English is widely spoken as the lingua franca, but Swahili will come in handy in places (though many Ugandans do not speak Swahili at all, it is a common African trade language). As English is the official language, many people in the major cities speak English (though to varying degrees of fluency). Dozens of African languages are spoken in Uganda, the most common being Luganda and Lusoga.
A few words or stock phrases in the various dialects are very easy to learn and most locals will be delighted to help you learn the highly ritualised greeting, and in turn, every person you greet in this way will be delighted to meet you. olio-tia = how are you?; bulungi/gendi = i am fine; jabalay = how is it here/how is work?; kalay = ok Nyabo = madam; ssebo = sir
Mzungu = European, but used more commonly to refer to all foreign and, especially, white people The Swahili ‘Hujambo’ meaning hello is used everywhere and you will hear lots of ecstatic children waving, jumping, hopping and singing Jambo mzungu as you roll past.