I decided to take some language classes while living here in Kampala. Although the majority of locals speak English, it seems like I’d be wasting an opportunity to grow and learn a little bit while here. I showed up to class last Monday and was lead to a tiny classroom, with a small wooden desk, and a chalkboard.
Amelia, my teacher, jumped right in to greetings. I thought I’d share with you some of what I’m learning in case you wanted to impress your friends with a new language:
Wasuze otyanno nnyabo/ssebo.
(wa su zo ti on no ni a bo/say bo)
You spent a night how madam/sir.
(bu loon gi ni a bo/say bo)
(ah te gwey)
Nsanyuse okukulaba nnaybo/ssebo.
(en san u say o ku ku la ba ni a bo/say bo)
I am happy to see you madam/sir.
(Oh li oh ti ya)
How are you?
I am there (fine).
I’ve practiced my greetings on my boda boda drivers as well as the guys down at the post office. They all smile, kinda giggle, and then respond. I like to think they are just giggling at the fact that the white girl is making an effort instead of laughing at my effort. But either way, it gets us both talking.