So I’ve written about my adventures and blunders in learning Acholi here and here. But I realized that I have yet to share the quirks of this entirely different language I learned: Ugandanese. This is the Ugandan version of English, sometimes it’s just British English that I’m not used to and other times it’s literal translations from a tribal language into English.
So below are some interesting phrases we have picked up. Try to read them in your best Jamaican accent except without the “mon” at the end, and you’ll get pretty close.
“He told me he was going to the what? …To the store.”
Translation: He told me he was going to the umm… store.
“The pegs are where?”
Translation: Where are the clothes pins?
“Are you having any plasters?”
Translation: Do you have band aids?
“Please call me when you reach.”
Translation: please call me when you get there
“Can you pick for me some carrots?”
Translation: Can you pick up some carrots for me?
“Are you picking me?”
Translation: Do you understand?
“They were abusing me seriously.”
Translation: They were yelling at me a lot.
“Sorry to disturb you.”
Translation: I apologize for interrupting / bothering you.
“How did you find Tanzania?”
Translation: How was Tanzania? Did you like it?
“For my thinking, we maybe can put it here”
Translation: I think we should put it here.