Acholi (Lwo)

Acholi is spoken mainly in northern Uganda, particularly in districts of Gulu, Kitgum and Pader, known collectively as Acholiland, and in the Opari district of southern Sudan. According to the 2002 census, 1.2 million people speak Acholi, which belongs to the Western Nilotic branch of the Nilo-Saharan languages, and is closely related to Alur and Lango.

Acholi is also known as Acoli, Akoli, Acooli, Atscholi, Shuli, Gang, Lwoo, Lwo, Lok Acoli or Dok Acoli

The best-known piece of writing in Acholi is the Song of Lawino, an epic poem by Okot p'Bitek from Uganda. It was first published in 1966 and has been translated into quite a few other languages, including English.

Acholi alphabet and pronunciation

Acholi alphabet and pronunciation

Acholi is a tonal language with two tones: the low tone is marked by a grave accent (à) and the high tone by an acute accent (á)

Download an Acholi alphabet chart (Excel)

Sample text

I acakki piny Lok onoŋo tye, Lok tye bot Lubaŋa, Lok en Lubaŋa. Jami dcu en aye ceŋ otiyo, pe tye gin mo ma ceŋ giketo laboŋo en. I en con tye kwo, kwo meno con ceŋ pa dano.


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:1-3


Sample video in Acholi

Information about Acholi | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about the Acholi languagešoli

Resources for learning Acholi

Nilo-Saharan languages

Acholi, Alur, Aringa, Ateso, Avokaya, Baka, Bari, Beli, Bongo, Daza, Dholuo, Dinka, Dongotono, Fur, Gumuz, Jur Modo, Kanuri, Karamojong, Keliko, Komo, Lango, Lotuko, Lokoya, Lopit, Lugbara, Maasai, Ma'di, Mandari, Morokodo, Moru, Narim, Nuer, Nobiin, Old Nubian, Olu'bo, Shilluk, Toposa, Turkana, Uduk, Wa'di, Zaghawa, Zarma

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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