Fantse (Mfantse, Fante, Fanti) is one of the three formal Akan languages
|1.9 million (2004)|
|Regulated by||Akan Orthography Committee|
It is the most popular language in the Central and Western Regions of Ghana as well as in settlements in other regions from mid to southern Ghana. One such community is Fante New Town in Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
Fantse is the common language of communication among the several kingdoms of the Fantse people, though each has its own (sub)dialect: Agona, Anomabo, Abura, Gomua, Oguaa. Many Fantses are bilingual and most can speak twi. Notable speakers include John Atta Mills, Maya Angelou (who learnt the language during her stay in Ghana), Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang and former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan.
There are different dialects used by Fante speakers in the Western and Central Regions, but they can be understood among the various speakers. The people of Agona Swedru, Cape Coast, Saltpond, Enyan, Gomoa, Elmina, Shama, Abuesi, and Sekondi-Takoradi, all have their unique Fante dialects. However, a Standardised Fante is taught in all basic schools in the above-mentioned communities.
One striking characteristic of Fantse is the level of influence from the English language. This is exemplified by the constant mixing of the two languages even among uneducated people. Example, in the phrase "Ofi mber tu mber", literally meaning "from time to time", the word "tu" is used in the same way an English speaker would use the word "to." Spoken Fantse has several anglicised nouns due to British colonial influence. So essentially, local words are given European accents. For example Kofi can be pronounced Kwofie; Essuon is sometimes pronounced Eshun; Atta is Arthur. These errors which many blame European Christian missionaries and schools for intentionally creating to cut the indigenes from their roots, are still been upheld today.
Kobina Sekyi's drama, The Blinkards (produced in 1915) satirised the acceptance by a colonised society of the attitudes of the colonisers..
Similar to the Twi alphabet with vowels such as ɛ and ɔ, Mfantse has double consonant "dz" that produces the sound "z" which is absent in Twi.
Fantis use a system of giving the first name to a child, based on the day of the week that the child was born.
The Fantse birthday-naming system is as follows:
|Day||Male Name||Female Name|
|Dwowda (Monday)||Kodwo, Kojo, Joojo(Jojo)||Adwoa(Adwowa), Ewuradwoa|
|Benada (Tuesday)||Kobina, Kobby||Abena, Araba, Ewurabena|
|Wukuda (Wednesday)||Kweku, Kuuku||Ekua, Kuukua, Ewurakua|
|Yawda (Thursday)||Yaw, Ekow, Kow||Aba, Baaba|
|Fida (Friday)||Kofi, Fiifi||Efua, Effie, Ewurafua|
|Memenda (Saturday)||Kwame, Kwamena, Ato||Ama, Ewurama|
|Kwesida (Sunday)||Kwesi, Siisi||Esi, Ewuresi(Ewuraesi)|
Children may also be named according to the sequence in which they are born. The names given are as follows:
|Position||Consecutive Males||Consecutive Females|
|Second||Manu||Abena, Araba, Ewurabena|
|Third||Mensa, Ansa||Mansa, Naana|
Twins may also be named according to the sequence in which they are born. The names given are as follows:
|First Twin||Second Twin||Example First Twin||Example Second Twin|
|<Given Day Name> Payin||<Given Day Name> Kaakra||Ekua Payin||Kweku Kaakra|
The next child born immediately after the birth of the twins may be given a name, such as:
|Example Male||Example Female|
|Kojo Tewia or Kojo Tewiah||Ekua Tewia or Ekua Tewiah|