Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Language, Spelling and Names

Kinyarwanda is generally pronounced as written, with the accent on the second to last syllable of the word. The singular or plural of nouns is indicated by the prefix: an accomplice is icyitso, two or more accomplices are ibyitso. Most Kinyarwanda terms in this study are written with the prefix, but in conformity with general practice, the nouns Tutsi, Hutu and Twa are used without the prefix and in the same form in the singular and the plural.

Kinyarwanda has been written only since the beginning of the century. Although there is an official orthography, it is not always followed. In citations, Kinyarwanda terms are reproduced here as they were found in the original sources. The term for burgomaster, for example, may be found as burugumestri or burugumesteri.

Most Rwandans have names particular to themselves and do not share a common family name. When two people have the same name, this is usually a coincidence rather than an indication that they are related.

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page