L1 users: 2,960,000 (2014 census), increasing. Census based on tribal affiliation.
Bugiri, Mayuge, Buyende, Iganga, Jinja, Kamuli, Luuka, and Namayingo districts; between lakes Victoria and Kyoga. Lulamogi dialect: Kaliro district; Lusiginyi and Lukono dialects: Namutumba district.
5 (Developing). De facto language of provincial identity in Iganga, 4 other districts.
Tenga (Lutenga), Lamogi (Lamoogi, Lulamogi, Lulamoogi), Siki (Lusiginyi, Lusiki, Siginyi), Diope (Ludiope), Nholo (Lunholo), Kigulu (Lukigulu), Gweri (Lugweri), Luuka, Tembé (Lutembe), Gabula (Lugabula), Lukono. Lamogi (Lamoogi)and Siki (Siginyi) dialects are mutually intelligible of Gwere [gwr] and Kenye [lke]. Lexical similarity: Lutenga dialect; 82%–86% with Ganda [lug], 77%– 81% with Kenye [lke], 69%–78% with Lulamoogi [xog], 64% with Gwere [gwr], 58% with Saamia [luy]. Lulamoogi dialect; 89%–92% with Lusiginyi; 83%–88% with Kenye [lke], and 81%–82% with Gwere [gwr]. Lusiginyi dialect; 83%–84% with Kenye [lke], and 79%–82% with Gwere.
For Tenga dialect: SVO; 5 vowels, 23 consonants; highly agglutinating; lexical and grammatical tone.
Latin script [Latn], used since 1996.
Welmers (1973) and Ladefoged (1971) list Soga [xog], Gwere [gwr], and Kenyi (Kenye) [lke] separately. Kenye and Gwere may be dialects of Soga, Gwere being the most geographically distant. Only Tenga, the major and widely held standard dialect, has development in progress. Lamoogi and Siginyi dialects are largely undescribed and still unwritten. Speakers of Lamoogi and Siginyi consider themselves different ethnic groups, though loosely part of the wider Soga Kingdom. These varieties are all very similar and largely intelligible.