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Useful phrases in Acholi

A collection of useful phrases in Acholi (Lwo), a Nilo-Saharan language spoken in northern Uganda and southern Sudan.

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See these phrases in any combination of two languages in the Phrase Finder. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).

Phrase Lwo (Acholi)
Welcome Apwoyo bino (sg)
Apwoyo binowu (pl)
Hello (General greeting) Itye nining? (frm)
Nining? (inf)
Hello (on phone)
How are you? Itye nining? (frm)
Atye maber? (Any news?) - inf
Wutye wunu maber? (How are you all?)
Reply to 'How are you?' Atye maber. Kono in? (frm)
Mapol pe (Nothing much) - reply to Atye maber?
Long time no see
What's your name? Nyingi anga?
My name is ... Nyinga ...
Where are you from? Iaa ki kwene?
I'm from ... Aa ki i ...
Pleased to meet you Iya yom me neni (I am happy to see you)
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Ibutu maber? (Did you spend the night well?)
Abutu maber (I spent it well - reply)
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Irii nining? (Did you spend the day well?)
Arii maber (I spent it well - reply)
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Good night But maber
Goodbye
(Parting phrases)
Wot maber (sg)
Wuwot maber (pl)
Pwod wanen (See you)
Wanen lacen (See you later)
Good luck!
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Have a nice day Kong maber
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Wot maber
Yes Eyo
No Pe
Maybe
I don't know
I understand Aniang
I don't understand Pe aniang
Please speak more slowly Lok mot mot!
Please say that again Itwero nwoyo meno?
Nwo
Please write it down
Do you speak English? I loko leb muno?
Do you speak Acholi?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Eyo, aloko leb lwo maditi
Speak to me in Acholi
How do you say ... in Acholi? I waco ni ngo ileb ...?
Excuse me Tima kica
Ngo? (Pardon?)
I waci ngo? (Pardon?)
How much is this? Man wel ne adi?
Ca ni adi?
Adi?
Sorry Tima kica
Please
Thank you Apwoyo
Reply to thank you
Where's the toilet / bathroom?
This gentleman will pay for everything
This lady will pay for everything
Would you like to dance with me?
Do you come here often?
I miss you
I love you Aheri
Get well soon
Go away! Cet cen!
Leave me alone!
Help!
Fire!
Stop!
Call the police!
Christmas greetings Krismasi mkunjufu
New Year greetings Iga Manyien
Easter greetings
Birthday greetings
One language is never enough
My hovercraft is full of eels

If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

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