Kinyarwanda (also sometimes known as Rwanda, Ruanda or Rwandan) is a dialect of the Rwanda-Rundi language spoken by some 12 million people in Rwanda, where it is the official language, and adjacent parts of southern Uganda. (The Kirundi dialect is the official language of neighboring Burundi.)

The inhabitants of Rwanda and Burundi belong to three different ethnic groups: Hutu (84%), Tutsi (15%), and Twa (1%) (a pygmy people). The fact that these ethnic groups share the same language is assumed to be the result of the Hutu outnumbering the latter two groups (see Hutu for a more complete historical perspective). Rwanda is one of the few Sub-Saharan African countries where the native language (Kinyarwanda) is spoken by all ethnic groups of the country.