There are variety of different languages spoken with Rwandans such as Kinyarwanda, French, English and Kiswahili. However, only English, French and Kinyarwanda are recognized as the official languages in Rwanda.

The majority of Rwandans speak Kinyarwanda primarily or exclusively, but in 2015, the OIF (Organization International France) estimated that 700,000 Rwandans (6% of the population) were French speaking, making it more widely used than English.

Since the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the Rwandan government has worked to unify the country’s conflicted Hutu and Tutsi heritages and rebuild the economy. As part of that effort, the Rwandan government says that schools must begin to conduct classes in English, an effort to help Rwanda become a part of the global economic community.

Although Rwandans speak English, there is still the problem of differentiating British English and American in terms of pronunciations and accent. The problem with pronouncing letters “R” from “L”  as well as “G” from “J” which can often confuse expats, It requires one to be gentle and try to understand the context of the sentence when speaking with them.

Another thing to remember is that Americans tend to use additional words naturally in sentences and often times there are multiple words (synonyms) that can represent one word.  It’s important to take your time and not to assume when it comes to language and work to find common ground.

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3 Comments

  1. Colette Nwonye July 11, 2021 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    This article was very helpful. Thank you.

  2. Kevin Newsom August 23, 2021 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Hello I have arrived here in Kigali & really need some advice on chargers for phone/sim card/place to live /airbnb ideas maybe??

    • JaiAdmin August 23, 2021 at 3:55 am - Reply

      Hello Kevin,

      At this time if you are already on the ground…email jai@mycousinconnection.com and we can communicate via Whatsapp.

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