Tuesday, 8 September 2015

A chat with Bernard Sabiti, author of "Uglish: A Dictionary of Ugandan English.

English has become an international language to the extent that it now has many different varieties of which the most well known are the British and American varieties.

However, because English has been adopted as an official, or second, language in many countries, the language has developed as many flavours as there are communities that speak it.

In this regard Uganda is no exception in that a variety of English that is flavoured by the peculiarities of Uganda's cultures and languages has emerged over the past few decades.

Ugandan English, or Uglish as it has come to be known in some quarters, has hardly been studied and, as such, there is very little written about it.

It is this lack of literature on the subject of Ugandan English that motivated Bernard Sabiti to write a a book on the history and nature of this variety of English. The result of Sabiti's work is the little book "Uglish: A dictionary of Ugandan English".

This book attempts to give a bit of an academic treatment to Ugandan English while not taking itself too seriously. The result is a fun read for people interested in Ugandan English or Uglish.

I had a chat with Bernard Sabiti about his book, and Uglish in general, and this video is a summation of his thoughts on the subject of Ugandan English and the discoveries he made while writing his book.