Common Runyankole phrases

Runyankore is a tonal language with three tones; high, low, and falling.

A word can have different meanings depending on the tone.

E.g èndà - stomach

éndà - lice

A single word may also apply different tones.

E.g ènkômbè - dove

ènkómbè - thick millet porriedge

ènkòmbè - a protruding forehead

Vowels

Nkore has a five-vowel system. That is a e i o u.

N/B: Letter ‘d’ occurs after ‘n’ while letter ‘p’ occurs after ‘m’ in native Nkore words. They only appear on their own in assimilated words.

Greetings in Runyankole

English Runyankole
Good evening. otsibiregye
Good morning. oreiregye
Good afternoon. otsibiregye
How are you? neigahi
How are you today? watsiba ota erizqqba
I am fine. ndyaaho
Have a good day. otsibegye
I am doing great. Tinyine shonga
Hi/Hello. Agaandi
See you soon. Nituza kurebaana
See you later. nituza kurebaana bwanyima kakye

Love Words in Runyankole

English Runyankole
I love you. Ninkukunda
I miss you. okamburaho
Love you so much ninkukunda munonga
I want to see you. Naba ninyeenda kukureeba
I love you with all my heart. Ninkunda munonga nomutima gwangye gwoona
I love you too. Nanye ninkukunda
I want to see you. Naba ninyeenda kukureeba
I like you. Ninkukunda
You are beautiful. Oboneire
My love. Rukundo yangye
You look beautiful. Norebekagye buzima
My beautiful wife. Omukazi wangye omukundwa
I miss you so much, darling. ombuzireho omukundwa wangye
I need you. Naaba nikwetaanga
You will miss me. Ninza kukuguma omubitekateeko
Goodbye, my love. Kare omukundwa
See you tomorrow. Nituza kurebane nyencyakare
I will marry you. Ninza kukutatsya
I want some space. Mpa akaire
I need your love. Ninshaaba rukundo yaawe
You are mine. Ori owangye

Directions in Runyankole

English Runyankole
Where are you? Orahi?
Where did you go? Okaza nkahi?
Where do you live? Notura hi?
Where are you going? Nozahi ?
Where were you? Okaba orahi?

Common Questions in Conversations in Runyankole

English Runyankole
How much? Nizingahi?
How are you feeling? Noyehurira ota?
How have you been? Obeire orahi?
What is your name? Nibakweeta oha?
What are you doing? Oriyo nokorakyi?
What are you cooking/eating? Otekyire kyi?
Are you okay, dear? Origye omukundwa wangye?
When are you coming? Noyija ryaari?
How was your night/day? Oreire ota?
How are you doing? Nibigyenda bita?
How is your family? Omuka muryaho?
How was your day? watsiba ota?
What is wrong? Habahokyi?
What do you mean? Nomanyitsakyi?
How's the weather over there? Embeera yobwire okwe eryeeta?
Have you gone to church? Waza aha kanisa?
What is this? Ekyi nikyi?
What's going on? Habahokyi?
Are you listening? Ompurire beitu?
Have you heard? Wahurira
Can I go home? Nimbatsa kutaaha?
Can I ask something? Naaba ninshaba kubuuza?
How is everything? Buri kyimwe tikyine shonga?
What’s your phone number? Enamba yaawe yesiimu neeha?

Everyday Conversations in Runyankole

English Runyankole
Happy birthday Kurika amazaarwa gawe
Thank you Webare
I am sorry Nsasira
You are welcome. Twakushemererwa
Me too! Hamwe nanye
God bless you. Mukama akuhe omugyisha
May god protect you. Mukama akuriinde
She is happy. Yashemererwa
Please help me. Naba ninkushaba onyambe
I don't know. Tindikumanya
I will come tomorrow. Ninza kwija nyekyakare
Come here! Ija'ha
Feel at home. Bukaara
Be blessed. Mukama akuhe omugyisha
I am coming soon. Ninza kugaruka juba
Excuse me. Nyambaho kacye
Leave me alone. Ndeka!
It is okay. Tihariho shonga
I am going home. Ndiyo nintaaha
I don't want. Tindikwenda
Love is a beautiful thing. Rukundo nekyintu kyirungyi munonga
Let me try. Reka ngyezeho
Welcome home. Nakushemerwa
I reached home safely. Mpikyregye omuka
God is good. Mukama nimurungyi
I don't understand. Tindikwetegyereza
We are happy to see you. Twashemererwa kukureeba
I have it. Nkyiine
Rest in peace. Humura nobusingye
I don't have money. Tinyine sente
I am done. Naheza
I am going to the shop. Ndiyo ninza kushopinga
Happy new year. Kurika omwaaka
Bad manners. Emicwe mibi!
Stop using your phone. Reka kukozesa esimu
I need a favour, please. Naba ninkushaba obuyambi bwawe
I haven’t seen you for ages. Mazire obwire bwingyi ntarikukureeba
Great to see you again. Nashemererwa kukureeba ogundi murundi
I really appreciate it. Mazima nasiima buzima
You made my day. Izooba warisheza
No problem. Tihariho shonga

Want to learn more Runyankole words?

Check out the Runyakole dictionary. Memorize at least five words daily, and you'll be an expert on the language in no time.

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