The Babwisi people speak the Lubwisi language. The Babwisi reside primarily in Bundibugyo district in Western Uganda where the number of mother-tongue speakers is over 100,000 people. The language is also spoken by about 31,000 more people in the Democratic Republic of Congo where it is called Kitalinga.


Until now there has been no Lubwisi dictionary available which could be used in schools, to encourage local writers to be more actively involved in committing their cultural stories, beliefs, and local history to paper, and to encourage the development of literature in Lubwisi.


This dictionary has been compiled from various sources. The initial database was based on linguistic research from 1991-2001 by Waller C. Tabb Jr. and Bishop Hannington Bahemuka. Since then, those working under the auspices of SIL International, including Rev. Timothy Bandirana, Godfrey Baguma, Richard Businge, Wilson Mubulya, Charles Musinguzi, and Lawrence Nkabwisira have added and updated many other words.


We are very much aware of the limitations of this first edition and welcome feedback and corrections. It is our intention to continue working on this dictionary—especially to make corrections where needed. In addition it is planned to make the dictionary available in electronic format on a website. This website will contain the complete dictionary, with alphabetic and semantic meaning based search facilities.


Our hope and prayer is that this dictionary will be an important step toward long-term Lubwisi language and culture preservation which should go hand in hand with development in the region.


Charles Musinguzi, Martin Diprose, and Waller C. Tabb Jr.
September 2012

SIL International
PO Box 750