There are many phonetic and linguistical differences between Ngakarimojong and English. Both cultures find the other language difficult to speak, partly because of their different phonetic sounds – sounds that the other culture is accustomed to speaking naturally.

For instance:
In Ngakarimojong, some letters are interchangeable – s and th, f and p, l and r. Most of this is just the fact that they can’t really hear the difference. In English, there is a MAJOR difference if you switch out certain letters. “Put it there” becomes “Foot it there” and so on.
I love these little cultural differences. It makes life hilarious. E.g…..

It was a nice, sunny day in Karamoja. I was baking bread in our kitchen, sweat running down my face. As I set the dough aside to rise, I heard a strange noise coming in the window – a sort of garbled yelling.

I leaned out the kitchen door to hear my youngest sister’s voice raised in song.

“Raaaaaaamen!!!” she sang as she skated across the cement pad. Her song was echoed by five Karimojong kids leaning against our chainlink fence –

“LLAAAAAMEEENNN!!!!!!” they cried.

I started to smile. Anna and Mary came to the door, along with Megan, our teacher. We all started laughing.

“Sister RAMEN!!!!” cried Kipsy as she swung around a pole.


“How I love you!!!!”


“Raa – amen!!!!”


By this time, we were all entirely dying of laughter. Kipsy then proceeded to replace “Ramen” with all the names of her various siblings. We all stood in the kitchen, cracking up at their “Karimojonglish”.

Kipsy slouched into Math class this morning, a disgruntled air about her.

“What’s up, Kip?” I asked.

“Dude. The Lamen kids are outside again, and I want to go sing.”

Her face broke into a bemused grin as she watched me collapse with laughter.

Like I said, it makes life hilarious.


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