Kampala - Post Report Question and Answers

How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

None, but it's useful to always have your staff communicate for you to clarify things. - Jan 2024

None. Nearly everyone speaks English fluently-there are Luganda tutors around at an affordable rate but it is not necessary to learn to speak it in order to communicate. There are a few simple phrases that are nice to know for respect. - Jun 2022

No need to learn it, but if you speak Luganda, you may get a better price at a local market or receive amazing smiles from locals. - Dec 2021

Zero. Though Ugandans seem amused when you make an attempt. Can't tell if they appreciate it or not. I haven't heard of classes or tutors. - Aug 2020

None. - Nov 2019

Uganda was a British colony. You'll do fine with English. If you want to make a positive impression with Ugandans, you could say a few key phrases in Luganda or Swahili. - Oct 2019

None. - Mar 2019

Very little, as English is an official language. However, any local language will substantially increase immersion, if that's what you are after. Also totally possible to live in a bubble if you so desire. - Feb 2019

None, as English is spoken widely. - Jan 2019

English is widely spoken. - Dec 2018

None. - Dec 2018

None at all, as most Ugandans speak English very well. - Oct 2018

None . - Sep 2018

None, everyone speaks English. - Sep 2018

Everyone speaks English, unless you travel deep into the most rural parts of Uganda, especially in the far North. - Aug 2018

English is generally fine in Kampala - upcountry local language is useful but there are so many different languages spoken that it's difficult to pick one, as every corner of the country has a different language. - Jun 2018

None. - Jun 2018

English is widely spoken. All children are educated in English. There are over 50 ethnic languages, Luganda being the most prominent in the central region, but it is not necessary to speak any of them. You will inevitably pick up a few words here and there. - Jun 2014

None. - Oct 2013

None. That being said, though, there is still a language barrier. Accents, slang, and other factors do impart a certain degree of communication difficulty. Locals are very quick to just nod and say "yes" even though they have no idea what you are talking about. Be sure to speak clearly, and maybe make your point a couple different ways before assuming they understand. - Mar 2013

None. English is the market language. We knew some Swahili but never used it, as it is the language of the military and sometimes has negative connotations. - Sep 2009


Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More