Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The Basics of Kinyarwanda: A Guide for New Arrivals and Kigali Expats

Are you a new arrival in Kigali struggling to communicate in Kinyarwanda? You’re not alone. Many expats find the language difficult and often wonder if it’s worth the effort to learn anything beyond the basics. But with a little effort and practice, you can start speaking Kinyarwanda with confidence.

In this guide, we’ve compiled the essential Kinyarwanda phrases to help you get by in everyday conversations. From greetings and common expressions to questions and requests, you’ll learn everything you need to know to start speaking Kinyarwanda.

English Kinyarwanda Phonetic
Hello Muraho mor-AH-ho
Good morning Mwaramutse MWA-ra-MOO-tsay
Good afternoon Mwiriwe MEE-ree-way
Good night Ijoro ryiza
Goodbye Muramuke
Thank you Murakoze moo-RAH-coh-zay
Yes Yego YAY-go
No Oya OY-a
Who Inde
What Iki
Where Hehe
Why Kubera iki
When Ryari
How Gute
How are you Amakuru
I’m fine Ni meza
What’s your name Witwa nde
My name is… Nitwa…
Where are you from Uturuka hehe
I am from… Mvuka…
Where do you live Utuye he
I live… Ntuye…
Do you understand Urumva
I don’t understand Ntabwo mbyumva
Help me Mfasha
Do you have… Ufite…

Other Articles



  1. Hello,i am still available for those who are interested in kinyarwanda lessons,i am a rwandan with 5 years ofexperience in teaching kinyarwanda to expats, i am professional and punctual .call jacques on 0785291363 to schedule your first lesson.!

    • Would basic english/french be passable in Rwanda?

      I speak fluent english and understand basic French, Spanish, Hindi/Urdu..
      How difficult would daily communication be for me?

  2. You’ll be fine with English and basic French is a bonus, especially if you’ll be out of Kigali. But I get by fine with just English and terrible French.

  3. I am a Kinyarwanda teacher from Huye. I m a specialist in teaching methodology with more than 3 years experience of teaching expats. I am available. Please contact me on 0783121993/ 0785300077

  4. Would like to learn Kinyarwanda. Am Ugandan. Live in Ruyenzi, work in Kacyiru. Either early morning in Ruyenzi or luch hour in Kacyiru.

  5. For the time being…i’m living in Tanzania…but i relly wish to be an expert in speaking and using kinyarwanda…i just happen to love the language.
    I wonder if someone can give me a hand on that!!?

    • It is good, simple and possible. I can help you. I am a teacher by profession with 10 years of experience (A0 in Language teaching). Don’t hesitate to contact me on +250788214078/+250783280453.

  6. Hello,

    I am an expert in teaching adults ( Andragogy), especially in Kinyarwanda as far as I have a certificate taken from Peace Corps/Rwanda training as I was a Peace Corps Language and Cross-Culture Facilitator within 3 years ( from 2009- to 2012). I had also language consultation with VSO people and OAF people. I basically deliver basic, intermediate and advanced Kinyarwanda, depending on your level of understanding. Most of the time, I am available at the weekends and my rates are 5000rwf per hour and per each. Once interested, please contact me on 0788553570 or [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here