Rwanda : Bank clients complain on language barrier

Consumers Association in Rwanda has disclosed that documents in banks and financial institutions used to obtain loans contain information written in foreign languages that limit understanding.

 The association alleged that majority of people who access these institutions might not be in position to understand the foreign languages used other than local language of Kinyarwanda.

The executive secretary of (ADECOR) the association for consumers in Rwanda Damien Ndizeye revealed that documents used to acquire bank loan services are mostly written in English and French which becomes a challenge to people who need their services yet they don’t understand either of the languages.

“There are many Rwandans who don’t understand both French and English as they are the common languages written on bank documents. This becomes a serious challenge to people who need their services”, Ndizeye remarked.

The president of the association of banks in Rwanda Jacqueline Mugwaneza on this issue said that many bank managers don’t properly understand the language of Kinyarwanda and that is the reason why bank documents for acquiring loans are written in foreign languages so that the bank managers can always transact business in the simplest languages they can easily understand.

Jacqueline Mugwaneza said, “Many bank managers don’t very well understand the language of Kinyarwanda so bank documents for acquiring loans are printed in the languages they can easily understand as a way of simplifying their business transactions since the customers can always come in company of someone who understands the languages to help translate for them”.

There are certain bank documents that contain three languages of English, French and Kinyarwanda so that the person can use the language of his or her convenience since they all have the same meaning.

Jacqueline Mugwaneza said their next meeting will discuss if the three languages can be used on forms of acquiring loans since it have been realized to be a challenge to get translators for people who don’t understand the languages of English and French.

Banks are used by many people who are both educated and those who are not educated. The issue of using only foreign languages in banks affects the uneducated Rwandans as they find it hard to access translators since they don’t the languages used.


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