Just as some other Africans were English was introduced to them, Uganda is one of those English-speaking countries. Apart from the use of English which is spoken mostly by the educated majority, there are other languages which originated from the Bantu family.

Today, we’d be looking at some of these languages and the common greetings.

  • Luganda
  • Runyankole
  • Soga

Luganda – this is a Bantu language and it is the traditional language of the Baganda people of Uganda.

Hello – Oli otya

How are you? – Oli otya?

Reply to how are you? – Gyendi. Ate ggwe/Bulungi. Ate ggwe?

Good morning – Wasuze otya nno?

Reply to good morning – Bulungi, wasuze otya nno?

Good afternoon – Osiibye otya nno?

Good evening –  Osiibye otya nno?

Goodnight – Sula bulungi

Reply to goodnight – Kale, naawe sula bulungi

Goodbye – Weeraba/Kale, naawe weeraba/Mweraba/Tunaalabagana

Reply to goodafternoon/good evening –Bulungi, osiibye otya nno?

What’s your name? – Erinnya lyo ggwe ani?

My name is… – Erinnya lyange nze…

Where are you from? – Ova ludda wa?

Yes – Yee/Mm

No – Nedda

Excuse me – Owange

Sorry – Nsonyiwa


Hello – Oraire ota?

How are you? – Oraire ota?

Reply to how are you? – Ndeire gye/Ndyaho

Good morning – Oraire ota?

Good afternoon – Osiibirota

Reply to good afternoon – Nsibire gye

Good evening – Osiibire ota?

Goodnight – Oraare gye

Goodbye – Osiibegye/Kare

What’s your name? – Eiziina ryawe oryoha?

My name is… – Iziina ryangye ni…

Yes – Eego

No – Ngaaha/Apaana


Good morning – Wasuze otya

Good afternoon – Osiibye otya

Good evening – Osiibye oya

How are you? – Oli otya?/Koodhi eyo?

Reply to how are you? – Ndi bukalamu/Tuliyo

Welcome greeting – Kalibu

Edited by Ebenezer Oladokun

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