From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Languages (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Languages, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of standardized, informative and easy-to-use resources about languages on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Africa / Burundi / Tanzania / Uganda (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Africa, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Africa on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Burundi (marked as Mid-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Tanzania.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Uganda (marked as Low-importance).


This stub is on my to do list. I'm planning to add some demographic & linguistic data and (eventually) to conform it to the Wikiproject:Languages template. If you don't like what I do, just revert. Also, I'm not a native speaker of English, so don't hesitate to make me aware of any problems in style, vocabulary or grammar. strangeloop 19:57, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

So far, so good! Aranel 19:58, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Kirundi language template[edit]

If you are a native speaker of Kirundi then you can help translate this template into your own language:

run This user is a native speaker of Kirundi .


--Amazonien (talk) 22:02, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved, seems unlikely a clear consensus either way will yet be reached here, and there are no clear signs either solution would be clearly mandated by policy. Fut.Perf. 21:00, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

KirundiRundi languageRelisted. fuzzy510 (talk) 07:31, 3 March 2011 (UTC) Drop Bantu prefixes, just as we do with the people of Burundi, and following Ethnologue and the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguisticskwami (talk) 11:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Support as nominator. Rundi rather than Kirundi or Ikirundi parallels calling the people Hutu and Tutsi rather than Bahutu and Batutsi or Abahutu and Abatutsi. Refs that use "Rundi language", besides Ethnologue and the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, include the Encyclopedia Britannica, Dimmendaal in Heine & Nurse (2000) African Languages, Nurse & Philippson (2003) The Bantu languages, Ruhlen (1987) A Guide to the World's Languages, Vansina (2004) Antecedents to modern Rwanda: the Nyiginya Kingdom, Nahishakiye (1991) Language planning in Burundi: policies and implementation, Dalby (2004) Dictionary of Languages, Katzner (2002) The languages of the world, Nibagwire & Zorc (2002) Rwanda and Rundi (Ikinyarwanda - Ikirundi) newspaper reader, and even Zorc & Nibagwire (2007) Kinyarwanda and Kirundi comparative grammar use "Rundi" throughout the text (82 pages have hits for 'Rundi', as opposed to only 20 for 'Kirundi'). Morna Daniels in Burundi (1992:xvii) writes, "The Rundi language uses prefixes and suffixes to change the meanings of related words. The language is called Kirundi, the people Murundi in the singular and Barundi in the plural, hence also Batutsi, Bahutu and Batwa, although most writers omit the prefixes." — kwami (talk) 11:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMON WP:COMMONNAME. Most major international English organisations use "Kirundi", for example CIA World Fact Book, BBC Burundi country profile, United Nations information centre. On a more personal level, I lived in neighbouring Rwanda for many years, and knew people based in Bujumbura. All commonly referred to the languages of the two countries as "Kinyarwanda" (for Rwanda) and "Kirundi". For example in this English language newspaper: article. I never heard the term "Rundi language" at all, so this is probably something perpetuated in historic texts but not used by real people on the ground. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 11:54, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
    Oops, it seems I confused common sense with common name. Common sense says Kirundi to me, but I don't think that's a scientific argument in this case. Common name, however, that's a clearer issue.....  — Amakuru (talk) 08:10, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
First, Burundi is not an anglophone country, and second, many of the sources above know what they're talking about: some are even Burundian! As for the UN site, they also use Bahasa Indonesia and Setswana and other endonyms where we use English. — kwami (talk) 12:11, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:Naming conventions (languages), which says "Where a common name exists in English for both a people and their language, a title based on that term, with explicit disambiguation, is preferred for both articles." This applies even if we don't have an article for the people. We already have Rundi as a disambiguation page. That we will keep Kirundi as a redirect means that anyone searching for this language using the prefix will not get lost. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 12:47, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
    Fair enough, but "Rundi" is not a common name for the language, at least on the ground and in the media. Yes, I don't deny that there are books that use the term, but I don't believe it is used by anyone in day-to-day speech, or in newspapers or the CIA website. The reason I'm arguing this is that I don't think any English speaking ex-pat living in Burundi would *ever* use the term rundi to refer to the language. They would always use kirundi. It's hard to find valid sources for that assertion, of course, but there are a few: US embassy job advert, DFID Burundi document. Maybe I can find more later.  — Amakuru (talk) 13:49, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Neither of your sources support your claim that 'Rundi' is *not* used. They only show that 'Kirundi' *is* used.
Also, a lot of expats in India will say Ganga rather than Ganges. It's common to pick up key words from the local language even if you don't pick up the language itself, even more common if you do. But that's not a reflection of what English does in general. — kwami (talk) 14:26, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMON WP:COMMONNAME Live in Rwanda but have spent some time in Burundi and created an online Kirundi dictionary ( I've never heard anyone (Burundian or ex-pat) use "Rundi" to refer to the name of the language because "ru-ndi" just means "other" for uru class nouns. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rowanseymour (talkcontribs) 14:08, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
WP:COMMON is not official policy. It is a subset of WP:IAR, which prompts editors to get at policies' underlying principles when the actual wording gets in the way. That doesn't seem to be the case here and you haven't explained why we would want to ignore the policy or how its wording gets in the way of any underlying principles. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 14:26, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Have given my explanations below to keep this section readable — Rowanseymour (talk) 12:09, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:UCN (use common names). Nothing in WP:NCLANG proscribes usage of prefixed forms where the prefix is commonly used in English. The current title is neither inaccurate nor ambiguous. —  AjaxSmack  17:26, 10 April 2011 (UTC)


I know the usual danger of doing this, but I've run a quick English language Google test and get this:

  • Kirundi: 1,110,000 results
  • Rundi: 812,000 results - and bear in mind with that one, the top few relate to Indian slang, several further down the first page are people's personal names etc. so probably a lot of the 812,000 do not refer to the language at all.
  • "Rundi language" 2,080 results.

Quite a difference there...  — Amakuru (talk) 13:54, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Not much difference at all, really: 11:8 in favor of Kirundi?
Also, if you check how many hits are actually there, you'll find 672 for Kirundi vs. 682 for Rundi. (Add in "language", and it's 492 to 331, so both are common.)
Check GBooks, and it's 18,800 Kirundi to 29,800 Rundi estimated, 354 to 389 actually returned; add 'language', and it's 266 to 259 estimated, 144 to 90 returned.
Also, though this is impressionistic, there seems to be a strong correlation between using 'Kirundi' (or 'KiRundi') and 'Kiswahili', and likewise between 'Rundi' and 'Swahili'. — kwami (talk) 14:13, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi again Kwami,

As a way of trying to form consensus on this, is there any chance we can try to agree on / establish the relative usage, even if we may not agree on the actual outcome? FWIW, my belief (and I know this contains a bit of WP:OR in that a lot of it is based on personal experience) is the following:

  • People *on the ground*, be they ex-pat Brits/Americans living in Burundi, English-speaking Rwandans/Burundians/Tanzanians, reporters, and diplomats predominantly use "Kirundi". If you don't agree with this, we may be able to try to establish the facts with other sources.
  • Western newspapers and media tend to use "Kirundi"
  • Books and academic papers are probably split roughly 50/50.

The above is supposition on my part but I'd like to know first off whether you agree or disagree with it... then we can move on... Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 20:38, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Kwami, if usage of Rundi is uncommon amongst non-academics, but 50/50 amongst linguists (as Amakuru hypothesizes), would you give priority to the latter since they are experts or do you interpret the measure of commonness to be amongst anyone using the language and not just the experts? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 22:26, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Where do you stand on this question, Aeusoes? Which should have a priority?  — Amakuru (talk) 15:09, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm actually rather surprised that the Rundi:Kirundi ratio in our search results is as high as it is. People like using the prefixes when they're comfortable with them. The problem IMO is that most English speakers are not comfortable with them. Again, Indian English-language newspapers tend to use "Ganga", but nonetheless we have the article at Ganges.
At WP:NAME they say,
In determining which of several alternative names is most frequently used, it is useful to observe the usage of major international organizations, major English-language media outlets, quality encyclopedias, geographic name servers, major scientific bodies and scientific journals.
So we generally go with formal rather that informal sources (that is, 2ary rather than 1ary sources). Notice also the 'international' bit, rather than 'local'. In addition, it goes on to say,
The ideal title for an article will also satisfy the other criteria outlined above;
those 'other criteria' include
Consistency – titles which follow the same pattern as those of similar articles are generally preferred. Many of these patterns are documented in the naming guidelines listed in the Specific-topic naming conventions box above, and ideally indicate titles that are in accordance with the principal criteria above.
Our Bantu names are largely consistent. Generally, when you see a link or title, you can be pretty sure that that ki- or ba- is part of the root, not a prefix, though for some of the more obscure languages we don't know ourselves. I suspect that in some of the more obscure languages, a ba- is actually the class-2 prefix (that is, formally incorrect as the name of the language!), but those are exceptions that should be fixed as we document them. There are a couple exceptions, such as Lingala, but those are cases where the term is well established in English and, unlike Rundi, occurs almost universally with the prefix even in academic sources. (AFAIK there is also no ethnically or nationally Ngala people to derive a common form.) We even have bizarre exceptions like Bangala language, which is the same root as Lingala but with the people prefix, and is used as the name of a separate language. That's completely idiosyncratic and IMO the kind of thing that's best avoided if at all possible.
So, consider which names are most common, giving weight to RSs, and where more than one name is common, consider not just absolute numbers but other qualities we look for in a name, such as 'common root' in the case of language/people. If we get into an argument over whether to use the prefix with every Bantu, Nilotic, and Berber language based on Google counts and citing sources familiar to us, it's going to be an unending mess.
The lay-vs-expert usage issue is a tricky one. We want to avoid expert usage when that results in jargon: better to stick to common English, as long as it's not ambiguous. However, apart from that we generally place greater value on academic usage. In this case, the academic usage is not jargon; in fact, one could argue the opposite, since Bantu noun-class prefixes are alien to English – unless, of course, the reader is familiar with Bantu languages, which most of our readers are not. This is completely OR, but I suspect it is easier to learn the root in the name of a people/language and bear in mind that it will often be accompanied by a NC prefix, than to learn some names with the prefix and others without, and try to remember which is which. The latter is twice the work. — kwami (talk) 23:26, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
OK, I will try to summarise your points above so I can give my comments on each...
  • English speakers are not comfortable with Bantu prefixes
    I don't see the logic of this. Most English speakers worldwide have probably not heard of this language, so to refer to it as either "Kirundi" or "Rundi" makes little difference to their understanding of what the article says.
  • Various other articles do not use what local newspapers use, e.g. Ganga, Tswana language
    If you want my honest opinion, I'm not convinced that these are titled correctly, particularly Tswana language in which the arguments are basically the same. I think attempting to use a western academic terminology over widely used local English-language terminology violates WP:WORLDWIDE. However, Botswana and India are not areas I follow closely or am intimately familiar with so I'm not pushing too hard on those issues. So the fact that the CIA website says "Setswana" doesn't mean we should automatically ignore what it says.
  • We generally go for formal rather than informal sources
    This is true, but the list of "formal" sources you mention above includes many, both academic and media, that do say Kirundi so is not in itself a pro-argument for the move.
  • International is considered more important than local usage
    As above, many of the international sources (UN, CIA, BBC) do use Kirundi.
  • Bantu articles are consistent in omitting prefixes
    I think this is far from true - indeed the very word "Bantu" itself contains the prefix ba- which broadly translates to second class, or a plural of people. Singular form is umuntu/muntu, while other roots give alternative words such as kintu (thing), ubuntu (togetherness) etc.
  • Treating each language individually will result in an unending mess
    This depends on whether you value order and consistency over what is commonly used and understand. WP:COMMON dictates that we should do the latter.
  • Greater value is placed on academic (where it's not jargon) than lay.
    See the two points regarding "formal" and "international" sources above. My conjecture is that they are split 50/50.
  • It is easier to learn words without a prefix
    See above re English speakers.  — Amakuru (talk) 15:32, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
A counter argument: with my move request, we'd be stuck with Kirundi and Kinyarwanda an "languages", when actually they're dialects of the same language. Because they're national and official languages, however, it would be difficult to move them to "dialect". The current single-word titles leave it ambiguous. However, the 'language' titles would be little different from Malaysian language, Indonesian language, Croatian language, Serbian language, etc., none of which are languages apart from the official/standard sense. — kwami (talk) 10:53, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I think by "comfortable with Bantu prefixes", Kwami is referring to (or, at least, I would argue that) the way English speakers aren't comfortable internalizing such prefixes, which is why we have Tswana language and Tswana people, not baTswana and seTswana. It certainly isn't the case that English speakers are uncomfortable with pronouncing words with such prefixes (indeed, sometimes such prefixes make a word easier to pronounce), rather, our readership isn't really primed to automatically see the relationship between such words. Our policy is to avoid using these prefixes when we can. Bantu may be an exception, but it's not much of one; we don't distinguish between Bantu people and Bantu languages, nor do we write it ‹baNtu›. As Kwami says, exceptions to this are either well-established in English usage or cases awaiting movement in accordance with our naming policies.
  • English is a language with international forms that go beyond (that is, are more widespread than) "local English-language" usage. Thus, you have it backwards; giving priority to a local form, if anything, is what would go against WP:WORLDWIDE. Remember that WP:WORLDWIDE should be measured in tandem with WP:EN.
  • If, as you suggest, academic and international sources are split relatively evenly, then our policy would have us move to Rundi language. Kwami has made a compelling case for why and how we give priority to academic usage without getting too jargony. There is a certain amount of give in this, which is why Jamaican Creole was moved to Jamaican Patois.
  • As Kwami has articulated, we have policies on naming conventions to present a consistent format. It makes the encyclopedia look professional and having such policies helps avoid constantly getting into disruptive disputes over stylistic differences. WP:COMMON is a subset of WP:IAR and therefore "dictates" nothing. Indeed, as WP:IAR is basically about attempting to meet a policy's underlying principles when its precise wording gets in the way, I fail to see how having varying styles would meet the underlying principle of having a consistent style.
  • Since the parallels of dialect continuum points being standardized as separate standard languages are articles with "language" in the title, I'm not in favor of avoiding the word "language" in order to be neutral to the dialect-language question. This is mostly about consistency, though it's also a sociolinguistic issue. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 16:36, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
I'd only add that "Bantu" is not an exception. It's not even plural: a Bantu person/people/language. The ba- is simply a prefix etymologically; it's not a prefix in English. No-one says "a Kintu language" (or Lintu or whatever) or "a Muntu person". (If Bantu has a prefix, then Swahili should drop the M- from Mmarekani, since the -ani suffix already indicates that it's a person—except that it's not a suffix in Swahili.) But Setswana / Motswana / Batswana introduces those prefixes into English, and often different prefixes for different Bantu languages (Kiswahili / Mswahili / Waswahili etc.). — kwami (talk) 20:21, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Do we really consider the ki- of kiSwahili to be a prefix in English? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 20:28, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Your use of camel case shows that you're using it as a prefix! It's effectively a prefix if we also speak of the Waswahili. If speakers are unable to parse it, they will need to learn 'Swahili', 'Kiswahili', and 'Waswahili' as if they were three independent words. I doubt that happens (though it does with names like Lingala and Bantu), so we end up with a lot of irregular derivation. Okay, no more irregular than the relationship of country names to their inhabitants, but there are only 200+ countries compared to 5000–7000 languages. — kwami (talk) 21:24, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
I think memorizing the three terms as independent (though related) words without understanding the prefixes (especially going past etymology) is exactly what happens a lot of the time, camel case or no. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 21:49, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure it is, but ultimately I don't think that's relevant to the case. We are not trying to teach our readers Bantu grammar, we are simply trying to represent the world as it is. And the bottom line here, is that we (and no doubt a few of the academics mentioned above) are valuing "consistency amongst Bantu articles" and "perceived English forms of Bantu words" over and above the term that is really used in the vast majority of cases (as far as I can tell) - maybe that is a useful trade off, and doubtless you guys would say so, but it doesn't conform to my notions of how Wikipedia should be, that's all.  — Amakuru (talk) 10:52, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, the prefixes thing is sort of a side issue. As Kwami mentioned, WP:NAME says we should give priority over expert and academic usage, which makes the dominance of Kirundu over Rundi a bit weaker. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 15:45, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Great, so if we move away from the prefix issus we're back to my hypothesis above, that academic sources are probably split 50/50 and other sources (media, embassies, NGOs and CIA) predominantly use Kirundi. Which to me suggests, however you weight academic vs. other sources, the balance of preference tilts towards Kirundi.
Of course, I'll admit that it's hard to verify the 50/50 thing, but there are certainly plenty of academic sources which use Kirundi, e.g:
  • Kinyarwanda and Kirundi names: a semiolinguistic analysis of Bantu onomastics (Alexandre Kimenyi, 1989)
  • Dictionary: Kirundi-English, English-Kirundi (Elizabeth E. Cox, 1969)
  • One thousand languages: living, endangered, and lost (Peter Austin, 2008) - page 98
  • Autolexical syntax: a theory of parallel grammatical representations (Jerrold M. Sadock, 1991 - page 126
  • African study monographs: Volumes 10-12 (Kyōto Daigaku. Research Committee for African Area Studies, 1989)
and plenty more.  — Amakuru (talk) 16:36, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
If it's 50/50, then both terms are common and WP:Naming conventions (languages) unambiguously applies. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 16:45, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh well, I can see I'm not going to be able to change your mind on this one but I guess it was still worth my while trying... everyone I have spoken to "off-wiki" says the same as I do but sadly they're not Wikipedians Smiley.svg. It'd be nice to get a few more votes above, but we'll see what happens. Nice sparring with you anyway...  — Amakuru (talk) 17:45, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Worth noting Alexandre Kimenyi who was one of the few Rwandan academics who wrote on the language used "Kirundi" and "Kinyarwanda". Rowanseymour (talk) 14:31, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

If we are considering referring to Kirundi as "Rundi language" then does Burundi have to be called "Rundi country"? This policy seems to ignore that some Bantu prefixes are kept in common English usage because they are needed to distinguish different nouns. I would assume the Ki of Kiswahili has been dropped in English because there is no people group or geographical entity called "swahili". However in the case of "rundi" it could be umurundi (person), abarundi (people), ikirundi (language), uburundi (country).

Also as I've mentioned above "rundi" just means "other" so it doesn't make any sense to a Kirundi speaker to say "rundi language". I could get plenty of native Kirundi speakers to come and argue this but I don't any who are familiar with Wikipedia...Rowanseymour (talk) 14:31, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

You're confusing Rundi w English. What Rundi speakers call it is irrelevant, but I do find it interesting that they don't call it "Rundi language". According to my sources they do. What have you heard it called?
And of course there are Swahili people just like there are Rundi people: Waswahili and Barundi. Actually, the Swahili are more a people than the Rundi: they're a distinct ethnic group, which the Rundi are not.
Countries are a different matter. They have legally recognized names which do not vary (much) in English. Urundi and Buganda mean different things than Burundi and Uganda. That's not the case with the languages, where Rundi and Kirundi are merely synonyms. (There are rare exceptions, such as Lingala and Bangala, which refer to different varieties of the Ngala language, but that's not relevant here.) — kwami (talk) 15:07, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm referring to what Burundians call it when they are speaking English, and I'd say English 99% of conversations about Kirundi occur in Burundi involving Burundians. I take your point that "Swahili" is common usage despite the existence of a people group but I've never heard a Burundian say "Rundi language" or a Rwandan say "Rwanda language". Rundi and Kirundi are NOT synonyms for Kirundi speakers, as I've said before "rundi" just means "other", like "urundi rugero" meaning "the other example" Rowanseymour (talk) 16:21, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Then doesn't ikirundi mean "other (language)"? So they are synonyms.
But regardless, that doesn't matter. This is English Wikipedia; what some word means in some other language is entirely irrelevant. I'm not going to complain about the Rundi calling English Icongereza; it's their language, so of course they're going to accommodate their grammar. The argument needs to be based on English, not on Rundi, and Burundi isn't even an anglophone country! — kwami (talk) 19:07, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
On top of that, WP:COMMONNAME points to usage in "major international organizations, major English-language media outlets, quality encyclopedias, geographic name servers, major scientific bodies and scientific journals" for determining what is common usage. Note that the omission of casual conversations and the emphasis on international organizations means that local usage is deemphasized and being from or having lived in the area doesn't give as much authority on the matter as you would like, Rowanseymour. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 20:17, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I think we need to distinguish how it is used in some academic papers - who have borrowed an old naming from older academic work which goes back to the days of colonialism when even the countries were "officially" called "Ruanda-Urundi", and contemporary English usage where it is always Kirundi and Kinyarwanda. It's easier to make this point for Kinyarwanda because being more of an Anglophone country there are a lot more materials in English, e.g.
And it seems to be increasingly the norm in academic papers as well...
The onus is on you to show contemporary usage of Rundi/Rwanda language Rowanseymour (talk) 07:14, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Rwanda is not a good comparison, because it's also the name of the country. That can make dab'ing necessary. ("Rwandan language", maybe. That's fairly common.) But since you're arguing that Rundi is different from other languages, the argument needs to be about Rundi, not about other languages. (It would appear that only one of your sources mentions Kirundi; I've lined out the other ones.) After all, I could argue that Kenya is an even more anglophone country than Rwanda, and they commonly use Gikuyu and Swahili, so we should therefore use Rundi: If we're going to follow your advice by going on consistency with other languages, then Kirundi looses out. Also, the MS article you cited for "Kinyarwanda" also uses "Kiswahili". Since we don't follow their usage for Swahili, why should we for Rundi?
As for contemporary sources, how about the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd ed., 2006)? "Burundi: Language Situation": all ethnic groups in Burundi speak one language, Rundi. Rundi (Kirundi) is a Bantu language closely related to Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda ... (Interesting that they use "Rundi" even as they go the other way for Kinyarwanda.)
Or Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)? (Both "Rundi" and "Rwanda".) Those are perhaps the two most widely used general language references in English.
Or the Encyclopedia Britannica (2010) "Rundi": the peoples of the Republic of Burundi, who speak Rundi ... the Rundi language (also called Kirundi) ... "Burundi": Burundi's official languages are Rundi (Kirundi) ... instruction is in Rundi at the primary level and in French at the secondary level. "Rwanda language": Rwanda also spelled Ruanda , also called Kinyarwanda ... Rwanda is closely related to the Rundi language of Burundi.
kwami (talk) 08:54, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I thought we could perhaps discuss Kinyarwanda here as well since we're having the exact same discussion on its talk page. I'll move those links. So the ONLY references you can find to "Rundi language" are a couple of Encyclopedia entries, whose articles were probably first written in colonial times?? The "Ruanda" spelling comes from the first Germans colonizers and is not commonly used at all nowadays except by Germans.
Rowanseymour (talk) 09:07, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
So, if you disagree with a source, it must have been written in colonial times, even though it was published 2006–2010, and its first edition (in the case of ELL and Eth) did not come out in colonial times, or (in the case of the EB) it's obviously been rewritten numerous times since. I don't make up nonsense to discredit your sources; if you're just going to make stuff up, you only discredit yourself. — kwami (talk) 09:14, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Not at all but the term "Rundi language" comes from studies from that era, and the only places you'll find that term used are the few materials which are reusing or referencing older work.
Rowanseymour (talk) 09:33, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that, not only do you have the burden of proof to demonstrate that "Rundi" is exclusively a term used in colonial-era sources, but also that such usage, no matter how common, is anachronistic. Otherwise, it seems that you are making self-referential, tautological, or no true Scotsman-type claims. In other words, do not assume what you are also trying to prove. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 12:46, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
To be honest I'm not sure how I can prove that? Ultimately the burden of proof is on you guys who are proposing the change. We've provided ample sources to show that Kirundi is the dominant English form in use today. I don't think you've provided anything that shows "Rundi language" to even be common usage.—Rowanseymour (talk) 13:06, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm referring to your attempts at dismissing contemporary sources as "colonialist" without any proof. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 13:17, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Here is another, obviously not colonialist source: Derek Nurse & Gérard Philippson eds. (2003) The Bantu Languages. This is *the* general reference on the Bantu languages, it was first published in 2003, and they use both "Rundi" and "Rwanda".[1]kwami (talk) 16:52, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I would add to that that the same does apply to Kirundi as well as Kinyarwanda. I think I've probably quoted these before, but the following top notch sources (matching Aeusoes' categories above) all use "Kirundi":
And yes, Britannica does use "Rundi" but it seems to be the exception rather than the rule and probably dates back to earlier editions (I'm not aware of their inner workings but I imagine with such a large corpus of material not everything gets looked at in detail every time it is released).
Regarding local vs international usage I would refer you back to WP:ENGVAR. I am of course aware that Burundi is not an English speaking country in its own right, but it is a member of the East African Community, a body formed primarily of English speaking countries. So, just as for Mexico we would use U.S. English (Mexico is a member of NAFTA), for Burundi we should use EAC English as used in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Sources in those countries, as well as the EAC itself predominantly use Kirundi. For example:
etc. etc. etc. As Rowan rightly points out it is really very hard to argue in 2011 that "Rundi language" meets either contemporary usage or comon name criteria. Thanks again  — Amakuru (talk) 08:29, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
So we're back to some good sources using 'Rundi', and some using 'Kirundi'.
In your EAC link, they use both Kiswahili and Kirundi. But then they switch to Swahili. That is, they use the prefix the first time, then drop it. They evidently don't see them as being significantly different.
You're also engaging in speculation. Do you have any references that the prefixed forms have displaced the unprefixed forms? As far as I can see, they've lived side by side for decades. This is a debate on foreign names that has raged for generations: Remain true to the original, or stay true to English. There's been tons of ink spilled on anglicized vs. 'authentic' pronunciations, spellings, etc. I don't think there's anything new or different with this one. — kwami (talk) 08:58, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Except as we keep demonstrating by providing links to online materials, "Rundi" is not a commonly used anglicized version of the "Ikirundi" - "Kirundi" is. This is not a debate about authentic vs anglicized, but what is the generally accepted anglicized version — Rowanseymour (talk) 09:45, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
And it leads by about 3:2. That's not a very large margin. They're both generally accepted. — kwami (talk) 15:54, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:COMMONNAME: "Editing for the sole purpose of changing one controversial title to another is strongly discouraged. If an article title has been stable for a long time, and there is no good reason to change it, it should not be changed" — Rowanseymour (talk) 11:44, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that is why we are discussing it first. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 12:46, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Here's a non-linguistic source: the US National Institute of Health.[2] At the top they say "Kirundi (Rundi)", and in the individual entries they say "Rundi (Kirundi)". These are simple synonyms in English. — kwami (talk) 16:25, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Related to the above discussions and my comment regarding the individuality of Bantu languages, I have proposed an amendment on the policy regarding Bantu language names so that cases like Luganda, Kirundi and Kinyarwanda could be treated on their own merits rather than our being encouraged to remove the Bantu prefixes per policy. The amendment proposal is at: Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (languages)#Amendment proposal on Bantu languages and I would welcome the views of everyone here to try to nail this down properly. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 09:21, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
They can be treated on their own merits: What do you think we're doing here? And there is no policy. — kwami (talk) 10:09, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, as long as we agree on that I don't have so much of a problem with the guideline. I have commented further on the matter at the WP:NCL talk page. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 12:12, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.