Fact corner

  • Language: Acholi
  • Alternate names: Acoli, Atscholi, Shuli, Gang, Lwo, Lwoo, Akoli, Acooli, Log Acoli, Dok Acoli
  • SIL-code: Ethnologue:ach
  • Language family: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Western, Luo, Southern, Luo-Acholi, Alur-Acholi, Lango-Acholi
  • Number of speakers: 791,796
  • Script: Latin script


Acholi is a language primarily spoken by the Acholi people in the districts of Gulu, Kitgum and Pader, a region known as Acholiland in northern Uganda. Acholi is also spoken in the southern part of the Magwi county of Sudan. Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol, well known among African literature, were written in Acholi by Okot p'Bitek.

Acholi is one of the Luo languages, of the Western Nilotic branch of Nilo-Saharan. Acholi, Alur and Lango have between 84 and 90 per cent of their vocabulary in common and thus are mutually intelligible.

The verb

Sample verb: mako

Present Past Future Subjunctive Imperative
Sg.1 amako amako abimako amaki maki!
Sg.2 imako imako ibimako imaki
Sg.3 mako omako bimako omaki
Pl.1 wamako wamako wabimako wamaki / wamaku maku!
Pl.2 wumako wumako wubimako wumaki
Pl.3 gimako gimako / gumako gibimako gimaki / gumaku

Sample verbs

Click verbs to conjugate them in the table above!
bino, buto, bwolo, cako, camo, cito, goyo, kelo, kwalo, mako, maro, mito, neko, neno, tedo, tero, tiyo, tuko, tweyo.

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