Luo/Acholi/Langolanguage page

Classification and where spoken

Luo, Acholi, and Lango are three mutually intelligible languages of the Southern Luo group and the Western Nilotic branch of Eastern Sudanic. Luo is spoken in Kenya and Tanzania; Lango and Acholi are spoken in Uganda.

Number of speakers

Grimes (1996) gives 3,408,000 as the number of Luo speakers in all countries. The 1969 Kenya census notes 1.96 million people who give Luo as their "tribal or national affiliation." Johnson (1978) notes 2.02 million in Kenya, or 14 percent of the population.

UBS (1982) notes 465,000 Acholi speakers in Uganda. Bavin (personal communication, 1983) estimates 500,000 Acholi and 300,000 Lango speakers in Uganda. Voegelin and Voegelin (1977) estimate 534,000 Lango and Acholi speakers and 805,000 Luo speakers. Grimes (1996) gives 773,800 as the number of Acholi speakers and cites the 1991 Uganda census as listing 977,680 Lango speakers.


Luo, Acholi, and Lango may be considered local languages. Luo is broadcast on the Voice of Kenya.

Orthographic status

Scheven (personal communication, 1983) states there is a standardized orthography, but Bavin (personal communication, 1983) states no standardized orthography is acceptable to all groups.

Sets of learning materials

Three sets of learning materials are suggested.

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