Although most visitors will be able to get about with a decent understanding of French (and increasingly English), some acquaintance with Swahili or the related indigenous language, Kirundi, is beneficial, especially in rural regions. The difficulty in learning Kirundi may be the issue. Kirundi and Kinyarwanda (Rwanda’s official language) are quite close.
The Burundian Elders are held in high regard. Young people in the many communities and kinships respect their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even strangers. Burundians also respect everyone.