Using Ebifundiwazo (Acronyms) to form scientific concepts in Luganda

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“Ekifundiwazo” (Acronym) is a blend from the words in the phrase “ekigambo ekyatulwa mu bufunze bw’ensirifu” (initialized word spoken out as a full word). “Okufundiwaza” (acronymizing) is a word formation process which is a subtype of blending. Did you know that the word “acronym” itself is an abbreviation?

An acronym in full is: “A Common Representation of Names you must shorten”. It is said that the English word “NEWS” is an acronym from initials or abbreviations of the words “North” abbreviated (N), “East” abbreviated (E),“West” abbreviated (W) and South abbreviated (S). The implication is that information broadcast by media houses should come from all the directions.

Other Important English acronyms which we cannot avoid using in Scientific Luganda are “LASER” and “RADAR”. “LASER” is an acronym for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” in Luganda we simply call it “Ekyongezamasoboza ga Kitangaala” whose acronym is “EKYOKI”. “Amasoboza” is energy, “Ekyongezamasoboza” is amplification and “ekitangaala” is light. This is made possible by what we call “okwongeza enfulumya y’emigendo gy’olubugumu”, Luganda for “stimulated emission of radiation”. Laser-guided bomb is “bbomu egoberera amasoboza g’ekitangaala” or “Bbomu y’ekyoki”.

“Radar” is an acronym for “Radio Detection and Ranging”, in Luganda I have called it “Ekiketto eky’Amayengo ga Leediyo”. The acronym is “EKIKENGO”. So the Luganda concept for “RADAR” is “EKIKENGO”. Ekiketto kiva mu kikolwa kya kuketta (to detect).

Kino kyeyambisibwa okuketta, okubaza obuwanvu n’okukuba ebifaananyi b’ebiddukira mu bwengula ng’ennyonyi oba enkuba mu bwengula nga weyambisa “amayengo ga lediyo” (radio waves). Amayengo ga lediyo ag’amaanyi gafulumizibwa olwo ori gwe gatuukako n’awuliriza okufuna amaddannyuma (reflected echoes). Generally you can see that an acronym is a set of abbreviations formed by the initials of two or more words. These components may be:

I. Individual letters. Like the letters making up a word such as the Luganda math word “NESI “(for English GCF) or EESE the Luganda math word for English LCM. “NESI” in full is Nambuluzo Eyawamu Esingayo (Greatest Common Factor) and EESE in full is Enkubise Eyawamu Esembayo (Lowest Common Multiple).

II. Parts of words. This makes acronyms closely related to blends in some instances. A good example is the Luganda concept of EKKAMUSO an acronym from the Words “Endaga ya Kkala za Musoke” which is Luganda for “the Rainbow Spectrum”. So is the acronym EKYOKI (Rasor) from the words “Ekyongezamasoboza ga Kitangaala” and the acronym “EKIKENGO” (RADAR) from the Luganda words “Ekiketto eky’Amayengo ga Leediyo”.