madam?
B: Bulungi, osiibye otya eyo sebo/nyabo? - Well, how have you spent the day?
A: Bulungi - Well
Greetings Cont'd; (Informal)
Beth: Kodh'eyo muna? - Perhaps there mate?
Robert: Baliyo, kodh'eyo? - They are there (implying all is/are well/fine), perhaps there?
Beth: Baliyo balungi - They are there well. (implying all are/is well).
Here is more informal greetings you could use;
A: Oli otya eyo? - How are you?
B: Bulungi - Well
A: Okoba ki muna? - What do you have to say mate?
B: Wazira - Nothing (much)
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. It's a sign of respect and politeness.
Robert: Niinze Robert, ate iwe, niiwe ani? - I am Robert, what about you, who are you?
Beth: Niinze Beth. - I am Beth.
Robert: Nva Uganda, ate iwe, ova wa? - I come from Uganda, what about you, where do you come from?
Beth: Inva Canada - I am from Canada.
Robert: Oba wa mu Canada? - - Where do you live in Canada?
Beth: Imba Alberta mu Canada. - - I live in Alberta in Canada.
Robert: Ndi Musomesa, iwe okola mulimu ki? - - I am a teacher, what job do you do?
Beth: Ndi Musawo. - - I am a doctor (could imply nurse, midwife, medical worker etc...)
Weraba - Goodbye.
Sula bulungi - - Spend the night well. (used as 'have a goodnight')
Baa bulungi - Stay well
Siiba bulungi - - Spend the day well. (used as 'have a good day')
Tunabonagana idho - - We will see each other tomorrow. (used as 'see you later')
Webale ino - Thank you very much. (also see; webale sebo/nyabo - thank you sir/madam)
Nsangayire okuboona - I am happy/glad to see you. (Often used as the welcome phrase)
Webale kufumba or Ofumbye ino - thanks for cooking or You cooked well. (as an appreciation after a meal)
Tyenda Kaawa - I don't want coffee.
Ate iwe? - How about you?
Iramu - Repeat
I'mpola / i'mpola mpola - slowly / quite slowly..
Ja mpola - go slowly.
Iramu i'mpola - repeat slowly.
Nziira sente.- I have no money.
Yii / Mbe - Yes / No
Tiidi - I don't know
Titegeire - I have not understood.
Otegeeza ki? - what do you mean?
Lusoga 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.
Ngo'boine - 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)
Nsoniwa - Forgive me
Tofaayo - don't mind
Barclays Banka eba wa?- Where is Barclays Bank?
Eba ku Kampala Road. - It's on Kampala road
Barclays banka eba kumpi ne Nandos - Barclays bank is near/next to Nandos.
Tooyi eba wa? - Where is the toilet?
John ali wa? - Where is John?
Tiidi - I don't know
Lindakuu - Please wait
Ikono / Ddyo - Left / Right
Olina mmere ki? - what food do you have?
Mpaaku 'menu' sebo/nyabo - Give me the menu sir/madam
Nendha matooke na mamba- I want matooke (plantain) and beef.
Olina biya? - Do you have beer?
Nendha biya - I want beer
Nendha maadhi. - I want water
Mpaaku sooda - Give me soda
Mpaaku egilaasi ya maadhi. - Give me a glass of water
Sente imeka? - How much money?
Mpaaku biilu yange. - Give me my bill.
Webale era weraba. - Thank you and goodbye.
That's it! - go out confidently with an open mind and explore - You could quite easily continue learning Lusoga to build on these phrases - if you wish too. It's that simple! Best way is to talk to the locals.
Webale inno! (thank you very much!)
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