Kinyarwanda: Taking Motos & Taxis

Moto Taxis in Kigali, Rwanda

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 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.

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2 thoughts on “Kinyarwanda: Taking Motos & Taxis”

  1. Pingback: Kinyarwanda- The Language of Rwanda | The Traveling Bird

  2. Gilbert NGABONZIMA

    My name is Gilbert NGABONZIMA, I live in kigali,I would want to inform you that I am expert in kinyarwanda language teaching, I have been working with Peace Corps volunteers for 3 years. Please if there is anyone who wants to learn kinyarwanda language and Rwandan culture, feel free to letting me know and i will meet you from your home.Here is my mobile phone number : (+250) 788 553 570 or ( +250) 728 553 572.
    I work in the weekends ( Saturday&Sunday).We will negotiate about hour rates.

    I thank you very much for consideration.

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