The Dialects of the Akan Language

Akan vs Twi vs Akuapem vs Asante. Huh? Here's a a quick guide to the dialects of the Akan language: Fante, Asante Twi and Akuapem Twi.

Akan is the language of the Akan ethnic group of Ghana. It is also spoken in central and eastern parts of Cote d’Ivoire. Akan is part of the Kwa group of languages and part of the Niger-Congo language family.

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Map shows the 16 administrative regions of Ghana. The predominantly Akan speaking regions are highlighted.
Over 8 Variants of Akan are spoken throughout Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire
  • Dialects include:
    • Agona (111,000 speakers)
    • Ahafo (85,900 speakers)
    • Akuapem (626,000 speaker)
    • Asante (3,820,000 speakers)
    • Asen (142,000 speakers)
    • Dankyira (124,000 speakers)
    • Fante (2,730,000 speakers)
    • Kwahu (443,000 speakers)
The most widely spoken dialects are Asante, Fante, and Akuapem.

Asante and Akuapem are often grouped together as Twi. Fante also spelled Fanti or Mfantse is always referred to as Fante. Asante Twi, Fante, and Akuapem Twi share a single writing system. Comissioned by the Ghana Bureau of Language, the Akan Orthography Comittee published a standardized writing system (also known as an orthography) for the three major Akan dialects in 1978. Akan is used as the language of instruction in many primary schools throughout Ghana.


Fante, also spelled Fanti or Mfantse, is the dialect of the Fante ethnic group. There are approximately 2,730,000 L-1/ native speakers of Fante. Fante is the dialect primarily spoken in the Western, Western North, and Central Regions of Ghana. Over 82% of the population in Central region is Akan speaking. Most of these speakers speak the Fante Dialect.

Akuapem Twi

Akuapem Twi is the language is of the Akuapem people who traditionally inahbit the Akuapem Hills in the Northern Eastern Region.

Asante Twi

Asante Twi is the language of the Asante people. It is the predominant langauge of the Asante region.

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