Category Archives: Language

Acholi -Alphabets Part-2

Did You know?


Wether you are learning Acholi or you are a native speaker, did you really know that the modern spoken Acholi -(leb acoli/luo ) has a total of 42 Alpahbets?

You better believe it!

Recenetly we(not linguistic giants – just “we” the native acholi speaker helping others to learn simple spoken and written acholi) have discovered that Acholi Languge has more than jsut 26 straighforward English Alphabets.

The 42 Alphabets discovered are a mixture of single Alphabetical letters(with the exception of some few letters that aren’t part of Acholi alphabets) and a two letters’ combination that are inseparable in pronunciation of every day spoken  Acholi/luo Language.

Despite the fact that Acholi/Luo language uses the same English Alphabets, it has more combination of “two” letters to form a single pronounciation that signifies them(The two letters combined) to be qualified as clear “stand-alone Aphabetical letters, since they aren’t pronounce separately but as one letter word in a sentences.

The two letters’ combination is pronouced as one letter word with additon of specific vowels at their ends.

Example –


  • “Ny”  (literally pronounced -“Nya (or +other vowels..”) as in “Bwami” (violence)
  • “Ng” (literally pronounced -“Nga ( or +other vowels…”) as in “Ngom” (soil)
  • “Bw” (literally pronounced -“Bwa (or +other vowels..”) as in “Bwami” (violence)
  • “By” (literally pronounced -“Bya (or +other vowels..”) as in “Byel” (to carry on your back – esp. applied to babies )
  • “Cw” (literally pronounced -“Cwa” (or +other vowels..”) as in “Cwal” (to send or push)
  • “Dy” (literally pronounced -“Dya”) (or +other vowels..”) as in “Dyang” (Cow/bull)  and many others.

These two combination letters’ alphabets given above and many others are pronounced as one letter words in every day spoken Acholi/luo Language.

Check out the full list  and how to practice pronouncing them at LANow

Acholi Alphabets

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  Part.1.  Acoli/Luo (aka Acholi) Alphabet

Background Introduction:

Acholi is spoken mainly in Northern Uganda,  known collectively as Acholiland, and in the Eastern Part of Southern Sudan. Who belongs to the  Western Nilotic branch of the Nilo-Saharan languages. Acholi/Acoli is closely related to Alur, Lango, Jopadhola and Luo of Kenya. Acholi   is also pronounce as Acoli, Akoli, Acooli, Atscholi, AShuli, Lwoo, Lwo,

The Language spoken by the Acholi People is also known as – Acholi or Lok Acoli or Dok/dog Acoli or Leb Acholi.

The best-known piece of writing in Acholi so far is the Song of Lawino, an epic poem by Okot p’Bitek from Uganda. It was first published in 1966 and has been translated into quite a few other languages, including English.

Part-1. The Alphabet.

Written Acholi Alphabet is so unique in many ways and sometimes may look confusing to many Learners of this most easy language to learn in the world.

There are letters that are completely missing and some letters are combined to form a desired pronunciation of a single word. Therefore, don’t get it wrong when you see two letters together in the Alphabetical lists, just remember that the two letters are, but one single Alphabetical word in Acholi language.

Below is the Alphabetical order:


acholi Alpahbet0

The missing letters:

As explained above, Acholi Alphabet doesn’t include all the 26 English Alphabetical letters. There seven missing letters, they are listed below;

“F, H, Q, S, X, V and Z”

However, this doesn’t mean that acholi language; written or spoken doesn’t use these letters at all, No, they are used occasionally when references are made to nouns known in other Languages which are not of Acoli/Luo (acholi) origin.

Acholi Phrases -Time and Days

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   Lesson -2. Beginners   Introduction to Times and Days  Phrases.

Acholi
English
Arabic(transliterated)
French -français
Cawa, Kare, nino Time, periods Saa,  wokit Quelle heure est-il ?
Cawa adii,           caa adii? What is the time? Saa Kam l’horloge, la montre
l’heure
cawa, Caa clock, watch
hour
Saah la minute
dakika minutes Dekika, Dagiga la seconde
(me aryo) second Sha’niya le matin, la matinée
Odiko              Odiko con Morning,                          Early Morning Sabaah                    Sabaah Bedir midi
cwiny dye ceng midday, noon Nus’Nahaar l’après-midi
le jour, la journée
dye ceng afternoon
day
Na’haar, le soir, la soirée
otyeno, obwara evening Fil Misa, Mis’aan la nuit
dye wor night Lehl, Bilehl minuit
cwiny dye wor midnight Nus’Bilehl avant-hier
Lawo  maca, laworo maca, day before yesterday Awel umbaarhi, hier
lawo, laworo, oworo yesterday Umbaarhi aujourd’hui
tin today Alela , Alehla demain
diki/digi tomorrow Bukhura après-demain
diki maca day after tomorrow Bahd Bukhura la semaine
cabit week Usbuh,  Usubuh le mois
dwe month Sar la saison
kare season Ayam, yom,  Mosem l’an, l’année
mwaka year Sana, Sena le cadeau
mic, mot, pwoc gift Hadiya
mukwongo,        me acel before                              Firstly Awel, Al Aweil,                   Al Uula français
ingeye, inge … after Baaden, baad, avant
kobedi, kombedi now Asi, Asha, Asa’de après
Kulu, Matwal, kwak, kwit, pe, peke, twere koo Never,

impossible, forget it

Laa’ha,

Abadan,  an’shaaho

Maintenant?
cawa mukene, Caa Mogo, sometimes Baad mara, Baad Marat jamais
kare ki kare, often  -baad marat parfois
 nino ducu, caa weng, jwi jiw always
forever
Daiman, kulu wokit, souvent

Acholi Pronouns

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   Part.1C.  Intoduction to Pronouns and other phrases.


Acholi [prefix] English Arabic français
An, ane a-   (aa- sounds ) I ana je
In, ine i- ( ee- sounds) you Inta, ita tu
En e- / o- (ae- sounds) he
she
it
Uuh, uwoh

ihya

il
elle
Wan, wane o- (aa-sounds) we Naa’nu, nina nous
Wun, wune u-(uu-sounds) you Intum, iitu, vous
Gin ei-(eii-sounds) they Umon, ils
elles

English  –   Acholi.

  • Me – An, or Kom an, or Koma.
  • Me Myself –  An Gikoma.
  • You: –    In (sing.) wun(plural)
  • You Yourself – In Gikomi or Kom in.
  • He/She/It –   En or Kome, 
  • Himself/Herself/Itself – En Gikome.  or Kom en.
  • They –       Gin
  • Themselves –   Komgi or Kom gin.
  • They Themselves – Gin gikomgi.
  • We –  Wan or wane(other accent)
  • We ourselves –  wan gikomwa.
    Ourselves -. Komwa

FAMILY RELATIONSHIP:

  • Mother –      Mego or Min
  • Mumy –     maa, or mama,
  • My mum/mother – Mama na,  Maa,
  • Your Mum/Mother – Meru, or meni, or Mama ni.
  • His/her/it Mum/Mother – Mine, or min…(..name of the person). eg: Min Okot.
  • T heir Mother – Min gi or Meg’gi.
  • Our Mother –  Min wa, or Meg wa.

  • Father –  Wego or won
  • Dad/Daddy – Baba, aba/oba.
  • My Dad/Father – Wora or Won An, Baba na.
  • Your Dad/Father –  Woru or Won In, Baba ni.
  • His/her/its Dad – Wone, or Won en.
  • Their Dad/Father -Won gi, weg gi
  • Our Dad/Father – Wonwa, or weg wa

….To be Continued
   Next Lesson to cover – Brothers, Sisters, Cousins,, Uncles and Aunts.

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