The Banyole live in eastern Uganda. They call their language Lunyole.
Some background information
In 1964 some Banyole who were zealous about the development of their language came together and formed the Lunyole Language Association, known locally as “Ehibbubbu Hy’Olulimi Olunyole (EHYO)”. The major aim of the Association was to promote Banyole culture and language with an additional aim of developing a writing system for Lunyole and putting the rich heritage of the Banyole into writing. Under the Association, the late Rev. Canon Asanasiyo Malingha Ngwede and the late Dani Mubene attempted to begin the work of Bible translation in Lunyole. However, due to the unfavourable political developments in this country, the work was not able to continue.
The Lunyole Bible Translation Committee, a local organization with representatives from all church denominations in the area, was formed in 1993. Their vision was to have the Word of God in their own language. In 1999, two missionary families were sent by SIL to serve among the Banyole and study their language. They assisted with the creation of an orthography for writing Lunyole. The first book from the Bible to be published was Jonah to test the new orthography. Full-time translation began in 2005, and the Gospel of Mark was published in 2006.
Other language development activities have also been undertaken alongside Bible translation. A Lunyole-English dictionary was produced and published in August 2012, both in print and online. In addition, the Lunyole literacy and Scripture engagement team has conducted literacy courses, and writers’ workshops and trained literacy teachers to teach both adults and children to read Lunyole. They have also produced many books including basic literacy and transition literacy primers, a Lunyole orthography guide, easy reading books for inclusion in a Mother Tongue Education program, various Bible story books and Bible Study Guides.
The Lunyole New Testament was launched in January 2017 and Old Testament translation is now going on. SIL continues to support this work by providing consultant services.
Some available resources
Lunyole New Testament, 2017 – text and audio
Genesis and Exodus
Lunyole Orthography & Spelling Guides, 2006
Lunyole Primer (Hwege Ohusoma Olunyole), 2006
Lunyole Dictionary, 2012 (online version here)
The JESUS film (watch online)
Various story books, proverbs, Bible study guides, and health materials
Visit the Lunyole project website to access more resources
Contact us for more information about language development work in Lunyole.