|Total speakers:||4.6 million|
|Ranking:||not in top 100|
|Official language of:||Burundi|
|See also: Language – List of languages|
Kirundi (also written Rundi) is a Bantu language (D62 in Guthrie's classification) spoken by some 6 million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as in Uganda. 85% of the speakers are Hutu, 15% are Tutsi.
The inhabitants of Rwanda and Burundi belong to three different ethnic groups: Bahutu, Batutsi, and Batwa (a pygmy people). The fact that these ethnic groups share the same language is assumed to be the result of the Bahutu outnumbering the latter two groups (see Bahutu for a more complete historical perspective).
Kirundi is frequently cited as a language where Meeussen's rule, a rule describing a certain pattern of tonal change in Bantu languages, is active.
- Meeussen, A.E. (1959) Essai de grammaire Rundi Annales du Musée Royal du Congo Belge, Série Sciences Humaines – Linguistique, vol. 24. Tervuren.