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Introduction to Runyankore-Rukiga; Survival Phrases

For starters, Runyankore-Rukiga is a two in one course meal; its two languages spoken by two different groups i.e the Banyankore (the people of Ankole) and the Bakiga (the people of kigezi) - that have a very strong lexical similarity. The words or vocabulary of the two languages are so comparable that there is very little to distinguish them - probably in the tone and pronunciation.

... And if you will, some argue that Runyankore-Rukiga are two dialects of the same language.

It is predominantly spoken in the western region of Uganda - particularly the southwest in the districts of Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kiruhura, Bushenyi, Ibanda, Isingiro and Rukungiri. You are looking at about 2.5 million people that speak Runyankore-Rukiga!

These areas were part of the mighty Bunyoro-Kitara dynasty - the mother and root of some of the kingdoms that still exist in Uganda today. Read more about Ugandan Kingdoms here.

This page introduces you to Runyankore-Rukiga - Your exploration of the language starts here with simple and easy survival expressions. These are used in various situations and conversations that are quite easy to practice and understand.

Use them in your day-to-day activities as you go about life in the region. There will certainly be a lot you can/will learn as you go along; the life, the culture and communication within the local community... And if you are keen, you can quite easily build on your vocabulary.

Like most of the Ugandan languages, Runyankore-Rukiga is tonal - a lot will be read into the tone that one uses, to determine the politeness and meaning of the expression. It's another of those languages that don't have a direct word for 'please'.

Take for instance; 'Please give me soda' will be 'mpa sooda' - directly translated as; 'give me soda'. the 'please' will be implicated in your tone. The higher the tone, the less polite - which could quite easily be picked up as rude! That should be exiting; having one word less to worry about...

...Quite often therefore, you will find majority of the Banyankore and Bakiga very soft spoken.

Here is a bit of housekeeping before I let you off flying :-

The Runyankore-Rukiga Alphabet does not have letters Q and X, It's got an interesting sound 'sh' as in 'shade', and a very strong 'r'(which could pass as a tongue rolling skill!) that is predominantly used and quite often replaces 'l' even as they try to speak other languages. You will therefore hardly find 'l' - if only lucky!

Right! Here is your first native word to do some practice; 'Eshabwe' - A traditional ghee sauce that is appetizing. Read more about preparing 'eshabwe' here.

That should make you thrilled about what is in store for you. It is quite exciting with Uganda cuisine and the recipes are quite simple too. If you are a global eater, you will love it ... and if you love cooking, you could come up with you own Uganda recipe.

... How did I even go off to the food? - hmmm!

The language 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 'ekinyonyi' for bird. It also has double vowels for the long vowel sound like 'ngaaha' for 'no'.

OK! I will now let you go ...

Clicking this link will take you to the Runyankore-Rukiga Survival phrases

You will love it. Enjoy!

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