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Runyankore-Rukiga Survival Phrases

Runyankore-Rukiga Survival Phrases - GREETINGS;

Note: Greetings are very important in Runyankore-Rukiga. 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: Oraire ota sebo/nyabo? - How did you spend the night Sir/Madam?

B: Ndaire gye, oraire ota nyabo/sebo? - I spent the night well, how did you sleep sir/madam?

A: Ndaire gye. - I spent the night well.

Key words: Sebo - Sir , Nyabo - Madam

Afternoon and Evenning greetings; (Formal)

A: Osiibire ota sebo/nyabo? - How have you spent the day sir/madam?

B: Nsiibire gye, wasiiba ota sebo/nnyabo? - - I have spent the day well, how have you spent the day sir/madam?

A: Nsiibire gye - I have spent the day well.

Greetings Cont'd; (Informal)

Beth: Ori ota Robert? - How are you Robert?

Robert: Ni gye, ori ota Beth? - I am well, how are you Beth?

Beth: Ni gye / kurungi - I am well.

Runyankore-Rukiga Survival Phrases - INTRODUCTION:

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: Ninye Robert, niwe oha? - I am Robert, who are you?

Beth: Ninye Beth. - I am Beth.

Robert: Ninduga Uganda, nooruga nkahi? - I come from Uganda, where do you come from?

Beth: Ninduga Canada - I come from Canada.

Robert: Nootura nkahi omuri Canada? - Where do you live in Canada?

Beth:Nintuura omuri Alberta - I live in Alberta.

Robert: Ndi omushomesa, Iwe, nookora ki? - I am a teacher, what do you do?

Beth: Ndi omushaho. - I am a doctor.

Runyankore-Rukiga Survival Phrases - SAYING GOODBYE;

Ogume gye - Goodbye.

Orare kurungi / Orare gye - Sleep well (used as 'have a goodnight')

Ogume kurungi - Stay well

Osiibe kurungi - Spend the day well (used as 'have a good day')

Tureebane obundi - We will see each other again (used as 'see you later')

Runyankore-Rukiga Survival Phrases - More handy phrases;

Webare munonga - Thank you very much, (also see; Yebare ssebo/nyabo - thank you sir/madam)

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

Webare kuteeka or Wateeka gye/kurungi - thanks for cooking or You cooked well.

Tinkwenda Kaawa - I don't want coffee.

Kandi Iwe? - How about you?

Garukamu - repeat

Mpora / mpora mpora- slowly / quite slowly.

Gyenda mpora - go slowly.

Garukamu mpora - repeat slowly.

Tinyine sente. - I have no money.

Ego / Ngaaha - Yes / No

Tinkumanya - I don't know

Tinakyeenga - I have not understood.

Nomanyisa ki? - what do you mean?

Runyankore-Rukiga Survival Phrases - SORRY AND SYMPATHY;

Runyankore-Rukiga does not have a particular word for 'sorry'; It is a tonal language like majority of Ugandan languages - however, depending on the situation, there are different ways to apologize and show sympathy or even empathy.

Ka wareeba. - I am sorry for what has happened to you.

Ka ni kibi. - How terrible/ What a horrible thing. (often used during bereavement to express your condolence)

Onsasire - Forgive me

Otafayo - don't mind

Runyankore-Rukiga Survival Phrases - ASKING FOR DIRECTION;

Barclays Banka eri nkahi? - Where is Barclays Bank?

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

Barclays banka eri haihi na Nandos - Barclays bank is next to Nandos.

Toileti eri nkahi? - Where is the toilet?

John ari nkahi? - Where is John?

Tinkumanya - I don't know

Rindaho - Please wait

Bumosho / Buryo - Left / Right

Runyankore-Rukiga Survival Phrases - IN THE RESTAURANT;

Oine byokurya ki? - what food do you have?

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

Ninyenda ebitookye ne nyama - I want matooke (plantain) and beef.

Oine biya? - Do you have beer?

Ninyenda biya - I want beer

Ninyenda amaizi. - I want water

Mpa sooda - Give me soda

Mpa egirasi y'amaizi. - Give me a glass of water

Sente zingahi? - How much money?

Mpereza biiru yangye. - Give me my bill.

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

Webare munonga! (thank you very much!)


This translated script/page was made available by;

Helen Pretty Natukunda Mbaziira
A Native Speaker and a Research Scientist.

If my work and information is helpful and you like what you read on the site, please consider making a donation to support its development.

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