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Burundi -- Languages

The primarly languages of Burundi are Kirundi (official), French (official), and Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)

Kirundi is closely related to Kinyarwanda, the official language of Rwanda. All Burundians know Kirundi, but may speak it with regional variations. A traditonal greeting in Kirundi is Amashyo, which means "May you have herds of cattle." The response is Amashongore, "I wish you herds of females." Kirundi has many references and allusions to the virtues of cattle. To wish someone "herds of cattle" is a metaphorical way of wishing them good health and prosperity. [1]

Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 35.3% male: 49.3% female: 22.5% (1995 est.)

Source: CIA World Fact Book
[1] Groeslsema, R. 1995. Burundians. In Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life.

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