The table below gives the consonant set of Kinyarwanda, grouping voiceless and voiced consonants together in a cell where appropriate, in that order.

Labial Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive p   b t   d c   ɟ k   ɡ
Affricate ts        
Fricative f   v s   z ʃ   ʒ ç     h    
Approximant j w
Rhotic ɾ


The table below gives the vowel sounds of Kinyarwanda.

Front Back
Close i u
Close-mid e o

All five vowels occur in long and short forms. The distinction is phonemically distinctive. The quality of a vowel is not affected by its length.


Kinyarwanda is a tonal language.


A a B b C c Cy cy D d E e F f G g H h I i
J j Jy jy K k L l M m N n Nk nk Nt nt Ny ny O o
P p R r S s Sh sh T t U u V v W w Y y Z z