Native toUganda
RegionLango sub-region
EthnicityLango people
Native speakers
2.1 million (2014 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3laj

Lango (also called Leb-Lango) is a Southern Luo language or dialect cluster of the Western Nilotic language branch.[4] The word "Lango" is used to describe both the language spoken by the indigenous and the tribe itself.

It is mainly spoken in Lango sub-region, in the North Central Region of Uganda. An orthography for it using the Latin script has been introduced and is taught in primary schools.

The origin of Lango people is strongly linked to the Karamojong and Teso speaking people.[5]

Flag of the Lango People



Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Stop voiceless p t k
voiced b d g
Affricates voiceless
Fricatives (ɸ) (s) (ɕ) (x)
Lateral l
Tap voiceless (ɾ̥)
voiced ɾ
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Semivowel w j

In addition to these consonants, the Lango language maintains a gemination distinction in the stops, affricates, nasals and lateral. Voiceless stops and affricates are slightly aspirated, whereas voiced stops and affricates are fully voiced, sometimes with a characteristic of breathy voice. Stops are normally unreleased at the end of an utterance.

Fricatives and the voiceless alveolar tap are found in complementary distribution with ungeminated voiceless stops and affricates:[4]


Kumam has ten vowels, forming an asymmetric vowel harmony system based on advanced and retracted tongue root, wherein the presence of advanced tongue root vowels [+ATR] may change retracted tongue root vowels [-ATR], but the reverse does not hold. Vowels can be lengthened but in a predictable manner.[4]

[+ATR] [-ATR]
Front Central Back Front Back
Close i u ɪ ʊ
Mid e ə o ɛ ɔ
Open a

Writing system

Lango alphabet[6]
a b c d e ë g i ï j k l m n ŋ ny o ö p r t u ü w y

Long vowels are indicated by doubling the vowel: ⟨aa, ee, ëë, ii, ïï, oo, öö, uu, üü⟩.


  1. ^ Lango at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian (2023-07-10). "Glottolog 4.8 - Southern Lwoo". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. doi:10.5281/zenodo.7398962. Archived from the original on 2023-11-21. Retrieved 2023-11-20.
  3. ^ Glottopedia article on Lango language.
  4. ^ a b c Noonan, Michael (2011). A Grammar of Lango. doi:10.1515/9783110850512. ISBN 9783110850512.
  5. ^ Uzoigwe, G. N. (1973). The beginnings of Lango society : a review of evidence. OCLC 38562622.
  6. ^ Teacher's Guide Lëblaŋo: An atwërö kwan kede cöc (PDF). Uganda Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports, National Curriculum Development Centre. 2014. p. 286.