Kinyarwanda, also known as Runyarwanda (Language of Rwanda), is the national language of Rwandan people. Rwandans are citizens of Rwanda, a nation located in the East Africa.
According to Kimenyi Alexander, Kinyarwanda is probably, after Kiswahili the second largest spoken language in the Bantu group. It is a sister dialect of Kirundi, the national language of Burundi and Giha, another dialect spoken in Tanzania.
Figures on speakers of Kinyarwanda language differ from one author to the other: For Kimenyi kinyarwanda speakers number more than 20 million people. Rwanda has around 11 million people as of 2012 census, Burundi has around 7 million Kirundi speakers who understand Kinyarwanda well without an interpreter. Besides the Giha speakers in Southern Uganda, there are Bafumbira people who speak Kinyarwanda, especially in the Kigezi district.
Other Kinyarwanda speakers include the Banyamulenge in Southern Kivu and ethnic Banyarwanda in Masisi and Rutshuro in Northern Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kinyarwanda belongs to the interlacustrine (Great Lakes) Bantu languages.