In Uganda you can find more than 30 different languages, there are four main groups like Bantu, Nilotic (western), Nilotic-Hamitic (eastern) and sudanic. The official language of Uganda is English. Most of the Ugandans speak English fluently, but of course it's great to have a little knowledge of the main Ugandan language - like for the Buganda Kingdom - Luganda.

Luganda (Ganda) is the native language of Baganda nationals from Buganda refion of central and southern Uganda. There are over 3,000,000 speakers of this Niger-Congo language in Uganda, and a limited number in Tanzania. Especially the website for the Baganda people offers a very detailed vocabolary and phrases collection and explains you very well how to communicate in the local language of many Ugandans. It is spoken in Kampala and you will find out that the knowledge of some basic phrases can be very helpful as well as a big sign of respect for the country you visit.

Especially near the border to Tanzania you will also hear a language called Swahili (also see this dictionary)

But I wanna give you a short introduction to Luganda and I would like to ask you to refer to the Buganda Kingdom site for detailled information.

Let's start:

English
Luganda
Deutsch (German)
Hi? (informal)
Ki kati?
Hallo
How are you?
Oli otya?
Wie geht es Dir?
How is life?
Obulamu bwo?
Was gibt es Neues?
I am OK
Gyendi
Mir geht es gut
Fine
Bulungi
Gut
Have a nice day
Siiba bulungi
Ich wünsche Dir/Ihnen einen schönen Tag
Goodbye
Welaba
Auf Wiedersehen
Good night
Sula bulungi (on retiring)
Gute Nacht
Farewell (to one person)
Weeraba
Auf Wiedersehen
Farewell (to several people)
Mweraba
Auf Wiedersehen
Welcome (to one person)
Tukusanyukidde
Willkommen
Welcome (to several people)
Tubasanyukidde
Willkommen
See you later
Tunaalabagana
Bis später
Please
Mwattu
Bitte
Thank you
Weebale
Danke
No thanks
Sagala
Nein, danke
You are welcome
Kale
Gern geschehen
Excuse me (to get attention)
Owange
Verzeihung
Pardon? (What did you say?)
Wangi? / Ogambye ki?
Entschuldigung?
I'm sorry (apology)
Nsonyiwa
Es tut mir leid/Entschuldige bitte
What does that mean?
Kino kitegazaki?
Was bedeutet das?
Do you speak English?
Omanyi olungereza?
Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Yes, I do
Weewawo
Ja, ich spreche Englisch
No, I do not
Nedda
Nein, ich spreche kein Englisch
I can only speak a little Luganda
Oluganda mmanyi lutonotono
Ich spreche nur wenig Luganda
Does any one here speak english?
Wano waliwo amanyi olungereza?
Spricht hier jemand Englisch?
Do you understand?
Otegeera?
Verstehen Sie?
I understand
Ntegeera
Ich verstehe
I don't understand
Sitegeera
Ich verstehe nicht
What is your name
Erinnya lyo ggwe ani?
Wie heissen Sie?
My name is
Erinnya lyange nze ...
Mein Name ist ...
How old are you?
Olina emyaka emeka?
Wie alt sind Sie?
I am ...
Nina ...
Ich bin ...
Where are you from?
Ova ludda wa?
Woher kommen Sie?
I am from ...
Nva ...
Ich bin aus ...
This is my ...
Ono ye ...
Das ist mein(e) ...
Mother
Maama wange
Mutter
Father
Taata wange
Vater
Wife
Mukyala wange
Ehefrau
Husband
Mwami wange
Ehemann
Nephew/Niece
Mwana wange
Neffe/Nichte
Grandchild
Muzzukulu wange
Enkel
Son
Mutabani wange
Sohn
Daughter
Muwala wange
Tochter
Older brother/sister
Mukulu wange
Bruder/Schwester
Younger brother/sister
Muto wange
Bruder/Schwester
Sibling (same sex)
Muganda wange
Geschwister
Sibling (opposite sex) Mwannyinaze Geschwister
Aunt (paternal) Ssenga wange Tante
Aunt (maternal) Maama wange omuto Tante
Uncle (paternal) Taata wange omuto Onkel
Uncle (maternal) Kojja wange Onkel
Cousin (paternal) Muganda wange / Mwannyinaze Cousin/Cousine
Cousin (maternal) Kizibwe wange (also maama omuto/kojja) Cousin/Cousine
Grandparent Jjajja wange Grosseltern
Great uncle/aunt Jjajja wange Grossonkel/tante
Father-in-law Ssezaala wange Schwiegervater
Mother-in-law Nnyazaala wange Schwiegermutter
Friend Mukwano gwange Freund
Welcome friends Mukwano kusanyukidde Willkommen Freunde!
   
I am ... ... Ich bin ...
Angry Ndi munyiivu böse
Cold Mpulira empewo Mir ist kalt
Determined Ndi mumalirivu entschlossen
Full Ndi mukkufu satt
Happy Ndi musanyufu glücklich
Hot Mpulira ebbugumu Mir ist heiss
Hungry Enjala ennuma hungrig
Sad Ndi munakuwavu traurig
Scared Ntidde verängstigt
Sick Ndi mulwadde krank
Thirsty Ennyonta ennuma durstig
Tired Nkooye müde
Worried Ndi mweraliikirivu besorgt
   
How do you say "...." in Luganda? Mu Luganda ogamba otya nti "...."? Wie sagt man "...." in Luganda?
What does this mean? Kino kitegeeza ki? Was bedeutet das?
Please speak slowly! Mwattu yogera mpolampola Bitte sprechen langsam!
Write that word down for me Ekigambo ekyo kimpandiikire Schreiben Sie das bitte für mich auf
Please repeat it Mwattu kiddemu Bitte wiederholen Sie das
Please translate for me Mwattu nzivuunulira Bitte übersetzen Sie das für mich
   
Merry Christmas Amazalibwa Agesanyu or Nkwagaliza Sekukulu Omulunji Frohe Weihnachten
Happy New Year Kulika Omuwaka or N'omwaka Omujaa Ogwemirembe Frohes Neues Jahr
   

Some of the most important song Silent Night:

Ekiro ekyo, eky'ettendo
Emmunyeenye zaayaka
Omwana we yali azazakiddwa
Zakuuma Omwana omutukuvu
N'emirembe; Yebake mu mirembe.
Ekiro ekyo, ekitukuvu
Abasumba baalaba
Bamalayika abayimba
Okulaga omwana oyo
Kristo omulokozi - azaaliddwa leero.
Ekiro ekyo, eky'ettendo
Omwana omusuutwa
Ajjudde essanyu n'okwagala
Amanamasa ng'emmunyeenye,
Mutukuvu webake mu mirembe.

   

The most important prayer The Lord's prayer:

Kitaffe ali mu ggulu,
erinnya lyo litiibwe,
obwakabaka bwo bujje,
by'oyagala bikolebwe mu nsi,
nga bwe bikolebwa mu ggulu.
Otuwe leero emmere yaffe eya buli lunaku.
otusonyiwe ebibi byaffe,
nga naffe bwe tusonyiwa abatukola obubi.
Totutwala mu kukemebwa,
naye tulokole mu bubi.

Amiina!

The most loving words in the world:

I love you Nkwagala Nyo Ich liebe Dich

 

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