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Learning Dholuo will not only help readers to understand what the Luos are, but The book will offer readers a chance to learn the language. It should therefore . Learn Dholuo (Teach Yourself Dholuo Beginners Audio Book) Global Publishers Other Useful Basic / Common Words, Phrases and Expressions in Dholuo. Dholuo, or Luo, belongs to the Luo-Acholi group of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Dholuo is mutually How difficult is it to learn Dholuo? There is no data.

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According to the Ethnologue website see links belowLuo is in the Nilo-Saharan language family. Both Lango and Acholi languages are sometimes referred to as “Lwo” by native speakers. Because Luo speakers are centered in southwest Kenya, there are significant populations of Luo speakers across the borders in both Tanzania and Uganda.

Luo occasionally borrows from Kiswahili, as Kiswahili has a larger vocabulary, and is one of the official national languages of Kenya. There are also cases of words shared between Luhya and Luo, despite their disparate Bantu vs. Examples include words for “yes” and “no. These figures are everywhere on the internet, so are probably somewhat out of date. Raila Odinga, a Luo, is the son of Kenya’s first vice president, and is one of Kenya’s most powerful politicians today.

Uganda’s first post-independence head of state, prime minister Milton Obote, was from the Lango tribe.

Useful phrases in Dholuo

He began his education in Lira and Gulu. Acholi is the language predominantly spoken in the area in northeast Uganda that Kony’s army has terrorized for the last twenty years. I lived in Kenya for two years, and traveled throughout East Africa. Unfortunately, I hardly picked up any Teso.

I even learned a few words of Acholi during my trip to Kitgum, Uganda. I particularly enjoyed Luo, though, as it was both handy during trips to Kisumu, the nearest major city to Busia, and leagn useful when negotiating prices in Nairobi.

Plus it turned out to bear a resemblance to the Acholi Lwo language. Upon returning to the US, I saw that there were surprisingly few resources on the internet for picking up simple Luo phrases, so I thought I’d write a few down. Wikipedia entry Betsy McCall’s careful discussion of Luo verbs. The distinction between ng’ and ng is like the difference between the ng sounds in the english words hanger and anger.


The word nangameaning clothuses the same ng sound as in angerwhere the g can be heard distinctly; the word ang’wenmeaning fouruses the ng’ sound similar to that used in the English word hangerwhere the g is not distinct.

Also note that a trailing y after a consonant, as in the word meaning tomorrowkinyis barely pronounced, so in this example, the word comes out sounding much like the English word keen. This is literally, “I greet you,” a-mos-i. How is your morning? My morning is going well.

This is literally, How did you wake? The verb to wake is chiewoaccording to ABO. Compare to Acholi Lwo in northern Uganda: How is your afternoon? My afternoon is going well. How is your evening? My evening is going well. This is literally, How are you going? The verb to go or to be going is dhiaccording to ABO.

How is the morning? The morning is going well. How is the day? How is dholui evening? The evening is going well. This is equivalent to pole, pole in Kiswahili. We’ll see each other [later]. Let’s see each other tomorrow. Equivalent to pole sana in Kiswahili. Nineteen, apar ga ochiko Twenty, piero ariyo Twenty one, piero ariyo gachiel Thirty, piero adek One Hundred, piero apar achiel or mia achiel.

The first option is according to ABO. However, I have never heard this; all Kenyan Luo speakers I have met use mia or mia achielimporting the word from Kiswahili. Two Hundred, piero apar ariyo or mia ariyo. Again, I believe the latter is much more frequently used.

Dholuo language guide – Home

I want water, adwaro pii I am thirsty, riyo nega ABO translates thirst as riyoand thirsty as bedo gi riyo. Mother, mama ABO says, dhako or miyo as well. God, nyasaye To help, kony The verb in Acholi is exactly the same. The Lord’s Resistance Army–a band of rebels that has terrorized villages in northeast Uganda, kidnapped thousands of children, forced them to be child soldiers, and carried out a variety of other atrocities against civilians–is led by a man named Joseph Kony.

Grandma, dani,dana According to ABO, dayo. White man, ja rachar Black man, ja rateng. To teach, pwonjo I teach, apwonjo To learn, pwonjore You learn, ipwonjo Note that this is the verb for teach, but with the reflexive suffix added. Kiswahili also uses this structure: To teach is kufunzawhile to learn is to teach oneself, kujifunza. To scare, buogo or bwogo ; ABO only lists the former.


Cat, nyambura or paka according to ABO. Note that paka is also the Kiswahili word, and Nyambura is also a woman’s name. ABO doesn’t explain distinctions.

Luo (Dholuo) Phrases and Basics

Cloth, nanga Ball, mpira Note this is the same as in Dnoluo. Otit mach maloseen written on a truck lorry in western Kenya.

No, dawe Note that dawe or tawe is also used in some Luhya dialects. Good, maber Bad, marach Sin, ketho Life, ngima Death, tho.

He spoke only about education and hard work. The Head of State however delighted the crowd with a Luo phrase: From Jim Harries ‘Wach en gi teko’ is a favourite Luo phrase. It can be translated as ‘a word has power’. Not news, but a high google hit in Maria Matakatifu, Min Nyasaye, Ikwanwae wa joketho kawuono gi kar thowa. This looks like a mixture of Luo, Luhya, and Kiswahili. Mirembefor example, is very close to the Luhya greeting, Murembebut is not Dholuo as far as I know.

Hail Mary 2 Misawa maria Iponggi nema ruoth obed kodi In jahawi kwoum mon gi Jesus nyathi manie iyi jahawi. Maria matakatifu Min Nyasaye kwanue wan Jo ketho kawuono gi kar thowa. This version is from Tom Onditi, and appears to be more accurate. In the old days of the internet, this was the only sort of page that would exist about anything: Nowadays, it is rare to find a topic so infrequently discussed on the internet that a page like this can have any significance at all.

What a difference a decade makes. When he rose to speak, President Kibaki avoided politics and did not answer Mr Odinga’s request.