World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Runyankole language

Article Id: WHEBN0022327959
Reproduction Date:

Title: Runyankole language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Uganda, Index of language articles, Wildcat, Yoweri Museveni, Ankole
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Runyankole language

Native to Uganda
Native speakers
2.3 million  (2002)[1]
Standard forms
Language codes
ISO 639-2 nyn
ISO 639-3 nyn
Glottolog nyan1307[3]

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.[4]

There are approximately 2,330,000 native speakers,[5] 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[5]) that some argue they are dialects of the same language, a language called Nkore-Kiga by Charles Taylor.[4]

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
  • Child – omwana
  • Boy – omwojo
  • Girl – omwishiki


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

Other words and phrases

  • No: ngaaha (ing-gah-ha)or apaana (ah-pah-nah)
  • yes: Eego (egg-oh)
  • Thank you: Webare (Way-ba-re)
  • Thank you very much: Webare munonga (Way-ba-lay mu-non-ga)
  • You're welcome (literally: Thank you for appreciating): Webare kusiima (way-ba-re koo-see-mah)
  • I like/love you: Ninkukunda (nin-koo-coon-dah) or ninkukunda munonga (nin-koo-coon-dah moo-non-gah)
  • My name is ____: Eizina ryangye ninye ______ (ey-zeen-ah riya-gye ni-nye___) or ndi _____ (in-dee ______)
  • I am from _____: Ninduga_____ (nin-doog-ah_____)
  • It's how much shillings/money? Ni shiringi zingahi? (Knee shi-rin-gee zin-gah-hee) or ni sente zingahi?
  • 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 spending your day?

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

  • You are spending your day well?

Osiibire gye (Osi birejge) Replies: Yes- Eego (egg-oh)or nsiibire gye

  • Good afternoon. How has your day been?

Waasiiba ota (wasib-wota) Reply: Fine, good, I've spent it well – Naasiiba gye (nasi-baje)

[6] [7]

See also


  1. ^ Nkore at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Nyankole". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  4. ^ a b Poletto, Robert E. (1998). Topics in Runyankore Phonology. Linguistics Graduate Program, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved Dec 8, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Lewis, Paul M. (ed.) (2009). "Ethnologue Report for Language Code: nyn". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, TX: SIL International. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  6. ^ "Kashoboorozi Y' Orunyankore Rukiga Dictionary". 
  7. ^ Standard English–Runyankore/Rukiga Dictionary – Mwene Mushanga, Ph.D. Banyankore Cultural Foundation, Mbarara, Uganda, 2004 English to Runyankole Easy Reading Handbook, Vincent Busulwa, 2000 Staff of Bishop Stuart Core Primary Teachers' College, Mbarara, Uganda
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.