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Twi (Akan: [tɕᶣi]; also known as Akan Kasa) is a dialect of the Akan language spoken in southern and central Ghana by several million people, mainly of the Akan tribe, the biggest of the about 17 major tribes in Ghana and forms about 70% of the Ghanaian population as a first and second language.[7][3] Twi is a common name for two former literary dialects of the Akan language; Asante (Ashanti) and Akuapem, which are mutually intelligible. There are about 9 million Twi speakers, mainly originating from the Ashanti Region[1][3] and about a total of 17–18 million Ghanaians as either first or second languages. Akuapem Twi was the first Akan dialect to be used for Bible translation, and became the prestige dialect as a result.[8] It is also spoken by the Southeastern people of Cote D'Ivoire.

Twi
Native toAshanti
EthnicityAsante people, Akuapem, Fante
Native speakers
9 million[1][2] (2015)[1][3][4]
Dialects
Official status
Official language in
Ashanti City-State and the Ashanti City-State capital Kumasi
Ghana (both dialects used in national status)
Regulated byAkan Orthography Committee
Language codes
ISO 639-1tw Twi
ISO 639-2twi
ISO 639-3twi
Glottologakua1239[5]
asan1239[6]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Raphael speaking Twi

Contents

Writing systemEdit

The 22 letters of the Twi alphabet are:

Majuscule forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
A B D E Ɛ F G H I K L M N O Ɔ P R S T U W Y
Minuscule forms (also called lowercase or small letters)
a b d e ɛ f g h i k l m n o ɔ p r s t u w y

Letters C, J, V and Z are also used, but only in loanwords.[9]

PhonologyEdit

Pronunciation of the Twi (Akan) letters:[10]

ConsonantsEdit

Twi consonants
Labial Alveolar Post-alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal voiced m ⟨m⟩ n ⟨n⟩ ɲ ⟨ny, n⟩ ŋ ⟨ng, n⟩
labialisation nʷ ⟨nw⟩
Stop voiced b ⟨b⟩ d ⟨d⟩ g ⟨g⟩
aspirated pʰ ⟨p⟩ tʰ ⟨t⟩ kʰ ⟨k⟩
labialisation kʷ ⟨kw⟩
Affricate aspirated t͡ɕʰ ~ c͡çʰ ⟨ky⟩
voiced d͡ʒ ⟨dw⟩ d͡ʑ ~ ɟ͡ʝ ⟨gy⟩
labialisation t͡ɕʷ ⟨tw⟩
Fricative voiceless f ⟨f⟩ s ⟨s⟩ ç ⟨hy⟩ h ⟨h⟩
labialisation hʷ ⟨hw⟩
Approximant j ⟨y⟩
Tap/Flap ɾ ⟨r⟩ ɽ ⟨r⟩
Trill r ⟨r⟩
Lateral l ⟨l⟩
Co-articulated consonants
Labialized velar
Approximant w ⟨w⟩
Vowels
Letters Sounds
A a [a/æ]
E e [e/i]
Ɛ ɛ [ɛ]
I i [ɪ]
O o [o/ʊ]
Ɔ ɔ [ɔ]
U u [u]
Diphthongs
Letters Sounds
ao [ao]
[eɛ]
ei [ei]
ia [ia]
ie [ie]
ii [iː]
oo [oː]
[oɔ]
ue [ue]
uo [uo]

NumeralsEdit

Asante Twi numbers and Akuapem Twi numbers[11]
Numbers Asante akontaabudeɛ (Dodoɔ) Akuapem akontaabude
1/2 ɛfa fa
0 ohunu
1 baako baako/biako/koro
2 mmienu ebien
3 mmiɛnsa abiɛsa
4 nnan/ɛnan anan
5 enum/nnum anum
6 nsia asia
7 nson ason
8 nwɔtwe awɔtwe
9 nkron akron
10 edu du
11 du baako du baako
12 du mmienu du mien
13 du mmiɛnsa du mmiɛnsa
14 du nan du nan
15 du num du num
20 aduonu aduonu
21 aduonu baako aduonu baako
22 aduonu mmienu aduonu abien
30 aduasa aduasa
40 aduannan / aduanan aduanan
45 aduanan num / aduannan num aduanan num
46 aduanan nsia / aduannan nsia aduanan nsia
50 aduonum / aduonnum aduonum
58 aduonum-nwɔtwe/aduonnum-nwɔtwe aduonum-nwɔtwe
100 ɔha ɔha
200 ahanu ahanu
500 ahanum ahanum
1000 apem apem
2000 mpennu mpennu
8000 mpem nwɔtwe mpem nwɔtwe
9000 mpem nkron mpem nkron
10,000 ɔpedu ɔpedu
100,000 ɔpeha ɔpeha
1,000,000 ɔpepem ɔpepem
2,000,000 ɔpepennu ɔpepennu
1,000,000,000 ɔpepepem / ɔpepepeepee ɔpepepem

OrdinalsEdit

Numbers Asante

Mprɛ

(number of times)

Akuapem

Mpɛn

English translation
1 prɛko pɛnkoro once
2 mprɛnu mprenu twice
3 mprɛsa mprɛsa three times
4 mprɛnan mprɛnan four times
11 mprɛ du-baako mpɛn du-baako eleven times
100 mprɛ ɔha mpɛn ɔha one hundred times
many mprɛ pii mpɛn pii many times

Common phrasesEdit

Numbers Asante

Important sentences

English translation
1 Wo din de sɛn? What is your name?
2 Yɛ frɛ me Kwaku Peter My name is Kwaku Peter
3 Bra ha / Bra ɛha Come here
4 Medaase / me da wo ase Thank you
5 Ɛkɔm de me / kɔm de me I am hungry
6 Akwaaba Welcome
7 Me retɔ adeɛ I am buying something
8 Me retɔ kosua I am buying egg
9 Ɛte sɛn? / Wo ho te sɛn? How are you?
10 Ɛyɛ I am good / It is good / I'm fine
11 Wo wɔ hene? Where are you?
12 Me wɔ ha / me wɔ ɛha I am here
13 Wo rekɔ hene? Wo kɔ hene? Where are you going to?
14 Me rekɔ Kumasi I am going to Kumasi
15 Onyame nhyira wo / Nyame nyira wo God bless you

Conparison between Asante Twi and Akuapem Twi:

Numbers Asante

Important sentences

Akuapem

Important sentences

English translation
1 Nnipa ahe na ɛbaeɛ? Nnipa baahe na ɛbae? How many people came?
2 Edu ne du yɛ aduonu Du ne du yɛ aduonu Ten plus (and) ten make twenty
3 Yi edu firi aduonu mu Yi du fi aduonu mu Subtract ten from twenty
4 Kyɛ deɛ wobɛnya no mu mmienu Kyɛ nea wubenya no mu abien Divide the answer that you will get by two
5 Fa nsia yɛ ɛnan ahoroeɛ Fa Asia yɛ anan ahorow Multiply six by four
6 Kan wo nsateaa Kan wo nsateaa Count on your fingers
7 Wobɛtumi akan adeɛ akɔsi apem? Wubetumi akan akosi apem Can you count up to one thousand?
8 Matwerɛ me yere prɛko Makyerɛw me yere pɛnkoro pɛ I wrote my wife once
9 ɔtwerɛɛ nkrataa nwɔtwe nnora ɔkyerɛw nkrataa awotwe nnɛra S/he wrote eight letters yesterday
10 Woatwerɛ wo nuabaa mprɛ pii Woakyerɛw wo nuabea mpɛn pii You have written your sister many times
11 Abarimaa no abu ano (nkonta) mmiɛnsa Abarimaa no abu ano (nkontaa) abiɛsa The boy has made three calculations
12 ɔpɛ anobuo (nkonta) ɔpɛ anobu (akontaabu) He likes arithmetic

UsageEdit

Akan is used in local media, such as programming on GTV (Ghana) and Asempa FM, and is used in education.

The first doctoral thesis in Twi was published in 2017 by Nana Anima Wiafe-Akenten.[12]

Naming systemEdit

The Ashantis use a system of giving the first name to a child, based on the day of the week that the child was born, which is commonly done in Ghana. Almost all the tribes and clans in Ghana do a similar thing.

The Ashanti (Asantes) day naming system is as follows:

Day Male name Female name
Ɛdwoada (Monday) Kwadwo, Kojo Adwoa
Ɛbenada (Tuesday) Kwabena Abena
Wukuada (Wednesday) Kweku, Kwaku Akua
Yawoada (Thursday) Yaw Yaa
Efiada (Friday) Kofi Afia
Memenda / Memenada (Saturday) Kwame Ama
Kwasiada (Sunday) Kwasi Akosua

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Asante » Asante Twi (Less Commonly Taught Languages)". University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. University of Michigan.
  2. ^ "Asante – Asante Twi". ofm-tv.com.
  3. ^ a b c "Asante » Asante Twi". ofm-tv.com.
  4. ^ Akan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  5. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Akuapem". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  6. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Asante". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  7. ^ Jane Garry, Carl R. Galvez Rubino, "Facts about the World's Languages: An Encyclopedia of the World's Major Languages, Past and Present", H.W. Wilson, USA, 2001, page 8
  8. ^ Ager, Simon. "Omniglot". Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Language Guide". The African Linguists Network Blog. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
  10. ^ "Akan languages, alphabet and pronunciation". www.omniglot.com. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  11. ^ "Numbers in Twi (Twi Akontaabudeɛ/Dodoɔ)". www.abibitumikasa.com. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  12. ^ "Nana Anima Wiafe-Akenten becomes first PhD holder in Twi". www.pulse.com.gh. 2017-07-30. Retrieved 2019-03-22.

External linksEdit