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Akan

The Akan languages are part of the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo language family. There are about 52 million speakers of Akan languages (in 2014) in eastern Ivory Coast, south-central Ghana, and central Togo. There are numerous dialects of Akan, including Twi, Fante, Bono, Wasa, Nzema, Baule and Anyi, with a high level of mutual intelligibility between them.

Akan languages started to be written down, mainly in religious publications, during the 17th and 18th centuries by Danish, German and British missionaries.

There are currently three standardized orthographies for Asante, Akuapem and Fante, there is also a unified Akan orthography which was created during the 1980s.

Akan alphabet

Akan alphabet

J and V are used used, but only in loanwords.

Akan pronunciation

Akan pronunciation

Notes

Hear the sounds of Akan

Download an Akan alphabet chart (Excel)

Sample texts in Akan languages

Akuapim Twi

Wɔɑwo ɑdesɑmmɑ nyinɑɑ sɛ nnipɑ ɑ wɔwɔ ɑhofɑdi. Wɔn nyinɑɑ wɔ nidi ne kyɛfɑ koro. Wɔwɔ ɑdwene ne ɑhonim, nɑ ɛsɛ sɛ wobu wɔn ho wɔn ho sɛ ɑnuɑnom.

A recording of this text by Stephen Yaw Awiba of LearnAkan.com

Asante

Nnipa nyinaa yɛ pɛ. Na wɔde adwene ne nyansa na abɔ obiara. Ɛno nti, ɛsɛ sɛ obiara dɔ ne yɔnko, bu ne yɔnko, di ne yɔnko ni.

Fante

Wɔwo ɑdɑsɑ nyinɑ to fɑhodzi mu, nɑ hɔn nyinɑ yɛ pɛr wɔ enyimnyɑm nɑ ndzinoɑ mu. Wɔmɑɑ hɔn nyinɑ ɑdwen nɑ tsibowɑ, nɑ ɔwɔ dɛ hɔn nkitɑhodzi mu ndzeyɛɛ dɑ no edzi dɛ wɔyɛ enuɑnom.

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Akan | Tower of Babel

Links

Information about the Akan languages (including Twi)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akan_language
http://www.bisharat.net/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/Akan

Online Akan lessons
http://www.learnakan.com
https://www.memrise.com/courses/english/akan-twi/
https://www.livelingua.com/course/fsi/Twi(Akan)_Basic_Course

Kwa languages

Akan, Baoulé, Ga, Gonja, Nzema, Twi

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet


If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

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