Sunday, February 26, 2006

Rwandan Dictionary (Kinyarwanda-English)

"Imana yirirwa ahandi igataha mu Rwanda."
"God spends the day elsewhere, but sleeps in Rwanda."


In the weeks before I left Washington, I desperately searched, online and in bookstores, for a book with Rwandan vocabulary. I found nothing. So--in an effort to help those who may be coming here, I'm going to try to keep up this dictionary with the new words I learn! They're written phonetically. I will try to write the correct spellings as well, if I know them.

Everything is in Kinyarwanda unless otherwise noted. My one disclaimer is that this list could never hope to be fully comprehensive. This list can be used elsewhere so long as it is made available for free and is properly attributed!

General Greetings, Etc.

Good morning: MwahRahMootZAY (Mwaramutse)
Good afternoon: MweeReeWay (Mwiriwe)
Hello (if haven't seen in a while): MooRahHoh (Muraho)
Hello (pidgin Swahili): JahmBoh (Jambo)
Sir: BgahNah (Bwana)
Madam: MahDahm (Madame)
How are you?: AhMahKooRoo (Amakuru)
How are you? (reciprocated): AhMahKooRoo Yah Way (Amakuru yawe)
How are you doing?: OoMAYzay GOOtay? (Umeze gute)
What's up?: BEEtess? (Bitese?)
What's up? (Very familiar, with close friends): BEEtess shah? (Bite se sha?)
I'm fine: Nee MAYza (Ni meza)
I'm not good: MayZay NahBee (Meze nabi)
I'm fine: MAYzay NAYzah (Meze neza)
Thank you: MooRahKohZay (Murakoze)
Thank you very much(Swahili): AhSANtee SAHna (Ahsante Sana)
You, too: NahWay (Nawe)
Goodbye (afternoon): MeeReeGway (Mwirirwe)
Goodbye (evening): MooRahMooKeyAy (Muramuke)
Goodbye (if not going to see for a while): MooRahBAYho (Murabeho)
See you tomorrow: Nah HAYJoh (Ni ahejo)
See you next time/soon
: TooRohnGayRah (Turongera)
Yes: YAYgo (Yego)
No: Oya (Oya)
Not at all!: AHSHWeeDAH (Ashwida)
Okay: SahWah (Sawa) (Swahili)
What's your name?: WitWAHNday? (Witwa nde)
My name is _____.: NEETwah _____. (Nitwa)
Nice to meet you (one person): NdahBeeSheemYay (Ndabishimiye)
Nice to meet you (plural, polite form): NeeSheemYay KooBah MenYah (Nishimiye kuba menya)
Good: MAYza (Meza)
Bad: BeeBee (Bibi)
Welcome: MooRahKahZah NayZa (Murakaza neza)
Welcome (Swahili): KahReeBoo (Karibu)
Feel at home: MooReeSahnGah (Murisanga)
Excuse me (also means "have compassion"): ImBahBahZee (Imbabazi)
Have a good day: OoMoonSee MweeZah (Umunsi Mwiza)
Have a good evening: OoMooGohRohBah MWEEZah (Umugoroba mwiza)
Have a good night: EeJoro GweeZah (Ijoro Rwiza)
Have a good trip: OoRooGenDoh GweeZah (Urugendo Rwiza)
Excuse me (e.g. if trying to get through a crowd) : NDahSahBah EenZeeRah (Ndasaba inzira)

Daily Conversation

What is your profession?: OoKohrEekEe? (Ukora iki?)
How is your family?: AhMahKooRoo YohMooRooGoh? (Amakuru yo murugo?)
Do you have time? Are you free?: OoFeetOomWahNyah? (Ufite umwanya)
I don't have time: Nhah MwahNeeAh MFeeTay (Nta mwanya mfite)
No problem: NAHkeyBAzoh (Ntakibazo)
No problem (Swahili): Hakuna Matata (or) Hamna Shida
I work for ________. : NhoRerAh ________ (Nkorera _____. )
I am an employee of ___.: NDooMooKohZee Wah ___. (Ndi umukozi wa ___.)
We work for _________. : DooKohRerAh _______ (Dukorera _____.)
I speak a little Kinyarwanda: KeenYahGwanda CheeAnJeeay NeeGeeKeeay (Kinyarwanda cyanje n'igikye)
I'm trying: NdaGayraGayZah (Ndagerageza)
I don't understand that: SeemByoomVah (Simbyumva)
I don't know: SeemBeeZee (Simbizi)
I know: NDahBeeZee (Ndabizi)
Repeat: SooBeeRahMoh (Subiramo)
Sorry (also, "Pity"):
BahBahReeRah (Babarira)
Sorry (expression of sympathy): WeeHahnGahnAy (Wihangane)
Me, too: NahJeeYay (Najye)
You, too: NahWay (Nawe)
Are you married?: OoRooBahtSay? (Urubatse?)
Are you single?: OoReenGahRahGoo? (Uri ingaragu?)
I am married: NDooBAhtSay (Ndubatse)
I am single: NDeenGahRahGoo (Ndi ingaragu)
Do you have children?: OoFeeTahBahNah? (Ufite abana?)
I don't have: SeemFeeTay (Simfite)

Beverages

Drinks: EeBeenYobGah (Ibinyobwa)
Milk (general):
AhMahTah (Amata)
Drinking milk: EenChiuChiu (inshyushyu)
Yogurt milk, like an Indian lassi: EeKeyVooGooToe (Ikivuguto)
Powdered milk: AhMahTah YeeFoo (Amata Y'ifu)
Water: AhMahZee (Amazi)
Cold water: AhMahZee AhConeJay (Amazi akonje)
Beer: EeBeeYehRee (Ibyeri)
Local brew: EeRahGwa or EeGwaGwa (Iragwa)
Tea: EeKEYAhYee (Icyayi)
Coffee: EeKAHwah (Ikawa)
Fruit juice: OoMooToeBay WeemBooToe (Umutobe w'imbuto)
Coke: CoCah (Coca)

Food

Food: EeBEERyoh (Ibiryo)
Fruit: EemBooToh (Imbuto)
Vegetables
: EemBOHgah (Imboga)


Avocadoes: AhVohKah (Avoka)
Bananas: EemeeNAYkay (Imineke)
Banana mash: MahToeKay (Matoke)
Beans: EeBeeHEEMboh (Ibihyimbo)
Bread: OomooKAHtee (Umukati)
Butter: AhMahVooTah (Amavuta) (Though you might get margarine instead)
Cabbage: EeShoo (Ishu)
Carrots: AhMahKahRowTee (Amakaroti)
Cassava (Manioc): EemYoomBahTee (Inyumbati)
Chicken: EenKohKoh (Inkoko)
Corn: EeKeyGorEe (Ikigori)
Corn cake: Kayk (Keke)
Corn or Cassava starchy accompaniment to many meals: OoGahLee (Ugali)
Donuts: AHmahndAHzi (Amandazi)
Eggs: Ahmahgee (Amagi)
Fish: EeFee (Ifi)
Little fish (lake smelts, often fried): EeSahmBahZah (Isambaza)
Goat: EeHenAy (Ihene)
Hot Chili: PeeLee PeeLee (Pili pili) (Swahili)
Hot Chili: OoRooSenDah (Urusenda)
Meat: EenYahMah (Inyama)
Onions: OoBooToonGooRoo (Ubuntunguru)
Passionfruit
: MaraKOOja (Marakuja)
Peas: AhMahShahZah (Amashaza)
Pineapple: EeNahNahSee (Inanasi)
Plantains
: IGeeToeGee (Igitoke)
Potatoes: EeBeeRAIYee (Ibirayi)
Sweet potatoes: EeBeeJoomBah (Ibijumba)
Pumpkin: EeGeeHahZah (Igihaza)
Rice: OoMooCHELLee (Umuceli)
Salt: OoMoonYoo (Umunyu)
Sheep: EenTahMah (Intama)
Sorghum
: AhMahSahKah (Amasaka)
Soup: EeSooPoo (Isupu)
Sugar: EeSooKAHree (Isukari)
Tomatoes: EenYAHNyah (Inyanya)
Tree tomatoes (also called "prunes de Japon"):
EeKeenYohMorOh (Ikinyomoro)


Other Food/Drink-Related Terms

What are you looking for?: OoRahShahKeeKee? (Ura shakiki?)
I am looking for/I want: NDahShahKah (Nda shaka)
Do you have: OoFeeTay (Ufite)
I don't have: SeemFeeTay (Simfite)
Here is sold _____.: HAHno Hahree _____: (Hano Hari)
We sell _____: DooKooRooZah (Ducuruza)
Plastic bottle (such as one that holds water) : AhgahCHOOPa (Agacupa)
I don't have a plastic bottle: AhGahCHOOPa PfEEtay (Agacupa Pfite)
There's still water in this bottle: HahRee MooAhMahZee (Hari Mu Amazi)
The last glass (such as "one for the road"): AhGahShinGooRahChooMoo (Agashyinguracumu)
When is the food going to be ready? (Very important here!): BeeGayZay Hay? (Bigeze he?)
It's going to take a while: BeeRahTeenDah (Biratinda)
I'm hungry: NDah ShownJay (Nda Shonge)
I'm thirsty: MFeeTay EenYowTah (Mfite Inyota)
Have you eaten? (singular): WahReeAy? (Wariye?)
Have you eaten? (plural): MwahReeAy? (Mwariye?)
Are you hungry?: OoRah ShownJay? (Ura shonge?)
I'm not hungry: NHahbGoh ShownJay (Ntabwo shonge)
Quench your thirst: SheeReenYohTah (Shirinyota)
I'm full: Ndah Hahzee (Nda Haze)
Bon Appetit: MoorYeohHairGway (Muryohe Rwe)
Cheers (when toasting a drink) : DooSahnGeeRay CarGeeOhHay (Dusangire Karyohe)
The food is good: EeBeeBeerGyo Nee ByeeZah (Ibibiryo ni byiza)
A little, Slowly: BooHorOh (Buhoro)
A lot, much, many: ByeenShay (Byinshe)
Cold: BeeCONEjay (Bikonje)
Room temperature/Tepid: EensheeooShay (Inshyushye)
Hot: EensheeooShay Cheeanee (Inshyushye cyane)

Money

Money: AhMaFahRanGah (Amafaranga)
I don't have money: NHaMaFahRanGah (Nta amafaranga)
There is no money: NHahMaFahRanGah FeeTay (Nta amafaranga mfite)
How much does this cost? :NahnGahHay? (Nangahe)
Where is the bank: EeBONGki Ni Hay Hay? (Ibanki ni he he?)
Where is the currency exchange?: Forex Ni Hay Hay? (Forex ni he he?)
Lower the price! (Good for bargaining): GahBahnYah! (Gabanya!)
That's too much money: Nee MenShee (Ni menshi)
That's too expensive (referring to a thing): BeeRahHenDah (Birahenda)
That's too expensive (referring to a service, like a moto taxi): OoRahHenDah (Urahenda)

People

White person: OoMooZoonGoo (Umuzungu)
White people: AhBahZoonGoo (Abazungu)
Small white person: KAHzoongoo (can be derogatory, when used between Rwandans) (Kazungu) Black person (opposite of muzungu): OomWeerAhBooRah (Umwirabura)
Man: OoMooGahBoh (Umugabo)
Woman: OoMooGohRay (Umugore)
Girl: OoMooKohbGah (Umukoobwa)
Boy: OoMooHoonGoo (Umuhuungu)
Adolescent boy: OoMooSohRay (Umsore)
Adolescent girl: EenHooMee (Inkumi)
Baby, Toddler: OomWahNah (Umwana)
Friends/Lovers: MooKoonZee (Mukunzi)
Friend: EenShooTee (Inshuti)
My friend: EenShooTee WahnJeeYay (Inshuti wanjye)
Children: AhBahNah (Abana)
Men: AhBahGahBoh (Abagabo)
Women: AhBahGohRay (Abagore)
Boys: AhBahHoonGoo(Abahungu)
Girls: AhBahKohbGah (Abakobgwa)
Person: OoMoonToo (Umuntu)
People: AhBahnToo (Abantu)

Common Phrases and Expressions

After: NyooMah (Nyuma)
After the: NyooMah Yah (Nyuma ya)
Also: KahnDee (Kandi)
Always: EeTayKah (Iteka)
And: Nah (Na)
Because: KooKoh (Kuko)
Bless You (after a sneeze): KeeRah (Kira) or, more formally, MooRahKeeRay (Murakire)
Both: YohmBee (Yombi)
But: AhREECoh (Ariko)
Do you need to go to the bathroom? (singular): OoRah ShahKah Kwee TooMah? (Ura shaka kwi tuma?)
Do you need to go to the bathroom? (plural): MooRah ShahKah Kwee TooMah? (Mura shaka kwi tuma?)
Go ahead: KohMayZah (Komeza)
How?: BeeTay (Bite)
I don't like: SeenHoonDah (Sinkunda)
I don't want: SeenShahKah (Sinshaka)
I like: nHoonDah (Nkunda)
I love you: NDah GooKoonDah (Nda gukunda)
I never want: DTABgoneSHAHkah (Ntabwonshaka)
Is: Nee (Ni)
Isn't that so? (If you say it): See Byoh? (Si byo?)
Isn't that so? (In response to something someone else has said): Nee Byoh? (Ni byo?)
It's good: Nee Byeeza (Ni byiza)
I want: NDah SHAHkah (Ndashaka)
Listen: OomVah! (Umva!)
Never: NhabGwo (Ntabwo)
No one: NhaWay (Ntawe)
Or: ChahnGwa (Cyangwa)
That's right/Isn't that right?: Nee Beeyo (Ni byo)
This: OoYoo (Uyu)
That: OoWoh (Uwo)
That (over there): OoReeYah (Uriya)
Truly: KahBeeSah (Kabisa)
You know: OoRahKeeZee (Urakizi)
Very: CHAHNay (Cyane)
What?: EeKey (Iki)
What are you doing?: OoRahKohReeKee? (Urakora iki?)
What are you saying?: OoTeeKee? (Uti iki?)
What is this?: EeKeeNeeKee? (Iki n'iki?)
What is this?: NeeGeeKee? (N'igiki?)
When?: ReeAhDee? (Ryali)
Who? (singular): Nday (Nde)
Who? (plural): BahnDay (Bande)
Who are you looking for: OoRahShahKahnDay? (Urashaka nde?)
Why?: KooKee? (Kuki)
Where is the bathroom?: AhHo KweetOoMah Nee Hay? (Aho kwituma ni he?)
You're welcome (after the "Bless You"): TooAySay

Directions and Transportation

Where are you going?:OogeeayHAYhay? (Ugiye hehe?)
I am going to _____.: NGEEay ________.(Ngiye ___.)
Where are you coming from?: Oovooyay hay? (Uvuye he?)
I am coming from ____.: Nvooy____.
Where are you?: Ooreehay? (Uri he?)
Where do you live?: OoTooYayHay? (Utuye he?)
I live ____. : NhooYay ____. (Ntuye ___.)
Where is ____?: Nee Hay Haree ___? (Ni he hari__?)

To the city: MooMooJee (mumugi)
To the [x] hotel: KooRee Hotelee [name of hotel]: (Kuri hoteli [name])
To the house: MooRooGoh (murugo)

To go: GooTahHah (Gutaha)
Go!: GenDah! (genda)
Let's go: TooGenDay (tugende)
You guys go: MooGenDay (mugende)
I want to go: NDahShahKah GooTahHah (Ndashaka gutaha)
I don't want to go: SeenShahKah GooTahHah (Sinshaka gutaha)

Where is it?: NeeHayHay? (Ni he he?)
It's close? : Nee HahFee? (Ni hafi?)
It's far?: Nee KooRay? (Ni kure?)
It is near ____.: EeRooHahnDee Gwah ___. (Iruhandi rwa ___.)
Go Straight: KoMayZay EemBayRay (Komeze Imbere)
Left: EeBooMoSo (Ibumoso)
Right: EeBurgyo (Iburyo)
Backward, behind: EenYooMah (Inyuma)
Between: HahGahTeeYah (Hagatiya)
Over there: HarEeYah (Hariya)
Inside: AhReeMoh (Arimo)
Inside: MoonZoo (Munzu)
Outside: HahnZay (Hanze)
It's here: Nee HAHnoh (Ni hano)
It's there: Nee HahREEYah (Ni hariya)
Stop!: HahGahRahRah (Hagarara!)
Run!: EeRooKah! (Iruka!)
Wait!: BooRaytSay (Buretse!)
Don't wait: WeeTayGayRayZah (Witegereza)

In the room: MooChoomBah (Mu cyumba)
Outside the room: HahnZay YeeChoomBah (Hanze y'icyumba)
To leave the house: GooSohHohKah (Gusohoka)

Airport: EeKeeBooGah CheenDayGay (Ikibuga cy'indege)
Bicycle: EeGahRay (Igare)
Bus: BeeSee (Bisi)
Bus (Swahili): MahTahToo (Matatu)
Car (Motorcar): EeMohDohKah (Imodoka)
Motorcycle Taxi: EePeekeePeekee (Ipikipiki)
Road: OoMooHAHNdah (Umuhanda)
Plane: EenDayGay (Indege)
Taxi: TahGeeSee (Tagisi)

I'm going to the airport: NGeeYay KooKeeBooGah CheenDayGay (Ngiye kukibuga cy'indege)
I'm going to work: NGeeYay GooKohRah (Ngiye gukora)
I'm going to Gisenyi: NGeeYay EeGeeSenYee (Ngiye igisenyi)

Family

Family: MeerYahnGo (Miryango)
Mama: Mama
Papa: DahTah (Data)
My wife: OoMooGorAy WahnJeeYay (Umugore wanjye)
My husband: OoMooGahBow WahnJeeYay (Umugabo wanjye)
My child: OomWahNah WahnJeeYay (Umwana wanjye)
My children: AhBahNah BanJeeYay (Abana banjye)

Miscellaneous Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives

And then...: HahnYooMah (Hanyuma)
Ball: OoMooPeeRah (Umupira)
Baskets: AhGahSayKay (Agaseke)
Boss: OoMooYohBohSee (Umuyobozi)
Candle: BooJee (Buji)
Card: Eecartee (Ikati)
Cat: EePooSee (Ipusi)
Chauffeur/Driver: OoMooShowFayRee (Umushoferi)
Clothing (pl): EemYenDah (Imyenda)
Clothing (s): OomYenDah (Umyenda)
Community work: OOmooGahnDah (Umuganda)
Compassion/mercy: EemBahBahzi (Imbabazi)
Confidence, Trust: KweeZerAh (Kwizera)
Cooperation: OoMooBahNo (Umubano)
Cow: EenHah (Inka)
Dog: UmBwah (Mbwa)
Drums: EenGohMah (Ingoma)
Employee: OoMooKohZee (Umukozi)
Gas station: AhHo KoonyeeWeshErAyZah AySahnSs (Aho kunyweshereza essence)
God: EeMahNah (Imana)
Gorillas: EenGahGee (Ingagi)
Guest: OoMooSheeYeetSee (Umushyitsi)
Guests: AhBahSheeYeetSee (Abashyitsi)
Hug: HoBee (Hobe)
Intern/Apprentice: OoWeeMenYayRayZah OomWooGah (uwimenyereza umwuga)
Lake: EeKeeYahGah (Ikiyaga)
Lodging: AhmahCHOOmbee (Amacumbi)
Matches: EeKeeBreeTee (Ikibriti)
Mosquito: OoMooBoo (umubu)
Mosquitoes: EeMeeBoo (imibu)
Mountain: OoMooSohZee (Umusozi)
Office: EeBeeRo (Ibiro)
Organization (like a humanitarian organization): OoMoorYahnGoh (Umuryango)
Peace: AhMahHorOh (Amahoro)
Prison: GayRayZah (Gereza)
Rain: EemVOODah (Imvura)
Rainy season: EegEEHay CheemVOODah (Igihe cy'imvura)
Sign: EeCheeYahPah (Icyapa)
Subsidized housing: OOmooDOOgoodoo (Umudugudu)
Tee-shirt: OoMooPeeRah (Umupira)
Telephone: TooVooGahNee (Tuvugane) (Literally, "Let's Talk")
Thief: OoMooJooRah (Umujura)
Thief (Swahili): MweeZee (Mwizi)
To Answer: GooSooBeeZah (Gusubiza)
To Delay: GooTeenDah (Gutinda)
To Give: GooTahnGah (Gutanga)
To Get Up: KooByeeooKah (Kubyuka)
Toilet Paper: EemPahPooRoh Zoh Moo MooSahRahNay (Impapuro zo mu musarane)
To Visit: GooSooRah (Gusura)
Tree: OoBahHoh (Ubaho)
Trees: EemBahHoh (Imbaho)
Unity: OOBOOMway(Ubumwe)
Village: AhKahDooGooDoo (Akadugudu)
Volcanoes: EeBeeRoonGah (Ibirunga)
Volunteer: OoMooKohRayrRahBooShahKay (umukorerabushake)
Work: AhKAHzi (Akazi)

Miscellaneous Phrases

Are you happy?: OoReeSheemYay? (Urishimiye?)
Are you unhappy? NHahbGoh OoReeSheemYay? (Ntabwo urishimiye?)
God Bless You: EeMahNah AhGooHay OoMooGeeSha (Imana aguhe umugisha)
Happy Birthday: EeSahBooKooRoo NZeeZah YahMahVooKoh (Isabukuru nziza y'amavuko) Happy Wedding Anniversary: EeSahBooKooRoo Yoh GooSheenGeerGwa (Isabukuru yo gushyingirwa)
Happy Wedding Day: OoMoonSee MweeZah Yoh GooSheenGeerGwa (Umunsi mwiza yo gushyingirwa)
How much time will you spend in Rwanda?: OoZahMahRah EeKeeHeeGeeHay MoorGwanDah? (Uzamara ikihe igihe murwanda?)
How was your weekend?: WeeKENDee YahGENZay NAYzah? (Wikendi yagenze neza?)
I am an American (woman):
NDOOmnyaMayreekah KahZEE (Ndu mnyamerikakazi)
I am an American (man): NDOOmnyaMayreekah (Ndu mnyamerika)
I am happy: NdeeSheemYay (Ndishimiye)
I am tired: EndAHNahnEEway (Ndananiwe)
I am unhappy: NHahbGoh NeeSheemYay (Ntabwo nishimiye)
I live in America: NHOOYay MooRee AhMayReeKAH (Ntuye muri Amerika)
I love Rwanda: NdahKoonDah OorGwahnDah (Ndakunda urwanda)
I love Rwanda: NhoonDah OorGwanDah (Nkunda urwanda)
I spent the night: NahRahYay (Naraye)
It is cold? EeRah CohnJay? (Ira conge?)
It is hot? EeRah ShooShay? (Ira shyushye?)
It is pretty: Nee HayZah (Ni Heza)
I will spend the night: NZahRahRah (Nzarara)
My name is not "Muzungu": NHahbGoh NeetGwah MooZoonGoo (Ntabwo nitwa "Muzungu") Rest well: OoRooHooKay NayZah (Urukuke neza)
Thank God: EeMahNeeSheemWay (Imana ishyimwe)
There is no power in the area: OoMooReeRoh WahGeeAy (Umuriro wagiye)
This is difficult: BeeRahKohMayYee (Birakomeye)
This is easy: BeeRohRohSheeYay (Biroroshye)
What's next?: EeKeenDee? (Ikindi?)
You are crazy (this should be reserved for good friends only, otherwise, an insult!): OoMooSahZee (Umu saze)
You are crazy (Swahili): WayWay Cheesy
You are cute/pretty: OoRee MweeZah (Uri mwiza)

Health

Answer/Test Result: EeGeeSooBeeZoh (Igisubizo)
Bandage: EeGeepFooKoh (Igipfuko)
Be strong/Get better: KohMehRah! (Komera!)
Blood: AhMahRahSoh (Amaraso)
Doctor: MooGahnGah (Muganga)
Ear: OoGootWee (Ugutwi)
Ears: AhMahtWee (Amatwi)
Health Center: EeVooREERoh (Ivuriro)
Hospital: EeBeeTAHRoh (Ibitaro)
Hospital: EeVooReeRo (Ivuriro)
I feel sick: NdoomVah NdWahYay (Ndumva ndwaye)
I have a cold: NDwahYay EeBeeChooRahNay (Ndwaye ibicurane)
I have a backache: NDwahYay OoMooGonGoh (Ndwaye umugongo)
I have a headache: NDwahYay OoMootWay (Ndwaye umutwe)
I have amoebas: NDwahYay EenZohKah (Ndwaye inzoka)
I have a stomachache: NDwahYay MoonDah (Ndwaye munda)
I have a toothache: NDwahYay EeRyeenYoh (Ndwaye iryinyo)
I have malaria: NDwahYay MahLahReeYah (Ndwaye malariya)
I must take (as in medicine): NGohmBah GooFahTah (Ngomba gufata)
I want to go to the doctor: NDahShahKah KooJeeYah Kwah MooGahnGah (Nda shaka kujya kwa muganga)
Medicine: OoMooTee (Umuti)
Medicines: EeMeeTee (Imiti)
Nose: EeZooRoo (Izuru)
Pharmacy: FarMahSee (Farmasi)
Symptom: EeKeeMenYetSoh (Ikimenyetso)
Symptoms: EeBeeMenYetSoh (Ibimenyetso)
Tablet: EeKeeNeeNee (Ikinini)
Tablets: EeBeeNeeNee (Ibinini)
To Be Sick: KoorWahRah (Kurwara)
To Feel Dizzy: KooZoonGayRah (Kuzungera)
To Recover: GooKeeRah (Gukira)
To Suffer: KooBahBahRah (Kubabara)
To Take (medicine, an object): GooFahTah (Gufata)
What are you suffering from?: OorWahYay EeKee? (Urwaye iki?)
Where are you hurting?: OorahBahBahRah He? (Urababara he?)
You must take (as in medicine): OoGohmBah GooFahTah (Ugomba gufata)

Languages, Continents, Nationalities

What languages do you speak?: OoVooGeeZeeHay EnDeeMee? (Uvuga izihe ndimi?)
What language do you speak?: OoVooGooRooHay RooReeMee? (Uvuga uruhe rurimi?)

I speak: NVooGah (Nvuga)
You speak: OoVooGah (Uvuga)
S/He speaks: AhVooGah (Avuga)
We speak: TooVooGah (Tuvuga)
You guys speak: MooVooGah (Muvuga)
They speak: BahVooGah (Bavuga)

French: EeGeeFahRanSah (Igifaransa)
English: EeChonGayRayZah (Icyongereza)
Swahili: EeGeeSwaYeeLee (Igiswayili)
Chinese: EeGeeSheenWah (Igishinwa)
Spanish: EeCheeEsPahnYohlAy (Icyespanyole)
German: EeKeeDahGay (Ikidage)
Dutch: EeKeeHohLahnDee (Ikiholande)
Lingala: EeLeenGahLah (Ilingala)
Japanese: EeKeeYahPahnEe (Ikiyapani)
Arabic: EeCheeAhRahBoo (Icyarabu)

Foreigner: OoMoonYahMahHanGah (Umunyamahanga)
Foreign: AhMahHahnGah (Amahanga)

America: AhMayReeKah (Amerika)
Europe: OoBooRahEe (Uburayi)
Africa: AhFooReeKah (Afurika)
Asia: AhZeeYah (Aziya)
Australia: OhStrahLeeYah (Ostraliya)

American: OoMoonYahMayReeKah (Umunyamerika)
Arab: OomWahRahBoo (Umwarabu)
Belgian: OoMooBeeReeGee (Umubirigi)
Burundian: OoMooRoonDee (Umurundi)
Canadian: OoMoonYahKahNahDah (Umunyakanada)
Chinese: OoMooSHEENWah (Umushinwa)
Congolese: OoMoonYayKohnGoh (Umunyekongo)
Dutch: OoMooHohLahnDee (Umuholandi)
English: OomWohnGayRayZah (Umwongereza)
French: OoMooFahRahSah (Umufaransa)
German: OoMooDahGay (Umudage)
Indian: OoMooHeenDee (Umuhindi)
Italian: OoMooTahLeeAhNee (Umutalyiani)
Kenyan: OoMoonYahKenYah (Umunyakenya)
Tanzanian: OoMoonYahTahnZahNeeYah (Umunyatanzaniya)
Ugandan: OoMooGahnDay (Umugande)

To make any of these feminine, add “-kazi” to the end. For example:
I am an American (girl): NDooMoonYahMayReeKahKahZee. (Ndi umunyamerika kazi.)

Numbers


0 ZayRoo (Zeru)
1 ReemWay (Rimwe)
2 KahBeeRee (Kabiri)
3 GahTahToo (Gatatu)
4 KahNay (Kane)
5 Gahtahno (Gatanu)
6 GahTahnDahToo (Gatandatu)
7 KahReenDwee (Karindwi)
8 OoMooNahNay (Umunane)
9 EeCheeEnDah (Icyenda)
10 EeChooMee (Icumi)
11- ChooMee Nah ReemWay (cumi na rimwe)
12- ChooMee Nah KahBeeRee (cumi na kabiri)
13- ChooMee Nah GahTahToo (cumi na gatatu)
14- ChooMee Nah KahNay (cumi na kane)
15- ChooMee Nah GahTahNoo (cumi na gatanu)
16- ChooMee Nah GahTahnDahToo (cumi na gatandatu)
17- ChooMee Nah KahLeenDwee (cumi na kalindwi)
18- ChooMee NooMooNahNay (cumi n'umunane)
19- ChooMee NeeChenDah (cumi n'icyenda)
20- MahKoomYahBeeRee (makumyabiri)
21- MahKoomYahBeeRee Nah ReemWay (makumyabiri na rimwe)
30- MeeRohnGoh EeTahToo (mirongo itatu)
31- MeeRohnGoh EeTahToo Nah ReemWay (mirongo itatu na rimwe)
40- MeeRohnGoh EeNay (mirongo ine)
50- MeeRohnGoh EeTahNoo (mirongo itanu)
60- MeeRohnGoh EeTahnDahToo (mirongo itandatu)
70- MeeRohnGoh EeReendWee (mirongo irindwi)
80- MeeRohnGoh EeNahNee (mirongo inani)
90- MeeRohnGoh EeChenDah (mirongo icyenda)
100 EeJahNah (Ijana)
200 MahGahNahBeeLee (Magana Abili)
300 MahGahNahTahToo (Magana Atatu)
400 MahGahNahAhNay (Magana Ane)
500 MahGahNahTahNoo (Magana Atanu)
600 MahGahNahTahnDahToo (Magana Atandatu)
700 MahGahNahLeendWee (Magana Alindwi)
800 MahGahNeeNanEe (Magana Inani)
900 MahGahNah OorGwenDah (Magana Urwenda)
1000 EeGeeHoomBee (Igihumbi)
1500 EeGeeHoomBee Nah MahGahNahTahNoo (Igihumbi na magana atanu)
2000 EeBeeHoomBee BeeBeeRee (Ibihumbi Bibiri)
2500 EeBeeHoomBee BeeBeeRee Nah MahGahNahTahNoo (Ibihumbi bibiri na magana atanu)
5000 EeBeeHoomBee BeeTahNoo (Ibihumbi Bitanu)

Time

Now: NoNay (None)
Today: OoYooMoonSee (Uyu munsi)
Tomorrow: AyJoh HahZahZah (Ejo hazaza)
Yesterday: AyJoh HahSheeZay (Ejo hashize)
Soon: VooBah (Vuba)
Now: OoBoo (Ubu)
The past: CheeAhSheeZay (Cyashize)

Morning: EeGeeToneDoh (Igitondo)
Afternoon: NeeMoonSee (Ni munsi)
Evening: OoMooGohRohBa (Umugoroba)
Night: EeJohRoh (Ijoro)
Weekend: EeWeeKenDee (Iwikendi)
In the morning: Moo GeeToneDoh (Mu gitondo)

Last week: EeChoomWayroo GeeSheeZay (Icyumweru gishize)
This week: EeKee ChoomWayroo (Iki cyumweru)
Next week: EeChoomWayroo GeeTahHah (Icyumweru gitaha)
Last year: OomWahKah OoSheeZay (Umwaka ushize)
This year: OoYoo MwahKah (Uyu mwaka)
Next year: OomWahKah NhaHah (Umwaka ntaha)

On Monday: KooWah MbayRay (Ku wa mbere)
On Tuesday: KooWah KahBeeLee (Ku wa kabili)
On Wednesday: KooWah GahTahToo (Ku wa gatatu)
On Thursday: KooWah KahNay (Ku wa kane)
On Friday: KooWah GahTahNoo (Ku wa gatanu)
On Saturday: KooWah GahTahnDahToo (Ku wa gatandatu)
On Sunday: KooWah ChoomWayRoo (Ku wa cyumweru)

January: MooTahRahMah (Mutarama)
February: GahShyanTahRay (Gashyantare)
March: WerOorGway (Werurwe)
April: MahTah (Mata)
May: GeeChooRahZee (Gicurazi)
June: KahMayNah (Kamena)
July: NeeYahKahnGah (Nyakanga)
August: KahNahMah (Kanama)
September: NzayLee (Nzeli)
October: OoKwahKeeRah (Ukwakira)
November: OoGooSheenGoh (Ugushyingo)
December: OoKooBohZah (Ukuboza)

One week: EeChoomWayRoo (Icumweru)
Two weeks: EeBeeOomWayRoo BeeBeeRee (Ibyumweru bibiri)
One month: OokWayZee (Ukwezi)
Two months: AhMayZee AhBeeRee (Amezi abiri)
Three months: AhMayZee AhTahToo (Amezi atatu)
Four months: AhMayZee AhNay (Amezi ane)
Five months: AhMayZee AhTahNoo (Amezi atanu)
Six months: AhMayZee AhTahnDahToo (Amezi atandatu)

Colors

Black: OoMooKahRah (Umukara)
Brown: EeBeeHohGoh (Ibihogo)
Green: EeCheeYahtSee (Icyatse)
Light tan: EenZohBay (Inzobe)
Red: OoMooTooKoo (Umutuku)
White: EeGeeTahRay (Igitare)
White: OomWayRoo (Umweru)

Conjugated Verbs

To Be- Kuba (pronounced “KooBah”)

I am- NDee (Ndi)
You are-OoRee (Uri)
S/he is- AhRee (Ari)
We are- TooRee (Turi)
You guys are- MooRee (Muri)
They are- BahRee (Bari)

...and because I think it’s important to know how to say “I am not,” here are two ways to say the negative form of this:

I am not- SeenDee (Sindi)
You are not- NHeenDee (Ntindi)
S/he is not- NHahRee (Ntari)
We are not- NHeeTooRee (Ntituri)
You guys are not- NHeeMooRee (Ntimuri)
They are not- NHeeBahRee (Ntibari)

I am not- NHAHbGoh NDee (Ntabwo ndi)
You are not- NHAHbGoh OoRee (Ntabwo uri)
S/he is not- NHAHbGoh AhRee (Ntabwo ari)
We are not- NHAHbGoh TooRee (Ntabwo turi)
You guys are not- NHAHbGoh MooRee (Ntabwo muri)
They are not- NHAHbGoh BahRee (Ntabwo bari)

To Be Late- Gukerererwa (pronounced “GooKayRayRayrGwah”)

I am late- NDahKayRayRayrGwah (Ndakerererwa)
You are late- OoRahKayRayRayrGwah (Urakerererwa)
S/he is late- AhRahKayRayRayrGwah (Arakerererwa)
We are late- TooRahKayRayRayrGwah (Turakerererwa)
You guys are late- MooRahKayRayRayrGwah (Murakerererwa)
They are late- BahRahKayRayRayrGwah (Barakerererwa)

To Be Sick- Kurwara (pronounced “KoorWahRah”)

I am sick- NarWahYay (Narwaye)
You are sick- WarWahYay (Warwaye)
S/he is sick- YarWahYay (Yarwaye)
We are sick- TWarWahYay (Twarwaye)
You guys are sick- MWarWahYay (Mwarwaye)
They are sick- BarWahYay (Barwaye)

To Build- Kubaka (pronounced “KooBahKah”)

I build- NDooBahKah (Ndubaka)
You build- OoRooBahKah (Urubaka)
S/he builds- AhRooBahKah (Arubaka)
We build- TooRooBahKah (Turubaka)
You build- MooRooBahKah (Murubaka)
They build- BahRooBahKah (Barubaka)

To Come- Kuza (pronounced “KooZah”)

I am coming- NDahJeeYay (Ndajye)
You are coming- OoRahJeeYay (Urajye)
S/he is coming- AhRahJeeYay (Arajye)
We are coming- TooRahJeeYay (Turajye)
You guys are coming- MooRahJeeYay (Murajye)
They are coming- BahRahJeeYay (Barajye)

To Eat- Kurya (pronounced “KoorGeeYah”)

I am eating- NDarGeeYah (Ndarya)
You are eating- OoRahrGeeYah (Urarya)
S/he is eating- AhRahrGeeYah (Ararya)
We are eating- TooRarhGeeYah (Turarya)
You guys are eating- MooRahrGeeYah (Murarya)
They are eating- BahRahrGeeYah (Bararya)

To feel (taste, smell, hear, touch)- Kumva (pronounced “KoomVah”)

I feel- NDoomVah (Ndumva)
You feel- OoRoomVah (Urumva)
S/he feels- AhRoomVah (Arumva)
We feel- TooRoomVah (Turumva)
You guys feel- MooRoomVah (Murumva)
They feel- BahRoomVah (Barumva)

Example: I feel sick. NDoomVah NDWAHyay. (Ndumva ndwaye.)

To Go Somewhere (not to be confused with the general “to go”)- Kugira (pronounced “KooGeeRah”)

I am going- NGeeAy (Ngiye)
You are going- OoGeeAy (Ugiye)
S/he is going- AhGeeAy (Agiye)
We are going- TooGeeAy (Tugiye)
You guys are going- MooGeeAy (Mugiye)
They are going- BahGeeAy (Bagiye)

For this verb, you need to say where you are going. Examples:

I am going to Kigali: NGeeAy KooKeeGahLee. (Ngiye ku Kigali.)
We are going to work: TooGeeAy KooKahZee. (Tugiye ku kazi.)

To Go/Leave (generally—don’t say where you are going)- Kugenda (pronounced “KooGenDah”)

I am going- NDahGenDah (Ndagenda)
You are going- OoRahGenDah (Uragenda)
S/he is going- AhRahGenDah (Aragenda)
We are going- TooRahGenDah (Turagenda)
You guys are going- MooRahGenDah (Muragenda)
They are going- BahRahGenDah (Baragenda)

If you want to say, “Let’s go!” you can say, “TooGenDay!” (Tugende!) For grammar nerds, it’s just a command form of this verb.

To Have- Kugira (pronounced “KooGeeRah”)

I have- MFeeTay (Mfite)
You have- OoFeeTay (Ufite)
S/he has- AhFeeTay (Afite)
We have- TooFeeTay (Tufite)
You guys have- MooFeeTay (Mufite)
They have- BahFeeTay (Bafite)

To Know- Kumenya (pronounced “KooMenYah”)

I know- NZee (Nzi)
You know- OoZee (Uzi)
S/he knows- AhZee (Azi)
We know- TooZee (Tuzi)
You guys know- MooZee (Muzi)
They know- BahZee (Bazi)

To Live, To Stay- Gutura (pronounced “GooTooRah”)

I live- NHooYay (Ntuye)
You live- OoTooYay (Utuye)
S/he lives- AhTooYay (Atuye)
We live- DooTooYay (Dutuye)
You guys live- MooTooYay (Mutuye)
They live- BahTooYay (Batuye)

Example:
Where do you live? OoTooYay Hay? (Utuye he?)
I live in Kiyovu. NHooYay Moo KeeYohVoo. (Ntuye mu Kiyovu.)

To recover (from an illness)- Gukira (pronounced “GooKeeRah”)

I am recovered- NahKeeZay (Nakize)
You are recovered- WahKeeZay (Wakize)
S/he is recovered- YahKeeZay (Yakize)
We are recovered- TWahKeeZay (Twakize)
You guys are recovered- MWahKeeZay (Mwakize)
They are recovered- BahKeeZay (Bakize)

To See- Kubona (pronounced “KooBohNah”)

I see- NDahBohNah (Ndabona)
You see- OoRahBohNah (Urabona)
S/he sees- AhRahBohNah (Arabona)
We see- TooRahBohNah (Turabona)
You guys see- MooRahBohNah (Murabona)
They see- BahRahBohNah (Barabona)

To Think- Gutekereza (pronounced “GooTayKayRayZah”)

I think- NDahTayKayRayZah (Ndatekereza)
You think- OoRahTayKayRayZah (Uratekereza)
S/he thinks- AhRahTayKayRayZah (Aratekereza)
We think- TooRahTayKayRayZah (Turatekereza)
You guys think- MooRahTayKayRayZah (Muratekereza)
They think- BahTayKayRayZah (Batekereza)

To say “I think that,” you can say: NDahTayKayRayZah Koh ______. (Ndatekereza ko ___)

To Visit- Gusura (pronounced “GooSooRah”)

I am visiting- NDahSooRah (Ndasura)
You are visiting- OoRahSooRah (Urasura)
S/he is visiting- AhRahSooRah (Arasura)
We are visiting- TooRahSooRah (Turasura)
You guys are visiting- MooRahSooRah (Murasura)
They are visiting- BahRahSooRah (Barasura)

To Want- Gushaka (pronounced “GooShahKah”)

I want- NDahShahKah (Ndashaka)
You want- OoRahShahKah (Urashaka)
S/he wants- AhRahShahKah (Arashaka)
We want- TooRahShahKah (Turashaka)
You guys want- MooRahShahKah (Murashaka)
They want- BahRahShahKah (Barashaka)



A few words on pronunciation:

Some Rwandans pronounce "k" as "ch." Many pronounce "l" like "r" and vice versa, which means that some Rwandans pronounce "Kigali" as "Chigari." Similarly, some pronounce "g" as hard and others pronounce it softer, so "Ruhengeri" can sound like "Ruhenjeli."

If you are a stickler for pronunciation, try to imitate the way they pronounce their "l," which, if said correctly, should also sound vaguely like an "r" or a "d." After much practice, I've discovered that all it takes is a simple tap of the tongue on the hard palate behind your top teeth. It sounds harder than it is....in fact, Kinyarwanda is very easy to pronounce once you get the hang of it!

300 Comments:

Blogger Raff said...

Is anonymous is having a conversation with self? Anyhoo - i like the word for passionfruit. Is it a particularly common fruit?

2/28/2006 9:46 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

raff, if you like the word for passionfruit, you would really like their word for "subsidized housing." I think we should adopt it. It's "umudugudu," prounounced as spelled.

Passionfruit are everywhere. Like bananas.

2/28/2006 10:29 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Youch! Editor's prerogative: for the sake of my own sanity as well as other readers, I removed all the different responses not having to do with the actual vocabulary of the post.

3/09/2006 9:09 AM  
Anonymous A.Mix said...

Hi Morgan! Finally someone sent me the link to your blog, and I'm spending my lunch catching up on your adventures. I especially like the "subsidized housing" translation - definitelly something I can use in conversations at work. My co-workers will think I'm so worldly...

3/23/2006 1:14 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

A.Mix! So good to hear from you! Keep D.Mix in line.

I'm going to restructure this and add many more words once I find a good internet connection. So everyone stay posted!

3/28/2006 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murakoze! We ni byiza cyane cyane. I am coming to Rwanda in August (from DC!) and have also been searching for anything. I should register so I can write to you properly and ask some more questions, but I've skimmed your blog and it's really interesting.

4/20/2006 1:21 PM  
Blogger Tamra said...

Morgan I am coming to Kigali in October to adopt a child. Is there any way you could find out the Kinyarwanda translations for these words?

**Mommy
Daddy
Brother
Sister
milk(for a young baby in a bottle)
Are you hungry?
Are you tired?
Do you need to use the bathroom?**

I'll let you know if I can think of anything else.

THANKS!

5/29/2006 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Jake said...

I am in Rwanda as I write. I have been picking up the basics, but this list is about the best on the internet. There is a English-Kinyarwanda dictionary being developed and it should be out in 2006/2007. Here is what I know
Are you Hungry?= Ura Shonjye (OO-DA-SHOWN-JAY)
Are you thirsty?= Ufite Inyota (OO-FEETAY-IN-YO-TA)

5/30/2006 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Jake said...

I have one more...I just asked a lady in the office here
Do you need to use the bathroom?=
Urifuza kujya muri Toliet
(OO-DE-FOOZ-AH KOO-JAH MOO-DE TOY-LET)

There you go...My wife and I are also adopting from Rwanda. It is such a difficult process.

5/30/2006 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

Hi! I'm also from Washinton, and I'll be traveling to Rwanda with a group from WSU. It looks like you went in February, so you could very well be with the CBDD also...

I would like to re-post your Kinyarwanda dictionary on a blog I have created for the group. If you'll let me do that, please e-mail me at admin@rayspages.com. Thanks.

--Ray C.

6/01/2006 1:40 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

Forgive my spelling of Washington. It definitely needs that G to work.

6/01/2006 1:42 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

hey everyone thanks for the additions! i'll be sure to put them in soon. cheers!

6/13/2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Steve Townsend said...

Hi Morgan C

I have just come back to UK after 9 years in Rwanda. I made a pocket sized Kinyarwanda Dictionary in MS Publisher. I can email it to you if you want.

Steve Townsend
townsendstephen@gmail.com

7/21/2006 12:56 PM  
Anonymous rose said...

hi morgan,

I'm going to Rwanda for two year in October and I'm bringing my mountainbike. This might be the worst or best idea, still need to find out... but my question is: do you know the kinyarwanda word for Bicycle?

Love your dictionary ofcourse.

Rose

9/02/2006 11:00 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Rose, I believe the Kinyarwanda for "bicycle" is "igare" (ee-gah-ray).

As for bike riding...if you're living in Kigali and using it as your primary transportation, I hope you have very strong legs, because when I thought that I was going to live there, my friend advised me that buying a bike would be a bad idea--the city is spread out...and they don't call Rwanda the "land of a thousand hills" for nothing!

Good luck!

9/21/2006 12:51 AM  
Blogger gigi said...

I am rwandese and I need some body to help me about dictionary.Kinyarwanda and english. If is yes. This is my email. giselehigiro@yahoo.fr. bye

11/06/2006 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

having just come back from holidays in africa - you would certainly need strong legs to mountain bike - although it is a beautiful country.

wish I'd found this site before going over there!!!

11/07/2006 8:52 PM  
Blogger traveljen said...

Hi Morgan,
I am going to Rwanda in 5 days and I have been reading your blog periodically since I planned this trip in September. Thank you so much for all of your advice and adventures!

12/02/2006 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Elly said...

Hi Morgan,
By chance I came across your blog about Rwanda because I was looking for the translation of a Rwandan Dish called "imyumbati hamwe ninyama" (maybe you can help me with the translation?) - then I saw your list of Kinyarwanda words which is great. I am looking into traveling to Rwanda some time in the next year and I was wondering if you have found any books or information about Rwanda that is helpful for me to learn more about the country and its customs and culture and language. But your blog is absolutely great! Thnx.

12/14/2006 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am traveling to Rwanda in June to do a mission trip. I was wondering if you know any words of blessing. Like "God bless you," "May God be with you." ect. thanks

12/27/2006 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Juli said...

i was wondering if you could give me the word for hope?

1/23/2007 3:27 AM  
Anonymous Juli said...

this is the best list on the internet, i did a project and i literally spent hours looking up 4 words... life will be easier when the dictionary is posted

1/23/2007 3:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well well well... i'm a rwandese living in kigali and i'm really impressed with what u've done!are u sure to be a "muzungu? coz ur kinyarwanda is really good

hope= kwizera
god bless you= imana aguhe umugisha

1/23/2007 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there a word for grandmother in kinyarwanda?

1/31/2007 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the dictionary, a valuable resouce for struggling muzungus

but.............Haricot (harrycot)
listen........umva (oomva)
do you understand.......arumva (aroomva)

cheers,
Taswegian

2/06/2007 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haricot should sound like arryco
excuse the slip!!!
taswegian

2/07/2007 4:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
Thanks for the help, great tool.

3/09/2007 9:35 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Elly,

My educated guess is that "imyumbati hamwe ninyama" means "cassava together with meat." (Does anyone else want to chime in?)

4/06/2007 6:06 PM  
Blogger semugisha said...

Oh! my goodness, i had know idea this blog site existed. i am an umuzungu umugore married to a Rwandan. i was wondering if any of you could assist me in sending me some school language books that could assist me in learning the language before i get there this october. my husband's brother tried to send them to me and the post office stopped them from getting any further than the post office. they said that he couldn't send anything that was from before the war. i guess the books were a little old.

4/08/2007 11:33 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Semugisha, I wish I had some info for you on that...Unfortunately, because I couldn't find any books, I had to simply pick up as much as I could! Hopefully this will be a little helpful (perhaps your Rwandan husband can help you out? :)

4/09/2007 7:32 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Taswegian, you're absolutely correct-- umva and haricot are so essential! Everyone says them. I'll add them to the list.

Thanks, anonymous, for the addition of God ("imana")--which is simply everywhere, in a million forms.

4/09/2007 7:36 PM  
Blogger sami said...

I will be traveling to Rwanda this coming October 2007 and staying for about three months as a volunteer. I have just printed your blog out and will read it and I'm sure you will have provided me with some interesting information that can assist me while I'm there. IF you can think of anything that I should know, please make contact.

Sami

5/02/2007 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Ahmed said...

Hi!

I was happy to find out such a blog with Kinyarwanda dictionary! I was looking for a dictionary but to no avail, I was born and brought up in Rwanda, and I used to live nearby Virunga mountain in "Ruhengeri", I am an Omani national, I live now in Oman but still consider Rwanda my home. I left Rwanda when I was 12, that was in 1988, it was only 2 years before the war started and I haven't returned back ever since. I wish to communicate with friends from Rwanda, whom I can correspond with in Kinyarwanda. Long live Rwanda, you will always stay in my heart. Rwanda is where I belong. Thanks again for the blog. My email : albahryahmed@gmail.com

6/03/2007 3:56 PM  
Anonymous shelly said...

Great list
I would like to post it on a web site for Projectrwanda.org. We are planning the second annual wooden bike classic in Butare Sept 8-9, 2007.
The race will be held in Butare.

Thank you
Shelly

6/05/2007 1:57 AM  
Blogger nic said...

I too have done some trading...I tuirned in my mushanana for a pair of jeans and a polo shirt. I a munyarwanda living in the USA and I think you have done a great job with the dictionary. keep it up and I hope you are enjoying my country

6/11/2007 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to write the phrases "You are Precious to the Lord" and "Happy Birthday" in Kinyarwandan - could you help me?

6/14/2007 12:50 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Anonymous, I'll try to find out for you.

In the meantime, I've added more vocab that I hope will be helpful!

6/25/2007 7:18 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I'm a camp counselor near DC and one of my campers recently moved here from Rwanda. He is only 7 and speaks very little English, and is often very withdrawn and sad. However, I found your blog, and since I started talking to him in his language he has become much happier, more communicative, and more friendly with other campers. Thank you so much! I was wondering if you or any of your readers could help me out with some words:

teach, share, patient, learn, happy, sad, angry, scared

If you can think of any other words or phrases that might be useful in a summer camp, let me know. Thanks again!

7/29/2007 12:06 AM  
Blogger Kristen Yeo said...

hi morgan,
i just found your blog, and i think it's awesome! I just got back from rwanda and am planning on returning and am trying to study the language a little more. do you have any suggestions for the order of their grammar? thanks! you're awesome! :)
~kristen
kristen_yeo@yahoo.com

8/06/2007 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this wonderful translation list. I noticed someone else asked what the kinyarwanda word for Grandmother or Grandma might be but didn't find the answer. Anyone know?

8/23/2007 3:02 PM  
Blogger trace said...

Can someone help me, I would like to say to someone,"you can find your way but i will protect you now." in kinyarwandan. thank you so much

9/01/2007 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

Wow! What a great blog! I'm a doc in the US, and have been travelling back and forth to Ruli, Rwanda for the past year. I was trying to search for the english translation of "ihangane". I think it is "be patient", but wanted to doublecheck. Anyone know? By the way...
grandfather: sogokuru
grandmother: nyogokuru
peace: amahoro
love: urukundo
Don't cry: wirira
I love you: Ndagukunda
my friend: Inshuti Yanjye

9/02/2007 10:13 PM  
Blogger Marx said...

akazi keza (good work)!i'm a grad student at Rice, Houston. i was born and raised in kenya however both of my parents are rwandese. i can speak the languange but never really learned how to write, so I can really appreciate how much effort you put into learning the language. respect!
-Marx

9/12/2007 8:53 PM  
Blogger Organized Chaos said...

Hello. I lived in Rwanda for 2 years and loved it. I did a search also on the internet for a dictionary but to no avail. All of the dictionaries out there were French-Kinyarwanda.

Anyway, Someone earlier mentioned that there is going to be a English-Kinyarwanda dictionary coming out soon and I can actually personally confirm that. I presently have it in my posession as I am working on some of it. It is quite comprehensive, (when I received it there were over 450 pages including grammer). I can't give it to anyone yet but when it is finished I believe it will be available at the ORTPN office. I am sure there will be other places you can find it but that one I am most confident of.

If you have any questions about it I would be happy to pass them along to those who are going to be distributing them. You may email me at preciouspurplebutterfly@hotmail.com

Oh by the way,
I'm happy: ndi shimye
Are you happy: Uri shimye

10/22/2007 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Taswegian said...

The Freelang.com site has about 1000 words of Kinyarwanda/English for all you other Rwandaphiles.

Taswegian

11/22/2007 5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WELL ITS WONDERFULL TO SEE KINYAWRANDA.. TRANSLETED.. BUT IN FACT IM SO ANGRY TO MY SELF,, THAT I CAN SPEAK MY OWN LANGUAGE... U MUST BE WONDERING,,, I WAS BORN IN UGANDA AND RAISED UP THERE I NEVER SAW RWANDA,,,, MY MOTHER IS FROM CHAD,,, WE LEFT UGANDA IN 94.. I WAS 10.. SINCE I HAVE BEEN IN SAUDI ARABIA... PERHAPS I WOULD LOVE TO GO TO RWANDA AND UGANDA,, EVEN CHAD... I MISS AFRICA.... ALESHBAK@HOTMAIL.COM MY NAME IS ABDU

12/02/2007 6:12 AM  
Anonymous ToddH said...

Does anyone have the words to the Happy Birthday song in Kinrarwanda?

James

12/13/2007 5:04 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

What is the word for wine?

1/08/2008 7:58 PM  
Blogger Talia said...

Thank you! This is the only place I've been able to find any translations for Rwandan language... I was wondering if you could find out what "nushya" means? I'll keep coming back here because I would like to learn more.. hope to visit one day!

1/17/2008 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pearl! I really appreciate your work and I would like to thank you for adding new words to my broken mother tongue.

1/30/2008 1:57 PM  
Blogger Callum from Comfort Rwanda said...

Like many of you I have looked in vain for books on Kinyarwandan! There is a "conversational kinyarwanda for missionaries" written by Kerwin Friebel in 1986 called "Tuvuge Ikinyarwanda". It is around 160 A4 looseleaf pages long and has a good range of vocab, grammar, construction etc. I got a copy from our partners in Rwanda but I'm not sure where they got it from.

2/14/2008 11:11 AM  
Blogger laura w. said...

My Mom bought me a basket made in Rwanda from Macy's. It's from the program that they have set up to benefit Rwandan women. Tucked inside the tip of the lid was a small peice of paper rolled up with writing on it. The best that I can make out is " mure key i so ni be yato OR yata. Can anyone help me with this?

2/20/2008 2:45 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Callum,

Not sure if you're talking about Twige Ikinyarwanda, a French-Kinyarwanda manual on how to learn the language (vocab, grammar, etc.) The Ikirezi sells it, as does the school of apprentissage near the Ste. Famille church in Kigali. (They apparently print it.)

It's based largely on training documents produced by the U.S. Peace Corps in the 90s.

If you buy it at the School of Apprentissage, it also comes with language tapes for $2 each. They're in the process of converting them to MP3 files and burning them on CDs.

Laura, about those baskets--I'm not sure what that means, to be honest. When I bought baskets in Rwanda, sometimes the female artisan would attach at piece of paper with her name to the basket. From the looks of it, though, it doesn't look like that's a name.

I'm not super keen on those baskets, just because I know how much they cost if you buy them in Rwanda. I'd be interested to know what percentage of the profits return to the artisans themselves...

I've seen Rwandan baskets at Ten Thousand Villages stores, and they have tended to be less expensive than the Macy's variety. May be worth checking out.

2/23/2008 11:15 PM  
Blogger Allie said...

Helloo! I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog! I have three penpals from Rwanda and I'm actually planning to go and visit them [and volunteer with them.. they run a project in Butare and other places in Rwanda] and this is great! :)

2/26/2008 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do you say salvation ??

3/30/2008 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a very good. I made contact with Rwandese people in Canada and they all told me to go on this blog.
I have o say that I've never seen such effort before.
Emery Tridis

5/01/2008 8:20 AM  
Blogger AZCatFan said...

Thanks Morgan! This is great. i am going to rwanda in a couple months and would love to know more. I will be speaking to a couple of gatherings and right now I am planning on using a translator, but would love to deliver at least a few phrases in kinyarwandan. Do you know of any other places to get additional translation??

5/02/2008 12:39 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

AZCatFan, I'm not sure where you could get an additional translation beyond finding a native speaker in Kigali who can translate for you. There is a group that used to teach Kinyarwanda at the French Cultural Center, but they're closed since the French were asked to leave. Now they teach private classes at the Belgian School after hours. If you ask there, you should be able to be put into contact with one of the teachers, who could help you.

Good luck!

Emery, thanks for the kind words! I hope it's helpful.

5/05/2008 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe there's one error in your list, just wanted to let you know!

Kwizera = Trust

For Hope, you'd use Ibyiringiro.

Or I sure hope so, because I have a tattoo of it. ;)

5/13/2008 6:15 PM  
Blogger Bjorn said...

Morgan, I've been around your blog for a while, and just wanted to give you a big thanks. Been to Rwanda before, now going for an internship in Kisoro town, and will work on Kinyarwanda while I'm at it. Your dictionary gives a head start. Best of luck with studies and work,

- Bjorn

5/16/2008 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a great website! I wish I known about it before my travels to Rwanda (Kigali). Once returning everyone is keen on trying to keep a little bit of the language and one of my friends came across this site and shared it with the rest! Great work!

5/21/2008 2:09 PM  
Blogger chris boykin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/26/2008 12:04 PM  
Blogger Boykin said...

Morgan! I'm glad I found your dictionary. I'm preparing a a few roles for a production this summer and one of the characters speaks Rwandan. The biggest challenge was finding a pronunciation guide, but you've gone the extra mile.

Thanks miss!

5/26/2008 12:10 PM  
Blogger Boykin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/26/2008 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Do you know how to translate 'one day you will drink wine like a real woman' into Kinyarwandan?

Thanks,
Anna

5/31/2008 2:17 PM  
Blogger Janeen said...

Hello, I am looking for someone to translate a simple letter from English to Kinyarwanda. I sponsored a woman through a development program in Kigali and since she has graduated from the program, we do not have translation assistance. I would greatly appreciate any assistance and understand there may be a cost.

thank you! Please write me @ janeen.mirolli@comcast.net

6/04/2008 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morgan,

WOW! Great work. Thank you. Hope to move with my family in Sept. 2008! Can't wait!

6/17/2008 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am part of a women's circle in a church that is a mission partner of the Nyarubuye Church in Rwanda. My circle is making a quilted banner for the Nyarubuye Church and we want to send a card with it. Can anyone tell me how to write "from your friends at Calvary Presbyterian Church" ? A few of us visited Nyarubuye last year and learned all we know of the language from your website!

7/07/2008 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi..I'm a student in Indonesia and your writing saved my final exam project..thank you..I need to know more about Kinyarwanda and the english language usage in Rwanda..could you recommend me any sites that provide such things??thank's anyway..

7/26/2008 3:37 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Anonymous from the Presbyterian church, I have one translation but need to make sure it's right.

Anonymous number two, I'm happy it helped! In terms of English usage, check out my earlier post (From Francophone to Anglophone) because it talks about English usage in Rwanda. This country is definitely moving toward English.

Cheers!

7/29/2008 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just returned from a mission trip to Cyeza. I wish I had found this website before I left. It is very useful. I have been looking for a program that teaches kinyarwanda. I sponsor 2 children in rwanda so now I can write to them in their native language. Thanks!

8/02/2008 5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

Hi Morgan!! This is an amazing website!! I am rwandaise and have been living in the USA for 12 years. I will be coming in Rwanda this coming christmass vacation and can't wait, it have been a long time. Keep up the wonderful work!! Anne Marie

8/05/2008 5:15 PM  
Blogger Révérien said...

Hello, all
How do you call a beggar in Kinyarwanda?

8/19/2008 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umusabilizi!!

8/19/2008 3:01 PM  
Blogger kazakhstan said...

A friend of mine called her baby "GUHUZA". Does anyone know what this word mean?

8/27/2008 5:02 AM  
Blogger Jt Snitch said...

Morgan, this is an unbelievable resource. I just moved to Kigali and your wisdom, insights, and dictionary are going to make the transition much smoother. Cheers my friend.

8/30/2008 5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...great job!!
can you please find out and add to your list ...what is FIRE and EVOLUTION called in Rwandan language

9/04/2008 11:40 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Can i just say thank you? You are a life saver. This is the only kinyarwanda-english ANYTHING that I have found.

I'm leaving for Rwanda in December, and figure I should try to teach myself the basics. Slow going, but infinitely better, thanks to you!

9/11/2008 8:33 PM  
Anonymous schassay said...

I not sure if this in the list but to say "I Love You very much" --- is "ndagukunda cyane" this site is great. I'm going back to help in the Cardiovascular area ar King Faisal in Kigali. Keep up the good work.

Scott Chassay

9/22/2008 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do you say the word "love" not I love you, just love?
p.s great site.

9/27/2008 2:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Morgan! Absolutely the most comprehensive list I've seen - the phonetic spellings help tremendously!

Any chance you can translate names? We've just been approved for an adoption and we believe the baby's Rwandese name is NTAKIRUTIMANA OR TUGIRIMANA. Your best guess as to the meaning? Imana is God, correct?

Thanks so much!

10/08/2008 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Claudel said...

Hi I'm a Rwanda living in Canada and like this blog.
juste want to reply to the prvious post. NTAKIRUTIMANA means nothing is greater than God and TUGIRIMANA means We have God.

10/13/2008 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, now I have a few words to write to the Rwandan child who I sponsor.

10/19/2008 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

This dictionary is so great! A friend of mine is going to Kigali with some nursing students in the spring so we have made your list into a little handbooklet for them! A million thank you's on sharing your knowledge with us all!!!

11/13/2008 8:39 AM  
Anonymous elizabeth said...

I'm sure this is an easy one: How to write my Christmas card greeting...I'd like to say :
Merry Christmas...Peace on earth to all God's creatures.
Love,
Can anyone help?!
Thanks a lot.

12/05/2008 11:15 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I'm very sorry that this comment isn't exactly pertinent to to the vocab... but nonetheless, I feel the need to thank you. I found this blog on a whim while searching for the words to a song in Kinyarwanda. The only part I can remember goes "hobe hobe hobe, abarachi muraho..." (perhaps you know it?) I didn't find it, but what I did find makes my heart ache for the red rwandan soil. in april (of 08) I traveled to Rwana (mostly Kigali) for about three week with a group of other kids from my school. I still think about it every day. another group of students (unfortunately, not including me) are going again this february, and I'm definitely going to share your blog with them. I find myself still longing to say mwaramutze to my family in the morning when I wake up.
Thank you for bringing it all back.

12/07/2008 12:08 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I am so happy to have found this web site! I have been a sponsor in the 'womenforwomen' support group/charity and as such have been writing to some women members in Rwanda. The women on the course there are training to be self sufficent,and need sponsors to help finance their time there. A translator will help out with letters received and being sent, but once the year finishes for the women the translator is no longer available. Therefore this web site is a God send! Many, many thanks for helping me out!

12/13/2008 11:56 AM  
Blogger Trevor said...

Love it! One thing though to the creator is you copy and paste some of the catagorys like the first one and paste it into a program like Word they have an option under table to arrange them alphabetically based on the first letter on each line. Its kinda cool and People could do it on there own but just figured I would let you know encase its something your interested in doing.

12/16/2008 4:09 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Trevor, thanks for the idea :) Originally, I literally added to the list as I was learning the words, but I haven't had a chance to alphabetize everything! I promise that it's on my list of things to do!

1/04/2009 4:20 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Roxanne, I do know that song! I have a spattering of Rwandan music. If I happen to have that song, I'll post here.

1/04/2009 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Paul Philip said...

Hi!
I like very much yor blog!

I was searching in internet for rwandese proverbs but i only found english versions.

Can anybody translate me this to Kinyarwanda?

"If you call a piece of wood 'child', you can never use it to light fire since it has become so precious"


Thanks
Regards

Paul

1/06/2009 8:20 AM  
OpenID keatoninjoplin said...

wow, umm is it possible u could translate for me the phrase "art feeds.."

I'm doing work for a friend who has laid the groundwork to start a NPO by that name and rwanda is a place she despertely wants to go this summer.

1/07/2009 10:09 PM  
OpenID keatoninjoplin said...

I'm pumped about the response to this, any possibility you could translate the phrase "Art feeds..." into rwandan?

I'm doing work with an NPO of the same name and need it for a design, thank you so very much.

1/07/2009 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog! have been searching forever to find something useful in Kinyarwanda.

Can anybody help with the word "umutesi"? I am trying to translate a letter but this one I cannot place. Thank in advance!

Maria

1/09/2009 5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you! I have been in Rwanda for 3 weeks and your blog is exactly what I have need to decipher beyond hello and thank you! Murakoze chane :)

1/14/2009 1:21 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Goodness, what perfect timing. We have a group that does medical mission work in Rwanda. We recently found your blog and are very pleased to see so much in your dictionary. Last year I picked up a small Kinyarwanda-English dictionary at the national Genocide Museum.

I trust all is well with you.

1/14/2009 2:43 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

By the way, there is a simple dictionary online which you can download from Freelang.
http://www.freelang.net/dictionary/kinyarwanda.html

1/14/2009 10:43 AM  
Blogger missionarymum said...

hi morgan, am really blessed to find your blog.hopeflly i can learn abit more of kinarwanda.many thanks for this blog and the dictionary. i will print off and practice with my husband.nataliexx

1/16/2009 3:48 PM  
Blogger African Politics said...

hey, being Rwandan, I'm happy to see this blog, it's great to see my language being recorded this way. Abakiga (people from the north) are usually the ones who say "sh" instead of "shy" like "ibishimbo" instead of "ibishyimbo." The best kinyarwanda, and purest to us, is spoken by people from the southern area such as Gitarama and parts of Gikongoro. And "l" and "r" are really interchangeable when speaking, they matter more in writing.

1/17/2009 3:14 PM  
Blogger African Politics said...

Oh, and "umudugudu" actually means "city" while "umugi" means town. But people probably refer to that as we refer to the "projects." I do remember the passion fruit vine behind our house on the wall, boy, I miss Rwanda.

1/17/2009 3:16 PM  
Blogger Marjolein said...

This dictionary is sooooo helpful thank you! I tried to get my Rwandan friends to teach me stuff but it was either slang (arasharamnye or however you'd write that was a favourite...) or they would insist on practising their English with me. So thanks for this list!

1/27/2009 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yep!!!
hello Morgan? just wanna say that you're completely amazed i mean awesome.
thx for all these steps that you got and you help many people,
i wanna help you more in different ways
soon & God bless you

1/29/2009 9:48 AM  
Blogger Dr. Z said...

This is amazing!
I am preparing for my second medical missionary trip to the Land of a Thousand Hills, and will in all probability use this Rwandan dictionary on a regular basis

2/05/2009 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohh!wonderfull work from Morgan and thanks for translation;Am Rwandan living in Kigali ready to assist any one who needs translation from English to Kinyarwanda contact email is rwndahope@rocketmail.com

2/25/2009 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but = ariko not haricot
haricot = beans (french)

ARIKO = But
God bless you = Imana iguhe umugisha.

3/20/2009 4:45 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/06/2009 3:57 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

I've borrowed some of your words for a Kinyarwanda wiki I'm putting together - please feel free to contribute - I'm hoping it can be place for people to share what they've learnt

http://kinyarwanda.ijuru.com

4/06/2009 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey morgan,
what a godsend your site is, i have recently become the friend of two girls from rwanda and they speak no english. this has helped to stop them feeling lonely even if i have to point to words!

4/08/2009 5:14 PM  
Blogger quebeclanguageek said...

Asante sana!

5/08/2009 4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOW DO YOU SAY FREDOME IN RWOANDA??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

5/12/2009 6:00 PM  
Blogger Сергей said...

Hi, what does mean in Kinyarwanda: "La vida'es limo nada.

5/17/2009 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thannks so much for the dictionary. It has been a bookmark on my computer for a long time now. I'm american and have dated a Rwandese girl for years. I use your site so much to text her for fun. I'm starting to learn the language basics now. Please continue to add to it. It is so hard to find Kinyarwanda online. Thanks again!

5/19/2009 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morgan, thank you so much for posting this information.
Does anyone know how to say:
"please" and also a
general, informal "Hi/hello"?

5/24/2009 9:21 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Can you tell me the translation for salt and sugar

5/25/2009 8:42 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Dan,

Isukari is sugar, and Umunyu is salt!

Cheers, M

6/04/2009 4:22 PM  
Blogger Rugenza said...

Hello,thanx Morgan
With other Kigali Institute of Education graduates we have a ready made Kinyarwanda=English dictionary though not yet officially launched,we can sell hard copy to people who need it our contact is srugenza@yahoo.com

6/08/2009 3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn`t know that this website until my friend showed to me. Its great for umudyango wanje cause their are trying to learn anglish,so iy`s awsome and for I do speask both of them english and kinyarwandan verry good. i am from Rwanda

6/12/2009 7:38 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

there are online lessons here: http://www.kigalicoders.com/kinyarwanda/

6/16/2009 3:08 PM  
Blogger FRIENDINRWANDA said...

THANK YOU SARAH FOR THAT ADDITIONAL WEBSITE ON THE KINYARWANDA LANGUAGE. IT IS QUITE THE LANGUAGE TO LEARN. AND THANK YOU MORGAN FOR THE LIST YOU HAVE POSTED. I SPONSOR A CHILD IN RWANDA AND HAVE GREAT DESIRE TO VISIT HER ONE DAY. I HAVE LOTS OF LEARNING TO DO. ANOTHER PAGE WITH KINYARWANDA IS www.speakrwanda.com. THOUGH THEY CHARGE FOR THEIR PRODUCTS. IT'S ALL DOWNLOADS. IS THERE A SECTION HERE FOR CHRISTIAN WORDS? NAMES LIKE "JESUS" AND "GOD" AND "THE BIBLE". HOW DO YOU SAY. "IN JESUS' NAME"?

6/26/2009 4:23 AM  
Anonymous Josh said...

thanks so much! i'm headed to rwanda and, like you, couldn't find anything

6/29/2009 7:23 PM  
Anonymous FRIENDINRWANDA said...

does anyone have a myspace page for Rwanda? i've got one for my sponsor child. i have seen some for Rwanda but they haven't logged on since like 2006 or 2007. i would like to see Morgan put one up, so we can see pictures of life there and such.

6/30/2009 3:49 AM  
Blogger FRIENDINRWANDA said...

here is another page. free downloads, but read the terms of service-the people that made this are exceptionally generous. http://www.freelang.net/dictionary/kinyarwanda.php#download

6/30/2009 3:06 PM  
Blogger FRIENDINRWANDA said...

another one similar to www.kigalicoders.com is www.kinyarwanda.ijuru.com made by same people but in a different format.

6/30/2009 3:26 PM  
Blogger RYAN said...

How much English is spoken in Rwanda?

7/02/2009 3:45 AM  
Blogger katie said...

hello! i traveled to Rwanda in 2006, and would like to get a tattoo to celebrate my experience there. when i was in Kigali a priest told me the phrase for "good heart", but i'm not sure of the spelling... since it's going to be on my body permanently, i'd like to be 100% on it :) does anyone know? i think it was something like "umutima mwiza". thanks!

7/04/2009 12:20 PM  
Blogger RUTH said...

This has been very helpful.
Just out of curiosity Morgan, what country are you from?

7/07/2009 8:19 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Thanks, all, for posting additional websites. It makes me happy that more resources are becoming available!

Ryan, to answer your question, I am increasingly astonished at how much English is spoken in Kigali. I would even go so far as to say that it is now Anglophone (don't try to speak French to any police or army types, as they will be offended!). You are more likely to need French in the field, although this, too, is changing quickly. I've heard that Rwanda is phasing out its French education entirely (and now is having a real problem finding teachers who can teach all subjects in English). This is an interesting article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jan/16/rwanda-english-genocide

Katie, I can understand your concern. I'll ask my Rwandese roommate to confirm for sure:)

And Ruth, I'm American! From Washington, DC.

Cheers, M

7/09/2009 9:18 AM  
Blogger Сергей said...

Hi, what does mean in Kinyarwanda: "La vida'es limo nada.

I already asked that some time ago but got no reply...

7/09/2009 11:33 AM  
Blogger Jamie Jo said...

Thanks for doing this! I adopted an infant from Rwanda 2 years ago and I am headed back in August to adopt a 6 year old boy! This will be VERY helpful!

7/09/2009 5:17 PM  
Blogger RUTH said...

Thats interesting to know Morgan. I am totally amazed!!! Well done.

7/10/2009 8:58 AM  
Anonymous RYAN said...

JAMIE JO--WHERE IN RWANDA? I HAVE A CHILD IN RW367.

7/13/2009 3:25 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Katie, "good heart" is umutima mwiza! Confirmed with my roommate here.

As for "La vida es limonada"... you mean what does the Spanish mean translated into Kinyarwanda? Not sure how to say "Life is lemonade"... :)

7/19/2009 9:07 AM  
Blogger Сергей said...

No,Morgan C., I mean the text in Kinyarwanda. Here is an abstract from the Wiki about Afurika:

Damahagi u irk en tada bamburi. La vida'es limo nada. M as doritu fito mkat dnurfiti. Mar kise talofa hamuse revolte.

http://rw.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afurika

As you see it's not Spanish but Kinyarwandish. That is why I wonder what could mean such Spanish-like text in fact.

7/19/2009 9:20 AM  
Anonymous ryan said...

how do you say "you're welcome" in response to "thank you"(murakoze)?

7/20/2009 3:06 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Aha! Okay, so for "La vida es limo nada"--I checked out that site and only the first line is in Kinyarwanda/Kirundi. The others are either gibberish or they are another language (not Swahili, as far as I can tell). So--it doesn't mean anything.

For Ryan: the way to respond to "Murakoze" is "Murakoze nawe" (moorahkozay nahway) for one person, or "Murakoze namwe" (moorahkozay nahmway) for multiple people or to be formal. Most people just cut off the "murakoze" and say "nawe" or "namwe," though.

Hope that makes sense!

7/21/2009 3:20 AM  
Anonymous ryan said...

Murakoze Morgan! makes sense. i've had Spanish for two years a long time ago and singular can definately change when switching to plural. Murakoze.

7/21/2009 3:24 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

I should also note that technically, if you're saying thank you to one person, you can say "Urakoze"--I just prefer to always use "Murakoze" because it's more formal and nicer. (Kind of like the "vous" form in French.)

7/22/2009 10:37 AM  
Anonymous jeana said...

I just returned from a trip to Kibungo, Rwanda... I printed out your vocabulary list... the papers have come back covered in red dirt and well used.

THANK YOU. I'm so glad I stumbled across your list... My new Rwandan friends were so impressed by what I picked up, used and learned in the short week I was there.

I love Rwanda... it was amazing. I hope to go back.

7/27/2009 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:) hello everyone!!! do you know what these mean?? Uracyabaho? siku mingi? cava? abaye keza...waranananutse? I would love if you could help me.. thank you :)

(I dont know what this means??)
sha byo tubonane vuba turakumburanye!!! how is usa? ndaguha amakuru yose kuri messenger biz take care


( i dont know what this means? )
Sha ndakomeye. Wowe umeze gute? Yinyohereze


OMG wabaye keza...waranananutse..

8/01/2009 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got this letter and im trying to see what it means>???? Andirimbira every day ukuntu ankunda, LOL.... So wewe nta mu copine ufite se? Firmin nawe turavugana yiga muri etats-Unies. Sha intoki ziri kunrya reka nzajye kugura carte nguhamagare, KKK?

8/02/2009 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whats this mean??

Amakuru yawe? Sha ntabwo nakwibagirwa nukuntu twajyaga tubwirana udukuru mwishuri. Sha ndacyari Etats-Unies kandi ndacyari kwiga ahubwo nurwara nukumpamagara nkakuvura. Uri kwiga ibiki muri India? Ushatse wampa numero yawe nkazajya nguhamagara, cell phone yanjye nara yikandagiye so ntiri gukora.


hw r u doin once again?nonese mariam ko wandika utuntu duk uziko nkeney amakuru yaw yos,so tl me more abt u.uri gukora medecine?me am doin bio-technologie so we cn complete each other!!umva ma num iz ,so nzishima ninumva ijwi ryawe.umva ntago uri miss universe?!ntibazagukorane!!boy friend wawe yitwa nde?cg uri player!!umva wandik nonese byishi ikinu cyose washaka ko menya 4m u.bzu a +

8/02/2009 2:49 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Anonymous, that's a lot to translate! She's writing in French, English (both in txt message style), a little Swahili ("siku mingi" means "many days"), and Kinyarwanda.

I can tell from what she's saying (her name is Mariam), she seems to want to be a pen pal/telephone friend of sorts, and is asking questions about how you're doing ("sha ndakomeye" is like "friend, is it easy?" which basically means "friend, how are you?"), whether you have a boyfriend (and what his name is), whether she can talk with you on Messenger, that you can talk from the United States but have to get a phone card (I think). She said something about learning about India, and asked what your job is--if you work in medicine. She says she works in biotechnology, so you guys complement each other's fields. She says "Listen, here's my number" but doesn't include her phone number (I'm guessing you left that out on purpose)...and calls you a player. :)

8/05/2009 3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone know???


Sha impamvu nakubwiye ko mba busy cyane bigatuma ntaguhamagara, nuko ibintu ndi kwigira sha nibishyashya kuri njye cyeretse wiyiziye ukabibona, mva ku ishuri nkahita njya kukazi, nshobora nokumara amezi 3 ntahamagaye no murugo. Aza duherekana kuvugana muri Octobre. Mba ngeregeza kwigira inshuti nabana bintiti kugirango banyigishe, sha last term nakoze nabi ku ishuri niyo mpamvu nahise nkanira kurushaho. Karine, ntugire ngo nari nakwibagiwe, ntanubwo nakwibagirwa!!! Mpora ngutekereza nubwo ntacyo nakumarira ariko kuba mpora nkuganirira nabagenzi banjye bino kenshi nukuvugako undi kumutima. Iyo nakukumbuye njya kuri Hi 5 nkareba kagaphoto kanjye nawe. Sha reka nkureke nsubure muri classe ubwo nahubutaha. Bizou

8/05/2009 10:50 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Hey Morgan,
thanks so much for this website it is helping me tremendously with Kinyarwanda. I am heading to Rwanda in February and wanted to ask a quick question about the phonetics. In some words there is a capitalization of certain parts of the word, I was wondering if that denoted emphasis on that particular part of the word. I want to be as exact as I can on my pronunciation. Thanks so much again. My email is TriuneGod2003@yahoo.com, answer whenever you have time and ability.

Justin Williams

8/13/2009 10:37 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Hi, Justin! Thanks for the question.

Generally, one capitalized letter indicates the beginning of a new syllable. A segment of capitalized letters indicates an emphasis on that syllable. Admittedly, I didn't show the emphasis for all words. I have found that it was unnecessarily complicated, as while there are a couple of words whose meanings change based on which syllable is emphasized, Rwandese have never had a problem understanding these words when pronounced as they are written here. (At least, with me.)

Good luck and enjoy Rwanda!

8/17/2009 9:09 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

Hey Morgan,
Thank you very much, I'm spending about an hour a day learning from this list and a couple of other resources. Hopefully it will make a difference when we get there. Take care and thanks again.

8/22/2009 8:51 AM  
Blogger RYAN said...

http://cardsfromafrica.com/ this is advertised on the myspace page i have for one of my sponsored children. i have two kids now in Rwanda.

8/23/2009 4:26 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Hi everyone!
Just wanted to pass this along.

I'm co-moderating a Kinyarwanda language blog for those who are interested in learning more. Still working out a few kinks, but the address is:
www.simplyrwandan.com
I'll be posting the exact same lessons on blogger, which can be found at kinyarwandablog.blogspot.com. It might be a little easier to follow once I get it moved. Morgan, would you be interested in getting involved?

Also, for anyone interested in networking with Rwandese, check out www.shakinghandswithrwanda.com. It's a relatively new site that's a bit like facebook but solely for those interested in Rwanda.

Thanks!

8/23/2009 6:36 PM  
Blogger Hagit said...

Could you please outline the main differences between Kinyarwanda and English? (word order/phonetics/cultural aspects) I would like to volunteer as an ESL teacher and would like predict what second Language interfernce may hinder their language acquistion.

8/24/2009 7:37 AM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Hagit, off the bat, I'd say one of the big problems you may encounter is the difference in pronunciation of the "L" and "R." In Rwanda and Burundi, these are pronounced the same way. (As an example, my friend was just talking to me about a "serrure," but it sounded like he was saying "cellule"...big difference between a "lock" and a "cell." There was a bit of a misunderstanding.)

You'll probably also encounter problems with long and short vowels. I was recently talking to a colleague, and said that in the countryside, there are many hills. He couldn't pronounce this, despite many tries, and instead said that there are many hells. Um. Problematic. (You probably don't want to say that Rwanda is the Land of a Thousand Hells.)

8/25/2009 5:36 AM  
Anonymous RYAN said...

Greetings, everyone. ijust wrote my first letter to my second sponsor child in Rwanda. And it's all in Kinyarwanda! Woo Hoo! Omly about 4 sentences. Short and choppy ones. All translated from this page, except Yesu ashimwe. Which i found at www.kinyarwanda.ijuru.com Many murakoze's Morgan!

8/26/2009 8:55 PM  
Anonymous ryan said...

I forgot to ask, one thing i didn't know how to say is "your new friend". so i put that in parenthases in the translation part.

8/26/2009 8:57 PM  
Blogger David said...

please... i need to know what this means.... .


hiii,hou do in?hope that ur fyn,,sha nagiraga ngo ngushimire kuri ya gahunda wanyemereye kumfashamo najye ndiho ndabisengera ngo bizacemo.none jye uko nabitekerezaga ko twabikora hano bisigaye ari ikibazo gukoresha diprome yinkorano basigaye bahamagara muri ministeur bakabaza niba ari originar iri mu gitabo..sasa uko twabikora:nashaka hano umuntu wishyuti yajye warangije hano kgli ufite dprom nkakoresha amazina ye,nkaka pasport yiburundi ku mazina ye nkaza ngakoresha dprome ye nibindi byose byasabwa,,icya mbere ni ugushaka uwo muntu, icya kabiri ni iburundi gushaka pasport,so wabwira nawe uko ubyumva
sha niyo gahunda indi imbere,historique ya bank yo mfite umuntu uza yimpa byoroshye kandi afiteho cash nyishyi kuburyo ntakibazo eric uyu munsi yagiye iburundi namubwiye ngo ambarize byose .....ok hve nyc tym bzouuu

8/28/2009 5:09 PM  
Blogger Sportsview said...

Hi!thanks to Morgan for promoting my language;I am Rwandan born in Tanzania,fluent in Swahili and English and offcourse Kinyarwanda as my mother tongue,currently i am working at Sports view Hotel(www.sportsviewhotelrwanda.com).For for those in Rwanda we can provide free translation services from English to Kinyarwanda or Swahili.looking forward to meet you.those who will need the service will have to contact me before at hotelsportsview@gmail.com
Emil

9/08/2009 3:50 AM  
Blogger RUTH said...

Hey all, I live in the UK.Do you know of anyone that can spend a few hours with me going over a document in Kinyarwanda, ensuring the grammatical structure is correct.
Thanks
Ruth

9/09/2009 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Cailey said...

Hey there,

Thanks so much for posting this online. I'm leaving next week for 2 months in Rwanda before I head to my freshman year of college in the fall. I'll be teaching in Gisenyi and knowing even a few of these phrases will be very helpful, i'm sure!

Imana aguhe umugisha,
cailey

9/09/2009 7:13 PM  
Blogger Carlene said...

Thank you for your time, care, energy & effort in sharing your knowledge of this beautiful language. Now, I may have a tiny handle on how to at least demonstrate an effort with our Rwandan sponsored children whom I will be meeting for the first time w/ Compassion International this week! Your blog has provided me with so so much. Thank you.
Imana aguhe umugisha

9/13/2009 3:20 PM  
Blogger Paulin H. said...

Thank you so much Morgan for spreading my native language all over the world. you are doing a fantastic job, as i see that it is more helpful to many peolpe.

Thank you, that's all I have to say

9/27/2009 11:32 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Rwadan dictionary is very interesting and specific for learning.
English essays

10/06/2009 6:44 AM  
Blogger L&L Road Trip Team Feat. Caleb said...

I am trying to find the Ikinyarwanda word for "party" or "celebrate". Any ideas?

11/03/2009 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wamababariye kweli ko ntana ma adresse yabantu mfite wayantumiye basi .. what does this mean?

11/09/2009 7:49 PM  
Anonymous AngelView said...

Thank you SO much for taking the time to create this site and share your knowledge with us.

Last year I met a wonderful friend who escaped Rwanda during the horrible time of the early 90's. I want to honor her by learning to speak some of her language. She is a very special person.

Murakoze,

11/12/2009 12:18 PM  
Blogger Autter said...

Hi Morgan,

This site is amazing and I appreciate all the work you have put into it over the years. I lived in Rwanda for 6-months and was involved in youth work and the distribution of educational material.

Someone asked earlier about the translation for Jesus. There are actually two translations for the word and your usage would depend on your denominational affiliation.

Catholic- Yezu
Protestant- Yesu

We found that if you are publishing anything that you want to use cross-denominationally it is wisest to choose the Catholic translation. Protestants will forgive your Catholic usage but most Catholics would be offended by the Protestant version.

Thanks again for this list. I was in country when you originally published it and I wish I had know it was around. It's soooo helpful and now, so comforting to remember the language of a country I love so dearly.

12/08/2009 12:16 AM  
Blogger RUTH said...

Great stuff. I never knew that Cathlics prefer the term Yezu.Very interesting and informative.

12/08/2009 9:20 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

Hello, I'm about to travel to Kigali for a year to work at an orphanage. There aren't many resources on the web for Kinyarwanda, so I just wanted to say thanks for posting this.

12/10/2009 9:16 AM  
Blogger Nyota said...

Thank you! I am living/ working in Rwanda for a few months, see no chance in being fluent but would love to be able to communicate simple things with people that I meet. This will really help me out.

12/13/2009 6:16 AM  
Blogger Soundlymad said...

great blog - anyone know the exacttranslation of this phrase as commonly found on documents

"..Gucika Ku Icumu"

much obliged

12/13/2009 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Julie P said...

I have just become the sponsor of a young girl from Rwanda and your translation looks invaluable to us.

12/17/2009 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

Julie P.

If you are with Compassion Intl. come check out www.ourcompassion.org for sponsors. you can also scroll up a few messages here to find other Kinyarwanda language sites.

12/18/2009 2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone translate. "Thank you, but it would be better if we didn't contact each other anymore."
Please help me?

12/27/2009 2:15 AM  
Blogger Kuppuswamy said...

Thank you Morgan

Its really 100% useful, keep going with your wonderful intiatives

1/11/2010 2:58 PM  
Blogger scoutfitch said...

Morgan -
A thousand thank yous! Your dictionary has been so very helpful.
Bless you!

1/11/2010 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Morgan. Congrats for that effort. I speak Kinyarwanda and as a sign of appreciation I can contribute spelling corrections to about a dozen words or so. But only with your permission. Regards,
Eugene, zeeneugene5@yahoo.com
Mesa, AZ.

1/15/2010 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I have question...can please somebody translate this sentence:

urakoze kandi umenye ko umpora ku mutima

Thank you!!!!

1/28/2010 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morgan,
Thank you so much for posting this. My wife Sarah and I are moving to Rwanda next month with the Peace Corps and will be spending the next 27 months there. This dictionary has been very helpful in learning some basic words and phrases before we leave. Keep up the good work!

1/29/2010 8:44 PM  
Blogger Marmee said...

What does Uraho Ruhiri mean?

i may not be spelling it exactly right but it is associated with a wedding or new couple.

2/15/2010 11:07 PM  
Blogger Morgan C. said...

Anonymous, how wonderful to hear that you are joining the Peace Corps! Please tell the Country Director that I said hello :)

2/16/2010 1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time posting, but was in Rwanda last summer, an eye opening experience. We are about to publish some of the pictures that were taken, I need to know the kinyarwanda word for tambourine...

Thanks so much

2/26/2010 11:56 AM  
Anonymous marjorie d said...

Help me!!!
I recently heard a song from the "Hotel Rwanda" soundtrack. The song is "Mwali We". I googled and was unable to find a translation for the lyrics. I found a website saying the artist only sings in Kinyarwanda. Is there a literal translation for Mwali We from Kinyarwanda to English?

3/01/2010 2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well.. i just got here on this blog direct from facebook group and i just wanted to help you on the translation of "Mwali We"=you young lady" kind of calling someone.

3/07/2010 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

What FB group, please?

3/08/2010 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morgan & contributors -
Again, thank you so much for this invaluable tool! I met some wonderful people on a recent visit to Rwanda and your dictionary is super helpful in corresponding.

I am hoping someone can help with a few words I can seem to translate:

baragusuhuza
&
ndagukumbuye cyane

Thanks in advance!!

3/10/2010 10:53 AM  
Blogger MamaZum said...

There is aperson, or peoplewho keeps copying highly personal and quite incriminating messages here in Kinyarwanda, obviously form someone else who is not aware that their conversations are being read and published. I am glad people have ignored the messages from "anonymous" and not translated them.

I would like to offer my help, I LOVE LANGUAGES: kinyarwanda and French are my "first" ones, but i speak english,swahili,luganda and swedish fluently too.

Anybody who need translations of short text for free can contact me, I enjoy doing translation work for fun.

MORGAn here is doing an amazing job, your word list is really good and I'd like to thank you for your efforts.
GOD bless you "Imana iguhe umugisha"

3/22/2010 5:21 PM  
Blogger OraAurora said...

Hei to everybody!

MamaZum how can i contact you?
I have few words to translate...

Thanks:)

3/25/2010 7:08 AM  
Blogger Zhilong said...

Why is the Rwandan national anthem called "Rwanda Nziza" instead of "Rwanda Rwiza" ? This has really confused me, as I don't see why "Rwanda" takes an IN-class agreement. The onld anthem was "Rwanda Rwacu", not "Rwanda Yacu". Ndagushimye !

4/05/2010 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Ruth DICKSON said...

Do you enjoy music?
On the 24th of April 2010. There is going to be a book and Gospel music CD launch. At the event there shall be a variety of Live music; Strinq Quartets, Acoustic guitar, Flute, various soloists and East African Gospel Singers: Rwanda, Uganda are being hosted in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK

Kindly support this event. Please forward this link to friends of Rwanda and East Africa and East African's themselves. Its going to be a rewarding event.

God Bless you All

The Musicians shall be performing at

Venue:
141 Woodhall Lane
Welwyn Garden City
Hertfordshire
UK
AL7 3TP

Time:
3pm-6pm prompt

Dress:
Smart

Contact:
+447909152405

Please check this event; WORTHY GOD on Facebook;
www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=101464709892225&ref=mf

Welwyn Garden city is 25mins from KingsCross Station by rail
15 Mins from Finsbury Park station

20mins down the A1 from Millhill

M11 and M25 all link Hatfield-Welwyn Garden City

4/06/2010 7:17 AM  
Blogger Tammi said...

I need a translation for faith, hope & love, and I found on this page already

Hope = kwizera
Love = urukundo

Just need a translations for "faith." Any help?

4/09/2010 5:29 PM  
Blogger Zhilong said...

Actually, ukwizera means faith. Hope is ibyiringiro (from the verb kwiringira, to hope). So "faith, hope, and love" would be "ukwizera, ibyiringiro, n'urukundo". Hope that helps ! If you have any questions let me know.

4/09/2010 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, can any one possibaly traslate 'no pain is forever' ?

4/12/2010 9:30 AM  
Blogger Zhilong said...

ububabare is pain, and kuramba is to last (as in time), so that makes ububabare ntiburamba (pain does not last), but i'm stumped over how to say 'forever'. hopefully a native speaker can help out

4/13/2010 2:53 PM  
Anonymous god is love said...

Morgan this site is incredible!

Good Morning,

I'm working on a piece and a sort of hymn is written in. However, I'm unsure of exactly how to pronounce the words.

It is entitled "Mwa Ishimirwa" (from my understanding means God is Great).

"Mwa Ishimirwa
Mwa Ishimirwa
Mwa Ishimirwa da kunda
Kya zhe u'je
Mwa Ishimirwa."

Any assistance with pronunciation and translation is appreciated! :-}

4/14/2010 10:45 AM  
Blogger Zhilong said...

"Mwa Ishimirwa
Mwa Ishimirwa
Mwa Ishimirwa da kunda
Kya zhe u'je
Mwa Ishimirwa."

I'm a bit confused by these lyrics, honestly. ishimirwa means he is thanked (Thanks be to God), but if Mwa is another word for Mana (God), then it's new to me. The line "Kya zhe u'je" doesn't look like Kinyarwanda to me at all, as the combinations 'ky' and 'zh' do not happen in the language. Where did you find these lyrics ?

A few rules on Kinyarwanda pronunciation : Two vowels cannot occur next to each other without a consonant (including w and y) in between. I'm going to assume 'Mwa ishimirwa' is correct, and point out that the 'a' in Mwa would disappear in pronunciation because it is followed by 'i'. If the final vowel of one word coming before a word starting with a vowel is 'o' or 'u', it is pronounced like a faint 'w'. The Kinyarwanda vowels are close to :
A the 'a' in father
E the 'e' in hey
I the 'ee' in see
O the 'o' in low
U the 'oo' in food

When consonants and semivowels (W and Y) form clusters in Kinyarwanda, they can get a bit complicated sometimes. MW is actually pronounced like M followed by the NG in siNGer, and RW is like a flapped R (like in Spanish 'peRo', not 'perro') followed by a G like in gum, followed by W. SH is like in EngliSH. So, Mwa ishimirwa --> Mng'i shi mi rgwa

As for 'da kunda', I'm sceptical as to whether this is correct, because -kunda is the root of the verb 'to love', but i can't tell how the 'da' works. It seems similar to the word 'ndakunda' which is 'I love", but I don't see how that fits with the rest of the lyrics. I'm not a native speaker, so I won't attempt a guess as to what is meant here. Assuming it is correct, I'd pronounce it just the way it looks (remember the pronunciation I gave of the vowels earlier.
For the next line, I'm assuming that Kya is supposed to be Cya (in Kinyarwanda, C is pronounced like CH in chew), but by 'zhe' I am totally lost. Maybe it's jye (J is pronounced quite like English J in jeans) ? I can't tell. I'm sorry that the help I could offer is limited, and that my response is rather lengthy. Hope that helps some.

4/14/2010 12:12 PM  
Blogger marco said...

who knows what 'irankunda' and 'mirigue' means?

5/05/2010 6:11 PM  
Blogger Yohani said...

Looks to me like 'irankunda' is 'it loves me', probably in reference to God : 'Imana irankunda' = 'God loves me'. The other word, 'mirigue' is not the correct spelling, i'm not quite sure what it is supposed to be. Perhaps it's 'mwirirwe' ? This means 'good afternoon'.

5/05/2010 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Mugizi said...

I am pretty impressed how you guys are learning my mother tongue, I am very glad you are enjoying and you like it! keep it up! have fun! i'm sure you're gonna like it!

5/10/2010 8:05 PM  
Blogger Virginia Greaves said...

If I wanted to say Rwandan lady -- would I say Rwandan mwali -- ?

5/11/2010 12:59 PM  
Blogger Yohani said...

I'm pretty sure Mwari (spelled with an L in some older sources) can be used as an address to an unmarried woman, and i know Bwana (abbreviated Bw) is equivalent to Mister. If, however, you want to say 'a Rwandan woman', that is umunyarwandakazi.

5/11/2010 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would you say Child of God?

5/11/2010 9:46 PM  
Blogger Yohani said...

child of God = umwana w'Imana; children of God = abana b'Imana

5/12/2010 12:10 PM  
Blogger Yohani said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/13/2010 9:11 AM  

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