Rukiga Color Terms

This page provides the basic details of color terms in Rukiga relevant for a beginner language learner. In Rukiga the term for colors is erangi or sometimes amabara. It is important to note that some of these term are neo-Rukiga terms that were developed more recently as an effort to expand Rukiga as a language. Many Bakiga do not necessarily know or use some of these terms commonly, but instead use English loan words, i.e. “bululu” for blue rather than kiguru, the neo-Rukiga word. The terms that many Bakiga understand directly are the terms for black, white, and red, while the others depend on the person. It took some time to gather all of these color terms due to the patchwork nature of their use.

Similar to most other parts of Rukiga these terms as adjectives are influenced by the noun class of the noun and follow the prefix based on said noun class. What I provide below is the general color term which is then modified as appropriate based on the noun class.

The following are the color terms in Rukiga using both traditional Rukiga and neo-Rukiga terms. Where there are two words, I put the one first that seems to me to be more commonly used:

Black – Kikara / Mwiranguju

Grey – Ruhuuzimu

White – Kitare / Mutare

Cream – Kihondo

Brown – Kigaaju

Red – Kituku

Maroon – Kisooni

PInk – Kitojo/Kirandagasi

Orange – Kicungwa

Yellow – Kihongwa / Kinekye

Green – Kiyansi / Kibabi

Blue – Kiguru

Purple – Bujwa


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.