Kinyarwanda is Rwanda’s official language and the most widely spoken language. It is also spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s east and in southern Uganda. Kinyarwanda is a Bantu tonal language that is closely linked to Kirundi spoken in neighboring Burundi but considerably more distantly related to other Bantu languages like as Swahili.
Rwanda’s other two official languages, in addition to Kinyarwanda, are French and English. While French was the previous administrative language under Belgian colonial authority, the Rwandan government has moved away from the Francophone sphere of influence after the civil war, most notably by converting the main language of instruction to English in 2008. As a consequence, individuals educated in Rwanda before likely to have some understanding of French, while a large number of returning refugees educated in nearby Anglophone nations tend to know English. Furthermore, as a consequence of its participation in the East African Community, Rwanda has lately made Swahili a compulsory subject in the school curriculum. Swahili is also commonly spoken by merchants and refugees returning from Kenya, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.