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Useful phrases in Kinyarwanda

A collection of useful phrases in Kinyarwanda, a Bantu language spoken in mainly in Rwanda.

Cick on any of the phrases that are links to hear them spoken. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

To see these phrases in many other languages click on the English versions. If you'd like to see these phrases in any combination of two languages, try the Phrase Finder.

Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).

English Ikinyarwanda (Kinyarwanda)
Welcome Murakaza neza
Hello (General greeting) Muraho
Bite (inf)
How are you? Amakuru?
Umeze gute?
Reply to 'How are you?' Ni meza
Long time no see  
What's your name? Witwa nde?
My name is ... Nitwa ...
Where are you from? Muturuka he?
I'm from ...  
Pleased to meet you Ndabishimiye (sg)
Nishimiye kuba menya (pl/frm)
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Mwiriwe neza
Good night Muramuke
(Parting phrases)
Mwirirwe (afternoon)
Muramuke (evening)
Good luck Amahirwe masa
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Kubuzima bwacu!
Have a nice day Umunsi Mwiza
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Urugendo Rwiza
I understand Ndabyumva
I don't understand Sinumva
I don't know Simbizi
Please speak more slowly Vuga buhoro buhoro
Please say that again Subiramo
Please write it down  
Do you speak English? Uvuga icyongereza?
Do you speak Kinyarwanda? Uvuga Ikinyarwanda?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
How do you say ... in Kinyarwanda? Uvuga ngwiki ... mu Kinyarwanda?
Excuse me Imbabazi
Ndasaba inzira
How much is this? Nangahe?
Sorry Babarira
Wihangane (expression of sympathy)
Thank you Murakoze
Murakoze cyane
Reply to thank you Ntacyo
Where's the toilet? Aho kwituma ni he?
This gentleman will pay for everything  
This lady will pay for everything  
Would you like to dance with me?  
I miss you Ndagukumbuye
I love you Ndagukunda
Get well soon Urware ubukira
Go away!  
Leave me alone! Mvaho! Ndakwiyamye!
Call the police! Hamagara polisi!
Christmas and New Year greetings Noheri nziza n'umwaka mushya muhire
Easter greetings Pasika Nziza
Birthday greetings Isabukuru rwiza
Ugire umunsi mwiza wivuko ryawe
One language is never enough  
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?