Ugandan English

Ugandan English,[1][2] or Uglish (ʃ/ YOO-glish),[3] is the variety of English spoken in Uganda. The term Uglish is first recorded in 2012. Other colloquial portmanteau words are Uganglish (recorded from 2006) and Ugandlish (2010).[4]

Influence of indigenous languages

The speech patterns of Ugandan languages strongly influence spoken English. Uganda has a large variety of indigenous languages, and someone familiar with Uganda can readily identify the native language of a person speaking English. Ugandan speakers will alter foreign words to make them sound more euphonic.

The Bantu languages spoken in southern Uganda tend not to have consonants sounded alone without a vowel in the syllable. Indeed, the Luganda word for consonant is "silent letter". Thus the letters l and d in Alfred d/ will be given sound by the addition of i/, making the pronunciation of the word /ˈalifuredi/. Similarly, muscular is pronounced /ˈmusicular/.

Luganda never has an /r/ starting a word; it only appears following the letters /e/ and /i/ within a word. The /l/ sound, conversely, cannot follow these sounds. Thus the word railway gets its /r/ and its /l/ substituted, giving /leyirwe/.

Luganda does not permit the sequence /kju/; any occurrence of this sound becomes /tʃu/. Thus cute is pronounced /tʃut/.

The initial /r/ is dysphonic to the Luganda speaker but is perfectly natural to the speaker of Runyankole and Rukiga, which have few instances of the /l/ sound. Additionally, /s/ in Runyankole and Rukiga is more often heard as /ʃ/. The combination of the above three rules will transform calcium into /karuʃim/.

Other Languages