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Useful phrases in Kinyarwanda

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

To see these phrases in many other languages click on the English versions.

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
(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?
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)
Murabeho / Mwirirwe (afternoon) / Muramuke (evening) / Turongera
Good luck Amahirwe masa / Mwishyuke
(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 / Simbyumva
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?
Yes, a little
Uvuga Ikinyarwanda?
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 cyane
Where's the toilet? Aho kwituma ni he?
This gentleman/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?

Some Kinyarwanda phrases supplied by Kazage J Christophe Utuje

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me. You can make recordings on you computer, tablet, phone or other device and email them to me. Audacity is a good, free sound recorder and editor. You can also make them online at, or similar sites.

Information about Kinyarwanda | Phrases | Tower of Babel | Language learning materials


Other collections of Kinyarwanda phrases

Phrases in Niger-Congo languages

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Phrases in other languages