A language of Uganda

Alternate Names
Ateso, Bakedi, Bakidi, Elgumi, Etossio, Ikumama, Wamia

1,570,000 in Uganda (2002 census), increasing. Population total all countries: 1,909,000.


Amuria, Bukedea, Butaleja, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kamuli, Kumi, Pallisa, Ngora, Serere, and Sironko, Soroti, and Tororo districts; Lake Bisina, area.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing). De facto language of provincial identity in Tororo, 10 other districts.


Orom (Rom). Limited intelligibility with other varieties in the Teso-Turkana group. The dialect in Ngora is considered standard. Lexical similarity: 76% with Turkana [tuv], 75% with Ng’aKarimojong [kdj].


VSO; highly inflectional; grammatical tone; vowel harmony.

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, market, work. All ages. Positive attitudes. Used as L2 by Kenye [lke], Kumam [kdi].

Language Development
Literacy campaign in progress (2012). Taught in primary schools. Taught in secondary schools, as a subject. Poetry. Newspapers. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary. Bible: 1961.

Latin script [Latn], used since 1930.

Other Comments

Ethnonym: Iteso. Christian.

Also spoken in:

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