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TRAVEL GUIDE for BURUNDI! – Don't wait for the perfect moment, just take the moment and make it perfect!

Kirundi basic phrases


Basic vocabulary


  • Oya – no
  • Ego – yes
  • Ingo – come!
  • Cane – much, many, a lot, very (Ndashonje cane – I'm very hungry)
  • Gose (gose cane) – many, much (stronger than cane)
  • Buhorobuhoro/bukebuke – slowly
  • Mpore! – attention!
  • Bangwe! – stop!
  • Kira! – Bless you!
  • Kaze! – welcome! (often used "Karibu!" – swahili expression)
  • Amahera/amafranga – money
  • Sindabizi – I don't know
  • Ndibaza – maybe
  • Neza – good
  • Imodoka – a car

 

Greetings


  • Bwakeye / Mwaramutse – hello, good morning!
  • Mwiriwe – good afternoon/evening
  • Ijoro ryiza – good night
  • Turabonaye / Nakagaruka – see you later
  • N'agasaga – see you, good bye
  • Urakomeye? – how are you? (reply: ego/ndakomeye = I'm well)
  • Amakuru? – What's news?
  • Amahoro – peace, widely used as greetins (reply: n'amahoro)
  • Genda n'amahoro – go (be) in peace
  • Urugendo gwiza! – Have a good journey!

 

Expressing gratitude


  • Urakoze – thank you (addressing one person), murakoze (more than 1 person)
  • Urakoze cane – Thank you very much

 

Other useful expressions


  • canke – or
  • hehe? – where?
  • aha – here (Ni aha – It's here)
  • kuki? – why?
  • kuko – because
  • ninde? – who?
  • ryari? – when?
  • canecane – particularly, especially
  • ejo – tomorrow, yesterday (depends on the context)
  • vuba – soon
  • Amahera angahe? – How much does it cost?
  • Jewe nitwa – my name is
  • Ndashonje – I'm hungry
  • Ndanezerewe – I'm not happy
  • Ndihuta – I'm in hurry
  • Mfise itiro – I'm tired/I want to sleep
  • Ndarushe – I'm tired
  • Ndarwaye – I'm sick/ill
  • Nta mahera nsigaranye – I haven't got any money
  • Ntabara – Help!
  • Ndaje – I'm coming!
  • Ndashaka – I want/I would like
  • Mpa… – give me…
  • Urabesha, arabesha – you lie, he/she lies
  • Ikitabu – a book
  • Ishule – school
  • Isoko – market
  • Itabi – tobacco, cigarettes
  • Ingoma – a drum/a kingdom

 

Food


  • umukate – bread (Swahili)
  • muceri – rice
  • ibiraya – potatoes
  • amata – milk
  • amavuta – butter, cooking oil
  • inyama – meat
  • inkoko – chicken
  • amagi – eggs (sing. igi)
  • ivyema – peanuts
  • urubu – yoghurt
  • ubuki – honey
  • ifu – flour

 

Fruits


  • ivyamwa – fruits
  • igisaga – bananas (sweet)
  • inanasi – pineapple
  • umucungwa – orange
  • itunda (pl. amatunda) – "Japanese" fruit (fruit de Japon)
  • ivoka (pl. amavoka) – avocado

 

Vegetables


  • imboga – vegetables
  • ibitoke – bananas (plantains)
  • ibiharage – beans (sing. igiharage)
  • ishu – cabagge
  • umuhiti – cucumber
  • isarata – salad
  • inyanya/itomati – tomato

 

Drinks


  • amazi – water
  • inzoga – beer / used also for alcoholic drinks in general
  • ikawa – coffee
  • icayi – tea
  • fanta – all sorts of fizzy drinks (coke, fanta, sprite,..)
  • urwawa – banana wine
  • impeke – sorghum beer (home made)
  • kanyanga/rutuku – prohibited locally brewed spirit (made of manioc)
  • umunanasi/umuraha – pineapple spirit

 

Dishes, cuttlery


  • ikiyiko – spoon
  • imbugita – knife
  • ifurshet – fork
  • isahan – plate/dish
  • icupa – bottle
  • urupfunguruzo – bottle opener
  • ikirahuri – a glass

 

Animals


  • inka – cow
  • imfizi – bull
  • ishuri – young bull
  • impene – goat
  • intama – sheep
  • inkoko – hen, chicken
  • ingona – crocodile
  • imvubu – hippo
  • akayabo – cat
  • imbga – dog
  • inkende – monkey
  • isato – python

 

Persons


  • jewe – me
  • wewe – you
  • twebwe – we
  • izina (pl. amazina) – name
  • umuntu (abantu) – a person
  • umwana (abana) – child
  • umugore (abagore) – woman
  • umugabo (abagabo) – man
  • umuhungu (abahangu) – boy
  • umukobga (abakobga) – girl
  • umuzungu (agazungu) – white man (a European)
  • umuzungukazi – white woman
  • umwirabure – an African (a black person)
  • umwami (bami) – king
  • umugenzi (abagenzi ) – friend
  • umurimyi – a villager/a farmer
  • umutama – old man/wise man
  • umutamakazi – old/wise woman
  • umushingantahe – a notable
  • umwigisha – a teacher
  • umwigishwa – a pupil/a student
  • Imana – the God

 

Landscape & weather


  • ikiyaga – lake
  • umusozi (pl. imisozi) – mountain, hill
  • urizi (inzuzi) – river
  • ikibuye (ibibuye) – rock
  • ibarabara – path/road
  • izuba – Sun
  • ukwezi – Moon
  • imvura – rain
  • ikivura – storm

 

Numbers


  • igiharuro – number
  • isinzi – a big number (10 000 etc.)

1 – 10

  • 1 = rimwe kimwe umwe
  • 2 = kabiri – bibiri – babiri
  • 3 = gatatu – bitatu – batatu
  • 4 = kane – bine – bane
  • 5 = gatanu – bitanu – batanu
  • 6 = gatandatu
  • 7 = indwi
  • 8 = umunani
  • 9 = icenda
  • 10 = icumi

11 – 20

  • 11 = cumi nu rimwe
  • 12 = cumi nu kabiri
  • 13 = cumi nu gatatu
  • 14 = cumi nu kane
  • 15 = cumi nu gatanu
  • 16 = cumi nu gatandatu
  • 17 = cumi n'indwi
  • 18 = cumi n'umunani
  • 19 = cumi n'icenda
  • 20 = mirong'ibiri
  • 30 = mirong'itatu
  • 40 = mirong'ine
  • 50 = mirong'itanu
  • 60 = mirong'itandatu
  • 70 = mirong'indwi
  • 80 = mirong'umunani
  • 90 = mirong'icenda

100 – 900

  • 100 = ijana
  • 200 = amajana abiri (pl. "amajana")
  • 300 = amajana atatu
  • 400 = amajama ane
  • 500 = amajama atanu
  • 600 = amajama atandatu
  • 700 = amajama indwi
  • 800 = amajama umunani
  • 900 = amajama icenda

over 1000

  • 1000 = igihumbi
  • 100,000 = iraqi/ilaki

 

Days


  • kuwambere – Monday
  • kuwakabiri – Tuesday
  • kuwagatatu – Wednesday
  • kuwakane – Thursday
  • kuwagatanu – Friday
  • kuwagatandatu – Saturday
  • kuwamunga – Sunday (also used kuwa imana, i.e. God's day)

 

Time


  • umwaka (pl. imyaka) – year
  • uyu munsi – today
  • ejo – yesterday, tomorrow (depends on context)
  • ubu – now
  • ubunyene – right now
  • hanyuma – later, after
  • buhoro – slowly
  • vuba – soon (tuzobonana vuba – see you soon)
  • umusi, kumurango – day
  • mwijoro – night (Ijoro ryiza – good night)
  • munkoko – morning, dawn
  • umugoroba – evening (umugoroba mwiza = have a nice evening!)
  • igicu – midnight
  • isaha – hour, a watch

 

 

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