Lak Lyec pe loyo rwede

My language teacher graciously breaks up hard language instructions with Acholi cultural observations and proverbs.  The latest one was “Lak Lyec pe loyo rwede”, which means the tusk of an elephant is not too heavy for it to carry.  He explained it as “that which is yours cannot defeat you”, specifically relating it to parents with unruly children, who are difficult to discipline.  I personally can relate this phrase to a whole host of scenarios, especially in regards to learning Acholi. The words are coming more easily now, but the tonal aspect and the dialect are still tough to figure out.  Usually when I street test my language abilities, I get blank stares.  Another Boren fellow, who is learning a different Ugandan language, and I surmised that native speakers might not be used to hearing foreigners speak in their tongue.  They may have not honed their skill for deciphering heavily accented language.  It’s just a theory…but it makes me feel better.


My language instructor breaking down an Acholi proverb