Learn common Acholi phrases and their meanings

The Acholi/Acoli language is spoken in Acholiland in Northern Uganda(Gulu, Amuru, Kitgum and Pader Districts). It is also spoken in South Sudan.

Acholi is closely related to Lango, Alur, Kumam and Padhola languages.

It is a tonal language. Therefore, two identical words can have different meanings depending on the tone of their vowels.

For example:

Bel - Corn

Bel - Wrinkled

The sounds f,q,h,s,v,x, and z do not exist in Acholi consonants. Confusion may arise as to why Acholi has the letter ‘h’ in it if it doesn't exist in the language alphabet. The correct way should be Acoli.

Greetings in Acholi

English Acholi
Good evening. Otyeno tero wu maber?
Good morning. Ibutu maber?
Good afternoon. Irii nining?
Good night.
Obut maber
How are you? Itye maber?
How are you today? Itye nining inino matin
I am fine. Atye maber
Have a good day. Kat nino maber
I am doing great. Atye maber
Hi/Hello. Jal lok ngo ma tye?
Nice to meet you. Iya yom me neni
See you soon. Wanen oyot
See you later. Wanen lacen

Acholi love words and phrases

English Acholi
I love you in Acholi. Amari
I miss you in acholi. Apari
Love you so much Amari totwal
I want to see you. Amito neni
I love you with all my heart. Amari gi cwinya weng
I love you too. Amari bene
I want to see you. Amito neni
I like you. Amari
You are beautiful. Nyako maber
My love. Laber cwinya
You look beautiful. I nen maber
My beautiful wife. Dako na ber
I miss you so much, darling. Apari totwal
I need you. Amiti
You will miss me. Ibi para
Goodbye, my love. Pwod wanen
See you tomorrow. Wanen didgi
I will marry you. Abi nyomi
I want some space. Amito kabedo
I need your love. Amito mar mamegi
You are mine. In mega

Directions in Acholi

n English Acholi
Where are you? Itye kwene?
Where did you go? Iceto kwene?
Where do you live? Ibedo kwene?
Where are you going? Itye ka ceto kwene?
Where were you? Onongo itye kwene?

Common Questions in conversations in Acholi

English Acholi
How much? Man wel ne adi?
How are you feeling? Iwinjo nining?
How have you been? Itye nining?
What is your name? Nyingi anga?
What are you doing? Itimo ang'o?
What are you cooking/eating? Itye ka tedo ngo?
Are you okay, dear? Itye maber?
When are you coming? Ebi bino?
How was your night/day? Irio maber?
How are you doing? Itye maber?
How is your family? Jo ma igang gi tye nining?
How was your day? Nino okato nining?
What is wrong? Ngo marac?
What do you mean? Iwaco ango?
How's the weather over there? Pol matin tye nining?
Have you gone to church? Iwoto ka lega?
What is this? Eni ngo?
What's going on? Ngo matye?
Are you listening? Itye ka winjo?
Have you heard? Iwinjo?
Can I go home? Aromo ceto gang?
Can I ask something? Aromo penyo lapeny?
How is everything? Jami weng tye nining?
What’s your phone number? Wac nyig Cim agoya ma megi tye nining?

Everyday conversations in Acholi

English Acholi
Happy birthday Apwoyo kwero ceng nyodoni
Thank you Apwoyo
I am sorry Tima kica
You are welcome. Apwoyo bino
Me too! An bene
God bless you. Lubanga obed kwedi
May god protect you. Jok ogwog in
She is happy. Iye yom
Please help me. Alego kony
I don't know. Pe angeyo
I will come tomorrow. Abino digi
Come here! Bin kany
Feel at home. Bed maber
Be blessed. Omini gum
I am coming soon. Nino bino na cok
Excuse me. I waci ngo? /Tima kica ngo?
Leave me alone. Wek an abed mot
It is okay. Ayela per
I am going home. Aceto gang
I don't want. Par amito
Love is a beautiful thing. Mare ber
Let me try. Wa tem
Welcome home. Apwoyo bino gang
I reached home safely. Awoto maber
God is good. Maa par rubanga
I don't understand. Par aniang
We are happy to see you. Wa pwoyo nen
I have it. Atye kwede
Rest in peace. Ywer kabedo maber
I don't have money. Cente per
I am done. Agig kany
I am going to the shop. Aceto I
Happy new year. Kato mwaka
Bad manners. Pwony marac
Stop using your phone. Juk tic gi cim mamega
I need a favour, please. Amito kony
Haven’t seen you for ages. Irii ma pe inen
Great to see you again. Apwoyo bino
I really appreciate it. Apwoyo matek
You made my day. Arii maber inino matin
No problem. Ayela per?

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