Subscribe to SmallPlanet

We Need Your Help

Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)
Submit a Real Post Report

Kigali



How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You don't need to know Kinyarwanda to get around. English is good, and if you know French it is even better as much of the older population speak more French than English. Rwandans love it if you try to speak Kinyarwanda though. - Dec 13, 2017
You don't need the local language, but learning a little will expand your experience here. You can take lessons locally. - Jan 25, 2017
None, but always nice to learn the basics. - Apr 5, 2016
English is one of the main languages but learn a few Kinyarwanda phrases and it'll go a long way with the locals. - Oct 16, 2014
You can get by fine with English. The population under 30 mostly speak English/Kinyarwanda. Over 30 French/Kinyarwanda. - Jul 23, 2014
It would definitely help, but everyone gets by OK without knowing anything beyond pleasantries. Most Rwandans speak some English. - Sep 13, 2013
English will get you far, French will help, and Kinyarwanda will get you smiles. - May 6, 2012
You'll do fine with only English, be at an advantage with some French and be an amusement with Kinyarwanda. - Apr 2, 2012
If you have Kinyarwanda, you will go far. But you can get by in english for most of the time. - Jul 28, 2011
Just like in the rest of Africa, the more local language you know, the cooler you are to the locals. But, english is an official language, and a decent amount of people speak it, as well as french. - Oct 20, 2010
None really. President Kagame is moving Rwanda away from French and to English. However market shopping is better if you speak the language, and of course it is always good for relations if you know friendly greetings and the like. Rwandans respect expats who can speak even a little of their language. - Jan 23, 2010
People really like it and you gain a lot of respect if you use even just the slightest bit of kinyarwanda. Rwanda is also now becoming somewhat anglophone. - Sep 16, 2008
Most governmental agencies and service oriented facilities have French and English speaking individiuals. English is what is being emphasized in schools. But that will be generations before most of the people outside of Kigali can communicate effectively in English. The local Rwandan language (Kenyarwandan) is utilized in the entire country. - Aug 9, 2008