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Kirundi-Rundi Resources

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Studies: German

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06 May 2020 at 12:37am | IP Logged 
During the period from February 2020 through May 2020, I conducted a complete revision to the twenty-eight (28) lists of resources which I had posted on the LLORG during the previous three-year period. As revising these types of documents directly on the LLORG in the “Edit Mode” is fraught with difficulties, I removed their contents from the LLORG, stored them on my computer, and completed the revisions. During the revision process an event occurred which prevented me from reposting the contents to their original files and, as a contingency measure, I have posted them here on the HTLAL in the anticipation that either the Administrator or the Moderators of the LLORG will copy/paste them to the LLORG. - Speakeasy


Burundi, officially the Republic of Burundi, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge. It is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and southeast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Lake Tanganyika lies along its southwestern border. The capital cities are Gitega and Bujumbura.

Languages of Burundi
Since 2014 Burundi has three official languages: Kirundi, French and English. By the same law on languages promulgated in 2014 Kiswahili is mentioned as a fourth language spoken and taught in the country. Of these, only Kirundi is spoken by the vast majority of the population. It is recognised as the national language by the Burundian constitution of 2005. French is spoken by a significant minority and is spoken mainly as a second language or by foreign residents of the country. Burundi is unusual among African states in having a single indigenous language shared by its entire population. In one estimate, 98 percent of Burundians speak Kirundi.– Source: Wikipedia

Kirundi/Rundi Language
Kirundi, also known as Rundi, is a Bantu language spoken by 9 million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as in Uganda. It is the official language of Burundi. Kirundi is mutually intelligible with Kinyarwanda, an official language of Rwanda, and the two form part of the wider dialect continuum known as Rwanda-Rundi. The inhabitants of Rwanda and Burundi belong to several different ethnic groups: Hutu, including Bakiga and other related ethnicities (84%), Tutsi, including Hima (15%) and Twa (1%) (a pygmy people). Kirundi is natively spoken by the Hutu, although the other ethnic groups present in the country such as Tutsi, Twa and Hima among others have adopted the language. Neighbouring dialects of Kirundi are mutually intelligible with Ha, a language spoken in western Tanzania. – Source: Wikipedia


Kirundi/Rundi Courses, Supplements, etc.

DLI Kirundi Basic (1960s – 1970s) – NONE

DLI Headstart Kirundi (1960s – 1970s) – NONE

FSI Kirundi Basic (1965) 589 pages, by Raymond Setukuru et al.
Audio-lingual method NOT used: situational dialogues accompanied by extensive explanations of the morphology of the verb, pronunciation of vowels and consonants, and exercises for the systematic practice the latter’s structure. Approx. 24 hours of AUDIO recordings. Surprising feature: presence of a large amount of French text in course manual.

Hinge twige Ikirundi: Kirundi lessons for beginners (1981) 223 pages, by Rosemary Guillebaud – AUDIO Recordings
Out-of-print. Unable to locate copies on the internet. The AUDIO recordings are hosted on the Indiana Univerrsity’s CeLT Recorded Sound Archives website. Perhaps a search off university or national libraries might reveal either a physical copy or an e-Book of the textbook?

U.S. Peace Corps Kirundi (1960s – 1970s) – NONE


Kirundi/Rundi Courses, Supplements, etc. (English Base)

Reka Tuyage Mu Kirundi (Let's Speak Kirundi) (2017) by Donatien Nsengiyumva; Indiana University
Communicative approach. Aims for CEFR B1. For classroom use. No evidence of audio recordings.
Kirundi/Rundi Courses, Supplements, etc. (French Base)

Parlons Kinyarwanda-Kirundi (1992), 298 pages, by Edouard Gasarabwe; Editions L'Harmattan
Apparently, this is not beginner’s course in spoken Kirundi. Rather, customers report that resembles a grammar or some similar work destined for an audience of linguists. No mention of audio recordings. The three Amazon.FR customers were disappointed by the scope of this book.
Étude linguistique du constituant verbal en Kirundi (2009), 92 pages, by Thierry de Samie- L'Harmattan
A short study of verbal constituents of Kirundi; not for the neophyte.

Le Kirundi facile pour tous, Tome 1 (2013), 186 pages, by Arcade Bigirimana
Simple introduction to the basics of Kirundi. Likely CEFR A1. No mention of audio recordings. Of the two Amazon.FR reviewers, one was quite satisfied with the book whereas the other, a native-speaker, expressed her joy that someone might wish to learn her language.

Kirundi/Rundi Phrasebooks, Language Guides, etc.

Burundi Blogspot - Kirundi basic phrases

Kirundi Notebook - Kirundi 101 (Essential Words & Phrases)

Medical Kirundi Phrasebook and Glossary (2014), 186 pages, by A.H. Zemback; Independently published

MyLanguageExchange - Learn Rundi (Kirundi, Urundi)

Omniglot - Kirundi

Kirundi/Rundi Grammars, etc.

Kinyarwanda & Kirundi Comparative Grammar (2007) by David Zorc, Louise Nibagwire; Dunwoody Press
No information on this work.

Kirundi/Rundi Dictionaries, etc.

English-Kirundi Dictionary (2010), 170 pages, by A.H. Zemback; Independently published

English-Kirundi-French Dictionary: Kirundi-English-French (2010), 260 pages, by A.H. Zemback; Independently published

Medical Kirundi Phrasebook and Glossary (2014), 186 pages, by A.H. Zemback; Independently published

Kirundi/Rundi Miscellany

VOA (Voice of America) - Kirundi/Kinyar

YouTube - Learn Kirundi
Please feel at liberty to post your own recommendations and/or comments and I’ll see what I can do about incorporating them into the lists above.

Visitors to this file are encouraged to review the subsequent comments, posted below, as they include members’ suggestions concerning materials and form a running commentary on resources for the study of this language.

Completely revised: April 2020

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