Akan vs Twi vs Fante vs Akuapem Twi

A non-linguists guide to the differences between the three

by Shannon

Posted on January 1, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Language Map of Ghana

Akan vs Twi vs Akuapem vs Asante. Here's a a quick and dirty guide to understanding the different Akan Languages and the differences in syntax, vocab and pronunciation between them!

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Let's begin with the neccessary disclaimer. * I am not a linguist* I am an aspiring polyglot with a strong interest in Kwa languages. Any "linguistic" terms used in this post are used loosely. I'll explain exactly what I mean by "dialect", "macro-language" and any other terms that I throw around.

So here goes!

If you're like me and your first exposure to Ghanaian languages, Akan people and culture was here on the *magical* wilds of the internet, you may be confused. Online resources often offer resources under the banner of "Akan language". Leaving you and (me) to wonder exactly what that means. In a nustshell:

Akan is a macro-language. Asante Twi, Akuapem Twi and Fante are three different forms (dialects) of Akan Language

Akuapem and Asante are often grouped together as Twi. Fante is almost always refered to as Fante.The dialects are mutually intelligible. However, until the language was standardized by the Ghana Orthagraphic Bureau the written forms of Twi and Fante were significantly different.

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Am excited to see how Dialogue grows! I've been looking a resource for learning twi online for ages! Good luck guys!