A language of Uganda

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

2,330,000 (2002 census), increasing. 142,000 Hororo, 1,643,000 Hima.


Southwest, mostly Mbarara, Bushenyi, Isingiro, Kiruhura, Ibanda, Ishaka, Rubirizi, and Ntungamo districts.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Hima, Hororo. Hima may be a separate language similar to Tuku [ttj] and Hema [nix] in DRC. 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] and English [eng].

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, 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, Muslim.