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Title: Runyankole  
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Subject: New Vision, Kampala District, Ugandan English, Norbert Mao, Perezi Kamunanwire
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Native to Uganda
Native speakers 2.3 million  (2002)Template:Infobox language/ref
Language family
Standard forms
Language codes
ISO 639-2 nyn
ISO 639-3 nyn
Linguist List Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
Guthrie code JE.13[1]

Nkore (also called Nyankore, Nyankole, Nkole, Orunyankore, Orunyankole, Runyankore, and Runyankole) is a Bantu language spoken by the Nkore (Banyankore) and Hema peoples of Southwestern Uganda in the former province of Ankole.[2]

There are approximately 2,330,000 native speakers,[3] mainly found in the Mbarara, Bushenyi, Ntungamo, Kiruhura, Ibanda, Isingiro, and Rukungiri districts. Runyankole is part of an East and central African language variously spoken by the Nkore, Kiga, Nyoro, and Tooro people in Uganda; the Nyambo, Ha and Haya in Tanzania; as well as some ethnic groups in the Congo region, Burundi and Rwanda. They were part of the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom of the 14-16th centuries.

There is a brief description and teaching guide for this language, written by Charles Taylor in the 1950s, and an adequate dictionary in print. Whilst this language is spoken by almost all the Ugandans in the region, most also speak English, especially in the towns. English is the official language, and the language taught in schools.

Nkore is so similar to Kiga (84%–94% lexical similarity[3]) that some argue they are dialects of the same language, a language called Nkore-Kiga by Charles Taylor.[2]

Basic greetings

The greeting Agandi, implying, "How are you?" but literally meaning "other news!", can be replied with Ni marungi, which literally means "good news!".

The proper greetings are Oraire ota? or Osiibire ota?, literally translated "How was your night?" and "How was your day?". "Good night" is Oraare gye and "Good day" is Osiibe gye.

Here are a few names one might use in a greeting:

  • Madam – Nyabo
  • Sir – Ssebo
  • Baby – omwana
  • Baby boy – omwojo
  • Baby girl – omwishiki


  • Ebitokye: Matooke or Bananas
  • Obuhunga – Maize Meal or corn bread
  • Ebihimba – Beans
  • Enyama – meat
  • Oburo – Millet Bread

Other words and phrases

  • Good morning. How are you?

Oraire ota (orei-rota) Replies: I'm fine Ndeire gye (ndei-re-jeh) or Ndyaho (indi-aho)

  • Good morning. Did you sleep well?

Oraire gye? (orei-reh-jeh) Reply: Yes, fine, okay Kare (Kar-eh)

  • Good afternoon. How are you?

Osiibire ota (o-see-bee-rota) Replies: Nsiibire gye (insi-bi-reje) or Osiibire gye (Osi birejge)

  • Good afternoon. How has your day been?

Waasiiba ota (wasi-wota) Reply: Fine, good – Naasiiba gye (nasi-baje)

  • Thank you: Webare (We-ba-re)
  • Thank you very much: Webare munonga (Way-ba-lay mu-non-ga)

[4] [5]

See also


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