Kinyarwanda: Taking Motos & Taxis

Kinyarwanda Lessons

Many people in Kigali speak French or English so you should get by if you can speak one of those languages. Moto and taxi drivers, though, sometimes speak only Kinyarwanda which can make describing where you want to go an interesting experience. If you’re heading somewhere near a major Kigali landmark that makes life a bit easier but giving instructions to places that aren’t well known or to individual houses can be tough.

So we’ve come up with a list of phrases in Kinyarwanda that will hopefully help you get to where you want to go with minimal confusion and maximum fun! Hopefully still with a bit of miming, pointing and hand waving… we don’t want to take away all the fun stuff.

English Kinyarwanda
Hello Muraho
How are you? Amakuru?
I would like to go to… Ndashaka kujya ku or i…
How much? Nangahe?
That price is good. Icyo giciro ni cyiza.
That’s too much. Ayo nimenshi cyane.
That price is crazy! Icyo giciro kiratangaje!
I know what the price should be. Nzuko igiciro cyakabaye.
Don’t give me muzungu’s price. Wimpa igiciro cy’umuzungu.
Do you know where … is ? Uzi aho … iri ?
I don’t know where it is, do you? Sinzi aho iri. Urahazi?
Please driver slower. Nyamuneka, twara gahoro.
I’m in a hurry. Ndihuta.
Be careful. Itonze.
You’re a good driver! Uri umushoferi mwiza!
I will direct you. Ndakuyobora.
Turn left. Kata ibumoso.
Turn right. Kata iburyo.
It’s up there. Ni hariya haruguru.
Keep going. Komeza ugende.
Stop here. Hagarara aha.
Thanks, good night. Murakoze, ijoro ryiza.

About Jacques

Jacques is from Kigali and has been teaching Kinyarwanda to expats for a year and a half. He is able to give lessons in your home and his schedule is flexible. If you’re interested in learning Kinyarwanda, give Jacques a call on 0785291363 or email him at mutajacques@yahoo.fr. Lessons cost Rwf 3,000 per hour or call to enquire group discounts. Jacques will have you communicating in Kinyarwanda in no time!