Note: Greetings are very important in Luganda. 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: Wasuze otyanno ssebo/nnyabo? - How did you spend the night Sir/Madam?
B: Bulungi ssebo/nnyabo, wasuze otyanno? - Well sir/madam, how did you spend the night?
A: Bulungi. - Well
Key words: Ssebo - Sir , Nnyabo - Madam
Afternoon and Evenning greetings; (Formal)
A: Osiibye otyanno ssebo/nnyabo? - How have you spent the day sir/madam?
B: Bulungi, osiibye otyanno ssebo/nnyabo? - Well, how have you spent the day?
A: Bulungi - Well
Greetings Cont'd; (Informal)
Beth: Oli otya Robert? - How are you Robert?
Robert: Gyendi, oli otya Beth? - I am fine, how are you Beth?
Beth: Gyendi - I am fine.
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: Nze Robert, ggwe ani? - I am Robert, who are you?
Beth: Nze Beth. - I am Beth.
Robert: Nva Uganda, ova wa? - I come from Uganda, where do you come from?
Beth: Nva Canada - I am from Canada.
Robert: Obeera wa mu Canada? - Where do you live in Canada?
Beth: Mbeera Alberta mu Canada. - I live in Alberta in Canada.
Robert: Ndi Musomesa, ggwe okola ki? - I am a teacher, what do you do?
Beth: Ndi Musawo. - I am a doctor.
Weeraba - Goodbye.
Sula bulungi - Spend the night well (used as 'have a goodnight')
Beera bulungi - Stay well
Siiba bulungi - Spend the day well (used as 'have a good day')
Tunaalabagana - We will see each other (used as 'see you later')
Weebale nyo - Thank you very much, (also see; weebale ssebo/nnyabo - thank you sir/madam)
Nsanyuse okukulaba - I am happy/glad to see you. (Often used as the welcome phrase)
Weebale kufumba or Ofumbye nyo - thanks for cooking or You cooked well.
Saagala Kaawa - I don't want coffee.
Ate ggwe? - How about you?
Ddamu - repeat
Mpola / mpola mpola - slowly / quite slowly.
Genda mpola - go slowly.
Ddamu mpola - repeat slowly.
Sirina sente. - I have no money.
Yee / Nedda - Yes / No
Simanyi - I don't know
Sitegedde - I have not understood.
Otegeeza ki? - what do you mean?
Luganda does not have a particular word for 'sorry'; but depending on the situation, there are different ways to apologize and show sympathy or even empathy.
Nga olabye. - I am sorry for what has happened to you.
Nga kitalo. - What a tragedy / What a horrible thing. (only used during bereavement to express your condolence)
Nsonyiwa - Forgive me
Tofaayo - don't mind
Barclays Banka eri wa? - Where is Barclays Bank?
Eri ku Kampala Road. - It's on Kampala road
Barclays banka eri kumpi ne Nandos - Barclays bank is near/next to Nandos.
Tooyi eri wa? - Where is the toilet?
John ali wa? - Where is John?
Simanyi - I don't know
lindako - Please wait
Kono / Ddyo - Left / Right
Olinayo mmere ki? - what food do you have?
Mpa 'menu' ssebo/nnyabo - Give me the menu sir/madam
Njagala matooke ne nnyama - I want matooke (plantain) and beef.
Olina biya? - Do you have beer?
Njagala biya - I want beer
Njagala mazzi. - I want water
Mpa sooda - Give me soda
Mpa egilaasi ya mazzi. - Give me a glass of water
Sente meka? - How much money?
Mpa biilu yange. - Give me my bill.
Weebale era weerabe. - Thank you and goodbye.
That's it! - go out confidently with an open mind and explore - You could quite easily continue learning Luganda to build on these phrases - if you wish too. It's that simple!
Weebale nyo! (thank you very much!)
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.
NEW! Travel Insurance
You can now obtain Travel Insurance here for your needs.Join the Fan's Corner ... Follow Me;