A “detoother” or a “dentist” is a gold-digger looking for a wealthy partner, “spewing out buffalos” means you can’t speak proper English; a ‘side-dish’ certainly isn’t something served by a waiter but rather someone’s mistress, Benching is a University slang meaning to drop by on someone you may have a romantic interest in and ”a campuser” is a University student.
The above phrases are just some of the examples that you will come across in the new evolved Uglish dictionary in Uganda. Uglish is a new form of English that has been adopted by Ugandans influenced mostly by Luganda language and other local languages
This perhaps looks funny and strange English the world has ever experienced but Ugandans look comfortable with it. They say our English is not wrong. Uganda is country blessed with a multitude of language. These languages originate from the three major language families of the Bantu, Nilotic and the Central Sudanic groups.
Despite the fact that the country uses English as its official and language of instruction in schools, it is often misrepresented or influenced by local languages especially Lugnda which is the widely spoken language in the central part of the country.
What is factual about Uganda is that, while English is the official and language of instructions in schools, it has been often misrepresented by speaking what people say ”Broken English” and it is common that most language groups especially the Bantu pronounce English words in vernacular form. The way most Ugandans speak English is influenced by their native language. Among the Bantu, it’s more common to swap letters such ‘L’ for ‘R’ and vice versa among many more.
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According to Sabiiti the author of the Uglish dictionary, “It is so entrenched right now that, even when you think you cannot use it, you actually find yourself speaking Uglish,” he told the AFP. He further said that ”Even as I was researching, I was surprised that these words are not English because they were the only ones I knew ‘A word like a ‘campuser’ – a university student – I used to think was an English word.”
Sabiiti blamed the deteriorating standards of education system as the sole contributor of the rise of Uglish. He said that people don’t like reading and do speak limited English as well as have limited interaction with native English speakers. Uglish is largely dependent on sentences being literally translated, word for word, from local dialects with little regard for context, while vocabulary used is derived from Standard English.
The readers of this dictionary will agree that though it is not personal or restricted to the youth, the majority of the words/slangs used in this book are influenced by the culture of the youth. It is common for the youth to use slangs while communicating these days and perhaps Sabiiti based on then to produce this piece of work