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Kirundi: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spoken in Burundi
Region Central Africa
Total speakers 4.6 million
Language family Niger-Congo
Official status
Official language in Burundi
Regulated by No official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1 rn
ISO 639-2 run
ISO 639-3 run

Kirundi (also written Rundi) is a Bantu language (D62 in Guthrie's classification) spoken by some 6 million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as in Uganda. 84% of the speakers are Hutu, 15% are Tutsi and 1% are Twa.

Kirundi is closely related to Kinyarwanda, the main language of neighbouring country Rwanda and to Giha, a language spoken in western Tanzania. Kirundi and Kinyarwanda are mutually intelligible.

The inhabitants of Rwanda and Burundi belong to three different ethnic groups: Bahutu, Batutsi, and Batwa (a pygmy people). The fact that these ethnic groups share the same language is assumed to be the result of the Bahutu outnumbering the latter two groups (see Bahutu for a more complete historical perspective).

Kirundi is frequently cited as a language where Meeussen's rule, a rule describing a certain pattern of tonal change in Bantu languages, is active.

Example translations
Ego Yes
Oya No
Uravuga icongereza? Do you speak English?
Bite? What's Up?
Mwaramutse Hi/Good Morning
Ikirundi n'ikinyarwanda bisa nk'igi czek n'igi slovak Kirundi and Kinyarwanda are closely related like Czech and Slovak
Amata Milk
Ejo Yesterday
Eejo° Tomorrow
Nzoza ejo/Nzoz'ejo I will come tomorrow
Ubu Now
Faransa/Ubufaransa France
Ngereza/Ubwongereza England
Leta zunz'ubumwe z'amerika United States of America
Ubudagi Germany
Ububirigi Belgium
°N.B. eejo is pronounced the same as ejo:
the other e is written for differentiation.


  • Meeussen, A.E. (1959) Essai de grammaire Rundi Annales du Musée Royal du Congo Belge, Série Sciences Humaines - Linguistique, vol. 24. Tervuren

External links

Kirundi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Alternative forms

Proper noun




  1. a Bantu language spoken in Burundi, and by refugees etc in Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda.

External links


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