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Introduction to Lusoga - Survival Phrases

Kodh'eyo? - literally meaning 'perhaps there?', is a quick informal greeting to find out how one is doing (including their family). The quick response would be 'Baliyo' - 'they are there'.

Be sure to remember this as your first word in Lusoga. I would coolly guarantee you that once you cross the Nile to the eastern region particularly in Busoga sub-region, this word could take you places; get you a meal/drink on the house ... and who knows - this could be the perfect ice breaker if you don't mind getting hitched in Uganda.

This page is the hub for Lusoga survival phrases. It introduces you to easy and simple expressions to help you get by as you explore the region further.

These are simple phrases used in various situations and conversations that are quite easy to practice and grasp. They can be your spring board; launching you into knowing more about the lives, culture and communication within the local communities.

Lusoga is predominantly spoken in the eastern part of Uganda particularly in the Busoga sub-region. It's the lingo of the Kingdom of Busoga (read more about the Kingdoms of Uganda here).

Notably, it's quite predominantly spoken in Jinja town and other towns and nearby places including; Iganga, Kamuli, Bugiri and Mayuge.

Like Most Ugandan languages, Lusoga is a tonal language - a lot will be read into the tone that one uses; to determine the politeness and meaning of expression. It's one of those languages - like majority of Ugandan languages that don't have a direct word for 'please'.

Take for example; 'Please give me coca cola' will be 'mpaku coca cola' - directly translated as; 'give me coca cola'. the 'please' will be implicated in your tone. The higher the tone, the less polite - which could quite easily be picked up as rude!

...Quite often therefore, you will find many Ugandans are very soft spoken.

Let's get down to some lusoga business;

Here is a bit of housekeeping as we get started :-

The Lusoga Alphabet does not have letters Q and X, but has the 'h' used as a semi-vowel in some words as you will notice.

Here are two quick words for you to practice the sound;

'Twidha kulya' got it? that's for 'We will eat' and 'Idho' for 'tomorrow'

The language also has 5 vowels; 'a,e,i,o,u' whose sounds are similar to French and German and the Syllable 'Ki' is pronounced as 'Chi' as in 'kituufu' for 'It's right/true'. It also has double vowels for the long-vowel-sound like 'amaadhi' for 'water'.

OK! Are you ready to rumble?

Clicking this link will take you to the Lusoga Survival phrases.

You will love it! Enjoy yourself!

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