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Everything You Need to Know About the Kinyarwanda Language

Everything You Need to Know About the Kinyarwanda Language

Kinyarwanda Language

After the release of Black Panther, everybody wished Wakanda was real and not only because it is a beautiful place but because of what it represents. But that’s the thing about movies and TV shows, no matter how much we like them, we can’t live in the world they have created, we have to exist in the real world. And the real world can be pretty disappointing at times. For instance, there is no metal named Vibranium in the real world, no king in an African country with superpowers. But just because our world can’t live up to the universe shown in the movies, doesn’t mean it is all bad.

There are plenty of things in the real world that can give a tough competition to the movies. In fact, there are things on earth that you won’t find in any of the movies. The problem is that most of us are unaware of these hidden gems, simply because we are too caught up in the stereotypes we have created. Everyone thinks that Asians are super smart. But that stereotype often adds a tremendous pressure on Asian kids who fail to perform well at school. Such stereotypes leave ever lasting impact on people.

Just like people in the West have stereotypes about Asians, Asians imagine life is great for everyone living in Europe or the USA. But in truth, the homeless in America live a pretty tough life and do not enjoy the white privilege that their fellow country men abuse freely. There are also a few stereotypes that almost everyone in the world thinks are true, except the people they are about. For instance, majority of people think that Africa is this scary place where crime and diseases are common and no one is ever safe. Although that thought may be true about some little part of the African continent, it doesn’t apply to every country in Africa. And if we are talking about crimes, then don’t they happen everywhere in the world?

  • What language is Kinyarwanda?

    Kinyarwanda is a Bantu language which is native to Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Tanzania. It is spoken by nearly 10 million people. It is mutually intelligible with Kirundi, which is the official language of Burundi. Out of the four official languages of Rwanda, Kinyarwanda is the only one which is spoken by all the native population.

  • How do you say hello in Kinyarwanda?

    Kinyarwanda is one of the four official languages of Rwanda and has almost 10 million native speakers. It is also spoken in Uganda, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of Congo. In Kinyarwanda, you can say ‘uraho’ to greet someone. But if you are responding to a hello, then you would have to say ‘uraho nawe.’

  • Is Kinyarwanda similar to Swahili?

    Kinyarwanda and Swahili are both official languages of Rwanda, along with English and French. But the two hardly share any similarities. Both Kinyarwanda and Swahili are Bantu languages. But they are very different from each other. Kinyarwanda is mutually intelligible with Kirundi, which is spoken in the neighboring country of Burundi.

  • What is I love you in Kinyarwanda?

    Rwanda is a multilingual country, but the most popular vernacular which is spoken by almost all the natives is Kinyarwanda. There are simple words in Kinyarwanda for complex emotions. You can say I love you in Kinyarwanda with the word ‘ndagukunda.’ If you want to say I love you so much in Kinyarwanda then you will have to use the phrase ‘ndagukunda cyane.’

The Hidden Gems in Africa:


Natural beauty is in abundance in Africa but there are also countries that have exceeded people’s expectations and have performed well on all fronts in the last few decades. The continent has a rich history. The oldest human remains that date back to almost 200,000 years were discovered in Ethiopia. The wild life in Africa needs no introduction. There is a reason wildlife photographers camp in the continent frequently to catch animals in their natural habitat.

The world’s biggest river and biggest desert both are in Africa. Rwanda, one of the world’s safest countries, is also in Africa. Crime rate in Rwanda is pretty low and when it comes to tourists, the crime is almost extinct. The country is not only famous for its tree gardens and greenery but also for its delicious food, friendly locals, and the lakeside resorts. Anyone who is visiting Rwanda, can’t resist staying at one of the many lakeside resorts, if only for the view from the window.

The country is also pretty active in its efforts against global warming. Government backed tree plantation drives and nation-wide plastic bags ban will make you wonder if Wakanda is real and you never noticed it.

Kinyarwanda Language:

The official language of Rwanda is Kinyarwanda but it is also spoken in other African countries. It is also native to Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda. Although Rwanda has three other official languages too (English, French, and Kiswahili), majority of the population speaks Kinyarwanda. The language has over forty million native speakers in the four countries where its spoken.

Everything You Need to Know About the Kinyarwanda Language:

There are many interesting aspects about the language of Rwanda. Whether you want to learn the language or just want to know more about it out of curiosity, here are the best facts about Kinyarwanda:

  • Kinyarwanda is a tonal language, which means there is a contrast between the high and low tones. The tonal system is based on a complex set of phonological rules.
  • There are over a thousand languages spoken in the African continent but Kinyarwanda has managed to stay the only native language of its people. Even the three other official languages in Rwanda have failed to take its place.
  • The power of Kinyarwanda made it cross borders and become famous in other countries too. That’s why the people of Uganda and Congo also speak it regularly.
  • Kinyarwanda is the language of communication in school. Kids start learning all the rules of the language from an early class. This step was taken to shake off the impact of French and English and reconnect children with their true roots.
  • It is a part of the Bantu language family, which in turn is a sub group of the Niger-Congo family.
  • Kinyarwanda uses a Latin script for writing which also speaks about the history of the language and how long it has been around.

If you plan on visiting an African country this year, keep Rwanda in your mind. Not only will you get to enjoy the natural beauty of the country but also the friendly nature and hospitality of the local population. It is up to us to defeat stereotypes and get to know each other better. But we can’t do any of that from the comfort of our homes. We need to get out in the world and interact with each other to make first hand impressions, instead of believing the lies of the media. Hopefully a trip to Rwanda will change things for you.

If we can help you with any questions, please feel free to contact us

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