A language of Uganda

Alternate Names
Nkole, Nyankole, Olunyankole, Runyankole, Ulunyankole, Ulunyankore

2,330,000 (2002 census), increasing.


Bushenyi district: Ishaka municipality; Kiruhura, Rubirizi, Isingiro, Mbarara, Ntungamo, and Ibanda districts; also Kasese, Kamwenge, and Kabale districts.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational). De facto language of provincial identity in Bushenyi, Mbarara, Ntungamo districts.


Hima, Hororo. Hima dialect may be a separate language similar to Tuku [ttj] and Hema [nix] in Democratic Republic of Congo. Lexical similarity: 78%–96% between Nyankore, Nyoro [nyo], and their dialects; 84%–94% with Chiga [cgg], 75%–86% with Tooro (Nyoro) [nyo], 81% with Zinza [zin], 78% with Nyambo [now], 74% with Haya [hay], 68% with Kerewe [ked].

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Chiga [cgg], English [eng]. Used as L2 by Chiga [cgg].

Language Development
Taught in primary schools. Taught in secondary schools, as a subject. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. Radio programs. Films. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1964–1989.

Latin script [Latn], used since 1964.

Other Comments

Standardized form of the western languages (Nyankore-Chiga and Nyoro-Tooro) is called Runyakitara taught at the University and used in internet browsing, but is a hybrid language. Ethnic groups: Bahima, Bairu. Christian.