Rwanda

Understand

It’s been over a decade since the civil war and genocide of 1994 that devastated this tiny country, and it’s come a long way. Shake off your memories of war and expect a warm and friendly welcome to a beautiful country.

Talk

Kinyarwanda is the chief spoken language in Rwanda. It is also spoken in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the south of Uganda (Bufumbira-area). Kinyarwanda is a tonal language of the Bantu language family (Guthrie D61). Kinyarwanda is closely related to Kirundi spoken in the neighboring country Burundi and to Giha of western Tanzania.

English and French are also official languages, and many residents (particularly in urban areas) will speak one or the other in addition to Kinyarwanda.

Due to the mass movement of people over the past fifty years, a result of the country’s war-torn history, you will likely encounter several people who speak a handful of other languages spoken in the East African region (Kiswahili, Lingala, Luganda,…). Most traders in Rwanda will speak enough Kiswahili to make a sale! (source: Wikitravel)

 

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