You might be surprised to learn just how many languages are spoken in Africa. Since most countries across the vast continent use English, French, Arabic, or another lingua franca at the national level, it’s easy to overlook the 2,000+ indigenous languages that populate Africa, but they’re certainly there, many with a sizable community of speakers. In Northern Africa, indigenous languages are less common, with Arabic having effectively taken over most of the land, but in sub-Saharan Africa, indigenous languages, such as Acholi, are abundant.
A total of roughly 2.1 million people, mostly in Uganda and South Sudan, speak Acholi. Specifically, Acholi is spoken in the northern Ugandan districts of Gulu, Kitgum, and Pader, together known as Acholiland, as well as in Magwi County in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state. Even though Acholi is one of the larger languages in the highly multilingual Uganda, English and Swahili reign supreme as the lingua francas, which put pressure on Acholi. A secondary consequence is a scarcity of translation resources. So, we at TranslationServices.com put together our own Acholi translation team, and we’re happy to help anyone looking for Acholi translation.
Quotes for our Acholi translation services are free—so why not request one?
What is Acholi like?
Acholi comes from the Nilotic branch of the Nilo–Saharan language, which accounts for most of the languages in northern Uganda. It shares strong mutual intelligibility with some other Nilotic languages in the region, including Alur and Jo Padola, although ironically, Labwor (Thur), once considered a dialect of Acholi, exhibits far less mutual intelligibility. Acholi is a tonal language and is written in the Latin alphabet, like many indigenous African languages, but without tonal markings, which can create ambiguity and confusion.
Acholi is an agglutinative language, which means it largely relies on affixes attached to stem words for its grammar. Pronouns are generally optional, since adding a subject prefix to the verb is mandatory. Adding a dedicated pronoun adds emphasis. The language lacks a verb for “to have,” instead expressing such sentiments as “I am with,” like in Swahili. Possessive adjectives (i.e., “my,” “your,” “their,” etc.) are appended to the end of a noun as a suffix. Demonstratives and adjectives come after the noun, like in French. Acholi tenses are also complicated—the language features four different past tenses, depending on how long ago the action took place.
We’re here for all your Acholi translation needs.
Our Acholi translation team is made up of proud native-speaking Acholi translators eager to help you smoothly bridge the communication gap. Whether you need translation services to Acholi or from Acholi, we’re determined to serve you with professionalism and expertise.
If you run a business or brand in northern Uganda and you want to expand out, you’ll need English materials—we can translate them if they’re in Acholi. You may also like to translate historical Acholi documents or traditional Acholi stories, both of which are services we also proudly offer. Or maybe you’re looking to translate materials into Acholi instead. If you want to promote your products or services to Acholi speakers, we’ll help you connect with them with flowing Acholi. Perhaps you’d like to create educational texts in Acholi for local schoolchildren—just let us handle it! Or maybe you want to translate interesting books, games, websites, apps, poems, and more into Acholi, helping locals enjoy their language more and learners better acquire it.
We’re ready to translate to and from Acholi—just reach out to let us know what you want!