Useful Phrases

  • Hi – Ki Kati
  • Good morning (literally, How was your night?) – Wasuze otya?
  • Good afternoon or Good evening (literally, How was your day?) – Osiibye otya?
  • How are you? – Oli Otya
  • I am ok – Gyendi
  • My name is… – Nze…
  • Goodbye (to one person) – Weeraba
  • Goodbye (to more than one person) – Mweraba
  • Please – Mwattu
  • Thank you – Weebale
  • Sir – Ssebo
  • Madam - Nnyabo
  • Excuse me (to get someone’s attention) – Owange
  • Ok – Kale
  • No thanks – Nedda
  • I don’t know – Simanyi
  • How much money is it? – Ssente mmekka?
  • Do you speak English? – Omanyi luzungu?
  • I understand – Ntegeera
  • I do not understand – Sitegeera
  • I want – Njagala

Pronunciation:

Luganda is phonetically similar to Spanish – so “i” is pronounced like the “ee” in “see”, and the “e” at the end of a word is pronounced similar to the “ay” in “say” or the “e” in “wet”, and not left silent as in English.
Thus, “weebale” (thank you) is pronounced “way-ba-lay”.

Using Luganda

Ugandans are generally very friendly and extremely polite – saying “weebale Ssebo” will be much appreciated by your waiter, guide or driver.