words

Rwandan Dictionary (Kinyarwanda-English)

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

Thanks for the help of an American woman we have a great list or words and phrases here. For anyone who will come over and volunteer as well or the ones traveling in Rwanda.
Everything is in Kinyarwanda unless otherwise noted.

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!

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!

Enjoy!
Anneke – linguistic- Sips

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Muraho Ineza

Very Good Day

It means. In Rwanda it is very much appreciated when you speak a few Kinyarwanda (this is the language spoken here) words. Most people know what ‘Hello, how are you’ in English means, and in my experience they do react respectfully on that. But if you speak some words in Kinyarwanda, the reaction is very different. It seems to open the conversation up, they seem more willing to talk with you. In Yoga class is necessary to speak some words Kinyarwanda. Deirdre can do that well, and i am practicing right now. I have a list of most used words in Yoga, all the body parts, moves (left, right, straight, bend etc.), words like Inhale, Exhale, left, right, count to ten etcetera.

My day started fine. I took my time to wake up. Then went upstairs to the Yoga room in the house and did my practice. Nice it felt, my muscles like this lovely practice. I stretched and found my limitations, went over there a little but i was conscious of not hurting myself. Pushing and pulling, pain and struggling… that’s no Yoga. I am preparing the class i am going to teach this afternoon (all by myself this time).
Again in a church with a group of woman who are suffering from the effects of domestic violence and HIV. Should i teach them suffer even more? We want to teach them how to become strong. Strong from the inside, strong in their own bodies. We teach them how to find balance in themselves and feel their own bodies. Become aware of themselves, their strengths and powers. Love their bodies, Love themselves.
I thought about the way we sometimes practice yoga in the West. No one in the world needs to or should suffer in yoga practice, but still… we sometimes do. Competition can he high, faces look scared, bodies are in pain… frustration arises, Love flows off and even hate can come in. We would skip Asana (posture) because we don’t like them. They hurt us, they are annoying or painful. They may annoy us because we cannot do them as ‘well’ as we would like, or we cannot do them as ‘well’ as the people in the magazines can.
It’s not the posture who does that to us, we do it do ourselves. Our mind does. We push ourselves too hard and forget how to smile. We scare ourselves by dropping into postures too fast when we are just not ready. It’s not the posture that is scary (example back drop in Urdhva Dhanurasana) but we sometimes make it scary by going too fast. Be aware of your fear, embrace the stiff leg, Love your short hamstrings… they will grow, trust them. Be patient. The ladies here in Rwanda need kindness. Like anybody does everywhere.

Be kind to yourself. That way we can be kind to others.

UA OLA LOKO I KE ALOHA
Hawaiian proverb means: Love gives life within.
Love is imperative to one’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual welfare. A kind word can melt the hardest heart. Look at a situation with love. It changes everything.

Anneke

Learn how to greet in Kinyarwanda

Also today: I taught another class, all by myself i went there with my little paper with Kinyarwanda notes on it. The ladies were great today. They did giggle now and then, when my pronunciation wouldn’t be correct. But that’s good actually, we want them to smile, giggle and even laugh out loud now and then, since there are not many places for these women to laugh outside of this mat… do it!
After class they got one hard boiled egg, one glass of milk and one banana. This way they get back some the calories the lost in the yoga practice which they need badly. Cosy it was to sit with them and eat an egg. I like these women!

After class, i got home and remembered that yesterday i promised the guy in the little store at the end of the street, that i would return the Sprite bottle after i finished it. So that’s what i did. What i found very interesting and funny to share was their recycle system.
In Holland we pay something like 25 cents extra for every bottle of drinks we buy. After you finished the bottle, you bring it back to the store and you will get your 25ct back. Fine system, good for the environment, Well here, i found out, they have same kind of system. When i returned the bottle i got back the same amount of money that i paid extra when i bought it, but also the same banknote! The same one with a paper stitched on it. The man of the store had to check the drawer full of banknotes to find mine with a note stitched on it. Funny i thought. Here’s a picture of my note: