Ewe is a member of the Volta-Niger branch of Niger-Congo languages. It is spoken by about 5.5 million mainly Ghana, and also in Togo and Liberia. There are about 3.8 million speakers of Ewe in Ghana, in particularly in the Eastern region and the Volta region. In Togo there are about 1.7 million Ewe speakers, particularly in the Maritime and Plateaux regions. There are also about 3,560 speakers of Ewe in Liberia.
Ewe is also known as Éwé, Ebwe, Efe, Ehwe, Eibe, Eue, Eve, Gbe, Krepe, Krepi, Popo and Vhe. Dialects include Anglo, Awuna, Hudu and Kotafoa. Ewe is closely related Gbe languages, such as Fon, Gen, Phla, Phera and Aja.
The Ewe people believe that their ancestors came from Ketu, a town in Benin, and migrated to the southeast of Ghana. Some of the Ewe also settled in Togo.
Diedrich Hermann Westermann (1875-1956), a German missionary linguist, published dictionaries and grammars for Ewe and related languages. Other linguists have worked on various aspects of Ewe since then.
Ewe is an officially recognised language in Ghana, and is taught in primary and secondary schools, and used in literature and the media. It is also taught in some secondary schools in Togo. It is written with the Latin alphabet, and there have been various spelling systems since the 1850s.
Hear how to pronounce Ewe letters:
Wodzi amegbetɔwo katã ablɔɖeviwoe eye wodzena bubu kple gomekpɔkpɔ ɔsɔe. Susu kple dzitsinya le wo dometɔ ɖesiaɖe si eyata wodze be woanɔ anyi le ɖekawɔwɔ blibo me.
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)
Online Ewe courses
Page last modified: 20.09.22
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