Uganda, like many African nations, was colonized by the British, and as a result, their national language is English. It's not people's first language-- most people speak the local language at home, and learn English when they go to school. Like most English speaking nations, Uganda has her own unique brand of English that's a little different from the rest. I've provided here a handy list of words and phrases that you should know if you ever come to Uganda.
"I have ever" - If you hear this phrase, you may think that the speaker means "I have always", but don't be fooled! It just means, "At some point in my life, I have..." ex: "I have ever seen someone standing on her head under a tree."
"Somehow" - any time you hear this, just substitute the word "somewhat" in your mind. It used to bother me, but now if I hear the word used the American way, I have to really think about it to determine if it's wrong. ex: "Are you sick?" "Somehow."
"Flu" - the first few times I was sick, people asked me if I had flu, and I said no. It took me a while to realize that here, "flu" is used like we use "cold" - a catch-all word for when you're feeling under the weather.
"He or she" - I'm pretty sure I have never heard the words "they" or "their" leave a Ugandan's mouth. Along with this is a formality of speech that feels so wordy to my American brain. ex: "Thank you all for gathering here tonight. If anyone left his or her towel outside, I would like to request him or her to take the time to go retrieve it after the meeting is adjourned". On the other hand, my African friends tease me that I eat my words (I don kno wha theyre taukin abou!)
"move" - can be substituted for any of the following words as appropriate: drive, walk, run, ride, etc. You get the idea. Makes sense, but took me some time to get used to.
"pants", "trousers" - if you use the wrong word, you may end up embarrassing yourself, as I have done on several occasions. ex: the time I whispered "I like your pants" to my friend on a crowded bus and he thought I was hitting on him.
"mzungo" - if you happen to have light colored skin, you will hear this word more than any other word. I think I mentioned that in a previous post.
"someone" - usually when I say the word someone, I don't know who a person is specifically. Here, it's rare to hear people refereed to directly by name. "Someone" is used to refer to a specific person, and I'm pretty sure that everyone always knows who the person is. ex: "Someone has cooked a delicious supper tonight", "Someone is about to step in the water I spilled."
"Sorry" - I think I've mentioned this before. My friends think it's so funny that Americans say "Are you OK?" if someone gets hurt. They say "Ohhh.... sorry!"
"Welbee back!" - instead of "Welcome home!" I have no idea where this came from, but it's by far my favorite African-Englishism.
These are all the words I can think of right now. If I think of a lot more, I'll do a part 2, because this was kinda fun. :)