Kumam dialect

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Native to Uganda
Region Teso District
Ethnicity Kumam people
Native speakers
170,000 (2002 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kdi
Glottolog kuma1275[2]

Kumam is a Southern Luo dialect of Uganda. Spoken by the Kumam people of Uganda. It is estimated that Kumam dialect has 82 percent lexical similarity with Acholi dialect, 81 percent with Langi dialect and 20 percent with Teso language.[3] However, these are often counted as separate languages despite common ethnic origins due to linguistic shift occasioned by geographical movement. Kumam is widely spoken in the Ugandan districts of Soroti, Kaberamaido, and Dokolo.

The alphabet[edit]

(ⅰ) There are twenty two letters in the Kumam alphabet F,H,Q,V,H,X and Z are not used and η and NY are added. F,H,Q,V,H,X,Z only appear in loan words. The pronunciation guides that follow are for practice only; the correct sounds can only be learned by practice from a teacher or an audio media.

(ⅱ)There are five vowels in Kumam A, E, I, O, U. These five letters, however, represent more than five sounds, for the letters E, I, O and U have two values each; a "close" value and an "open" value.

Basic lexicon[edit]

Hello – yoga
How are you? –Itiye benyo (singular), Itiyenu benyo (plural)
Fine, and you? – Atiye ber, arai bon yin?
Fine – Atiye ber or just ber
What is your name? – Nying in en Ngai?
My name is ... – Nying ango en ...
Name --- Nying
Nice to see you. --- Apwoyo Neno in (also: Apwoyo Neno wun)
See you again --- Oneno bobo
Book – Itabo
Because – Pi Ento

The first sentence in the bible can be translated as I ya gege, Rubanga ocweo wi polo kede piny ("In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth" ).


  1. ^ Kumam at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Kumam". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ http://www.ethnologue.com/language/kdi