- Lusoga language
:"This article is about the Lusoga language. For the people, see
Basoga, and for the Busoga kingdom and region, see Busoga."
LuSoga (Soga) is a
tonalBantu language that is spoken in Uganda. It is the native languageof people who are indigenous/originally from the Busogaregion. In terms of the number of speakers, is one of the major languages spoken in Uganda, after English, Swahili, and Luganda. However, it is mainly spoken in the Busogaregion of southern Ugandaby + 3 million people (2007 census), which is mainly within the natural boundaries of Lake Victoriato the south, Lake Kyogato the north, the Nileriver to the west and the Mpologoma "(Lion)" river to the east of Igangadistrict. It is tonalin the sense that a given word can change its meaning depending on its tone, i.e. some words are differentiated by pitch. Words that are spelled the same may carry different meanings according to their pitch. Lusoga is rich in metaphors, proverbs and folktales.language
speakers=First language (native speakers): + 3 million (2007 census)
Second language: + 100 000 (2007 census)
rank= ~ 136
nation= Major language of
Uganda, official status "unclear/pending..."
Lusoga Language Authority (LULA)(Uganda)
History and development
Lusoga, the native language of the people of
Busoga, developed over time as a spoken language. Its written form is only as recent as the arrival of the Arab and European traders and missionaries. It only until after the second half of the nineteenth century, that Lusoga was first written down and appeared in print in its own right.
The Lusoga language is very similar to neighbouring languages, such as
Lugandaand Lugwere. It is believed that the people in southern Busogaoriginally came from Bugandaand in the early 14th Century overwhelmed the original inhabitants - the Luowho came from the north and Itesowho came from the north-east.
Lusoga is used in some primary schools in Busoga as pupils begin to learn English, the
official languageof Uganda. It is also taught in secondary schools and is offered as a course subject in tertiary institutions such as Busoga Universityand Makerere University.
Linguistically, the Basoga are part of the Bantu speaking group. Originally, Lusoga language had several dialects formed by the intermingling of people during the early migration period, 17th and 18th century. There were so many dialects of the Lusoga language that it was difficult to reach agreement on the correct way to spell or pronounce certain words. For instance, in the north of
Busoga, there is a distinct 'H' in the vocabulary of the local dialects, but people from southern Busogadid not have this distinct 'H' in the vocabulary of the local dialects. Busoga was mainly divided into two dialect zones. Across the northern part of Busoga, the dialects Lulamogiand Lupakoyowas traditionally spoken. Lupakoyomostly resembled Runyoro. It had a close belt of Runyoroassociated dialects running east from Bunyoro, across the northern region of Buganda, across northern Busogaand through Bugwere, which is east of Busoga. In the southern part of Busogaa dialect known as Lutengawas traditionally spoken which resembled Luganda. Related dialects were also spoken in the Ssese Islands, Buvuma Islandand eastern Buganda.
But with the established of the
Lusoga Language Authority (LULA), BusogaKingdom has promoted a standardised Lusoga language. It has done enough research on the Lusoga language and published several literatures in Lusoga. It publications can be found at Busoga Cultural Centre Offices librarylocated in the Nile gardenin Jinjatown. Others are available in bookshops throughout Busogaand in major bookstores in Kampalaand other parts of the country. Some of the more accomplished Lusoga publications include a Lusoga Bible, grammar books, riddles, proverbs, several story books and dictionaries e.g. English/Lusoga - Lusoga/English dictionary. A limited online version is available at [http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/translation/Soga/ Lusoga - English Dictionary] .
ome useful basic grammar and vocabulary
In common with other tonal
Bantu languages, Lusoga has a noun class system in which prefixes on nouns mark membership of one of the noun genders. Pronouns, adjectives, and verbs reflect the noun gender of the nominal they refer to. Some examples of noun classes:
Bantu languagesaround the Lake Victoriaregion in Uganda, nouns are reflected mainly by changing prefixes: human beingsare indicated by the prefix "Ba-" (plural), and "Mu-" (singular), and the name of the country "Bu-".
*mu - person (singular), e.g. musoga = native of
*bu - land, e.g. Busoga = land of the
*lu - language, e.g. Lusoga = language of the
*ba - people, e.g. Basoga = the
*ki - customs or traditions, e.g. kisoga = describes religious tradition or culture common to the
elf Standing pronouns
*Nze – me
*Iwe/Imwe – you
Always attached to a verb
*N – I
*O – You "(singular)"
*A – He/She
*Tu – We/Us
*Mu – You "(plural)"
*Ba – They
*Wano – Here
*Kino – This (thing)
*Ono – This (person)
*Oyo – That (person)
*Bino – These (things)
*Ani – Who?
*Ki – What?
*Lwaki - Why?
*Tya – How?
Greeting in Lusoga is accomplished just as it is in the western countries. However, it assumes a more personal nature and just as in the West, its form depends on the time of the day and the elapsed time since the last contact with the greeter.
The following dialogue illustrates the basic form to greet a peer or an elder in a respectful manner:
:"Person A:":Wasuzotya (osiibyotya) ssebo (nnyabo)? – How did you sleep (How was your day) sir(madam)?:"Person B:":Bulungi, wasuzotya (osiibyotya) ssebo (nnyabo)? – Well (Good), How did you sleep (How was your day) sir (madam)? – Well, how did you sleep (How was your day) sir (madam)?:"Person A:":Bulungi ssebo (nnyabo) – Well sir (madam)
The personal nature of the greetings ensues when the individual being greeted chooses to answer the question instead of merely responding with good or fine. It is sort of like being asked "How do you do?" and you respond "How do you do?" However, in Lusoga, the individual being greeted is free to actually delve into the fine details.
Additionally, simply drop the sir/madam to achieve the same effect as in English. The above dialog only addresses greeting one person because some words change into multiple others e.g. "Wasuzotya" is the combination of a singular prefix (Wa - you), word (sula - sleep), and singular postfix (otya - How did) spoken as one with a plural form that subsequently becomes "Mwasuze mutya" which is composed of two distinct words emerging from two different plural prefixes, a word, and the plural form of the postfix. It is sometimes impossible to not separate the plural form.
*Ninze Nankwanga – I am Nankwanga
ome common Verbs
When conjugating the verb, remove ‘oku’ and replace it with the required pronoun i.e. n, o, a, tu, mu, ba.
**okukola – to work/to do,
***nkola – I work/do,
***okola – you work/do,
***akola – he/she works/does,
***tukola – we work/do,
***mukola – you work/do (plural),
***bakola – they work/do.
*Okukola – to work/to do
*Okusoma – to read/to study
*Okunhwa – to drink
*Okulya – to eat (Be careful, the above example does not work all the time with all forms of all words, as some verbs are irregular e.g. the singular from here is Ndya. However it is a start)
*Okutambula – to walk
*Okuvuga – to drive/to ride
*Okusobola – to be able to
*Okutwala - to carry/to take
*Okuseka - to laugh
As long as you learn to count from 1 to 10 and 20, 30, 40, the rest will be easy. It is just a matter of joining one number to the other.
Telling the Time
Telling the time in Lusoga is different from the way it is told in English because hours of darkness correspond to PM to include early morning hours. You wake up at 6:00 am while a
Musogawaking up at the same time refers to the same time as "essawa erii ikumi na ibiri munkyo (the time is 12 in the morning)". Essentially, the number representing the current time is simply skewed behind by six. Time is said using the word ‘essaawa’, e.g., essaawa ndala – 7 o’clock.
*Food – Emmere
*Sugar – Sukaali
*Coffee – Kaawa
*Milk – Amata
*Chicken – Nkoko
*Teaspoon – Kajiiko
*Plate – Sowaani
*Saucepan – Sefuliya
*Cup – Kikopo
General phrases & vocabulary
*Ssente imeka – How much (price)
*(Bed)room – ekisenge
*Table – Meeza
*House – Enhumba
*Kitchen – Eifumbiro
*Door – Olwiggi
*Chair – Entebe
*Wait! – Linda!
*Journey/trip – Olugendo
*Get out – Fuluma
*Tomorrow – Olwaidho
*Slow – Mpola
*Quick – Mangu
*Mr – Mwami
*Miss – Mukyala
*My friend! – Munange!
*My friends! – Banange!
*Wansi/Ghansi - Under
*Senga - Aunt
*Omuntu - Person
*Omusaiza/omusaadha - Man
*Omukazi - Woman
*Omwaana - Child
*Omuzungu - White man/white person
*Eitaala - Lamp
*Omwezi - Moon/Month
* Fallers, Margaret Chave (1960) "The Eastern Lacustrine Bantu (
Gandaand Soga)". Ethnographic survey of Africa: East central Africa, Vol 11. London: International African Institute.
* Van der Wal, Jenneke (2004) "Lusoga Phonology". MA Thesis,
* Cohen, David William (1970). "A survey of interlacustrine chronology". "The Journal of African History", 1970, 11, 2, 177-202.
* Cohen, David William (1986). "Towards a reconstructed past : Historical texts from
Busoga, Uganda". Fontes historiae africanae. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
* Fallers, Lloyd A (1965) "Bantu Bureaucracy - A Century of Political evolution among the Basoga of Uganda".
Phoenix Books, The University of Chicago.
Basoga- Basoga ethnic group
Busoga- Busoga Kingdom
* - Uganda's other Kingdoms on Wikipedia
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=xog Ethnologue - Lusoga] A detailed Ethnologue report for Lusoga by Ethnologue.com
* [http://www.busoga.com/lusoga.php Busoga Kingdom Online - Lusoga] An excellent online summary of the Lusoga language by the Busoga Kingdom Online
* [http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/translation/Soga/ Lusoga - English Dictionary] Online Lusoga - English Dictionary by Webster's
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Lusoga Language Authority — The Lusoga Language Authority (LULA) is responsible for promoting a standard form of Lusoga. The group s activities include research on the Lusoga language and producing publications in Lusoga.ee also*Lusoga language *Language policy … Wikipedia
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