We've created a Kinyarwanda language guide for vegan travelers in Rwanda, see below for phrases that will come in handy when eating out, as well as help you reduce the waste you create.
Kinyarwanda is the national language of the beautiful country of Rwanda, home to gorillas, golden monkeys, chimpanzees as well as the Big Five which you can see at Akagera National Park. Unfortunately it's not as rich in terms of vegan offerings at restaurants, although what you WILL find is incredibly accommodating staff who will go out of their ways to find you something to eat.
Get the Printable Kinyarwanda Language Guide
Many travellers are surprised by how Rwanda is way ahead of most countries in the area of waste-creation and management. Not only have they had a plastic bag ban since 2007, but their monthly community clean-up, which EVERYONE attends (even the President!) gets rid of most litter!
Luckily, most Rwandans that you'll speak with when talking about food and in shops will speak very good English. It's one of the official languages and nowadays seems to be spoken more widely than French. In all likelihood, your server or shop attendant will understand everything you say. Still, we've found that, when making requests that are a little bit different (such as veganizing somethign on the menu), having it written down as well can be really helpful.
We want to thank our good friend and local partner Amos from Amahoro Tours for translating this sheet for us. And don't forget to check out our other vegan language guides for Thai, Vietnamese and French!
I am a vegan. I do not eat meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, milk or milk products (butter, yogurt, cheese).
Ntabwo njya nywa amata cyangwa ibintu bikozwe mumata. Ntabwo ndya inyama, ifi, inkoko n’amagi.
Does this food contain meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, milk or milk products?
Ibi biryo harubwo birimo inyama, amafi, inkoko, amagi, amata cyangwa ibikozwe mumata?
I can't eat meat.
Ntabwo narya inyama
Please no broth made from meat or fish.
Sishaka ibyo bashizemo inyama chyangwa ifi
Ibiryo by’ibikomoka munyanja
Amata ya soya
Instead of … with_____ can I have the ____ with______
Aho kumpa … na…… wampaye … na……
Please tell me if I order something that is not vegan.
Umva umfashe mbe nasabye bitarimo Ibikomoka kunyamaswa.
Can you suggest anything from your menu that is vegan or your chef can make vegan?
N,ibihe byokurya harimo ibikomoka kunyamaswa byiza nafata cyangwa mushobora guteka?
No fish sauce
Sishaka isosi y’ifi
I eat vegan
Ndya ibirimo ibikomoka kunyamaswa
Can you check with the chef that this is vegan?
Wanbarije umutetsi niba ibi biryo birimo Ibikomoka kunyamaswa?
Can you make this dish vegan?
Mwadutekera ibiryo harimo n’ibikomoka kunyamaswa?
Please fry in oil not butter.
Mukoreshe ubuto mutakoresha amavuta yibikozwe mumata
Thank you for accommodating me at your restaurant. I really appreciate you and the kitchen staff looking after me.
Murakoze cyane kunyitaho muriyi resitora. ndashimira cyane kandi nabantekeye
Does this have any leather, silk, wool or anything else from an animal?
Ibi bintu byakozwe mu zihe mpu? Niki kiriho gikomoka kunyamaswa?
No straw, please.
Nta muheha nshaka
I really don’t want a straw.
Rwose sishaka umuheha
No plastic bag!
IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY
Please call an ambulance!
Nyamuneka hamagara Imbangukiragutabara
I need someone that speaks English now. It’s an emergency!
Nkeneye umuntu uvuga ikyangereza nonaha. Birihutirwa.
Please send an ambulance with a doctor on board if possible.
Nyamuneka nimutwoherereze Imbangukiragutabara hamwe n’umuganga niba bishoboka
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We'd love to hear from you! Do you have any questions? Is there anything missing in this language guide? Let us know and we might add it to a future article update!
Let's have a discussion in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!