A language of Ghana


9,100,000 in Ghana, all users. L1 users: 8,100,000 in Ghana (2013 UNSD). Population includes 111,000 Agona, 85,900 Ahafo, 626,000 Akuapem, 3,820,000 Asante, 142,000 Asen, 124,000 Dankyira, 2,730,000 Fante, 443,000 Kwawu, and 15,400 other (2013 UNSD). L2 users: 1,000,000. Total users in all countries: 9,231,300 (as L1: 8,231,300; as L2: 1,000,000).



Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language.


Agona, Anomabo Fanti, Abura Fanti, Akuapem (Akuapim, Akwapem Twi, Akwapi, Twi), Akyem (Akyem Bosome), Asante (Achanti, Asanti, Ashante Twi), Asen, Dankyira, Fante (Fanti, Mfantse), Kwawu (Kwahu), Gomua, Ahafo. All dialects, including Fanti and Twi, are mutually intelligible.


SVO; postpositions; noun head initial; verb affixes mark person, number, object; tense; causatives; 21 consonant and 10 vowel phonemes; tonal (3 phonemic tones); vowel harmony (ATR).

Language Use

A few also use Adamorobe Sign Language [ads] (Nyst 2007). Also use English [eng]. Used as L2 by Abron [abr], Adamorobe Sign Language [ads], Adele [ade], Ahanta [aha], Animere [anf], Anyin [any], Awutu [afu], Chala [cll], Cherepon [cpn], Chumburung [ncu], Deg [mzw], Delo [ntr], Dwang [nnu], Gikyode [acd], Gua [gwx], Konkomba [xon], Kplang [kph], Krache [kye], Larteh [lar], Lelemi [lef], Ligbi [lig], Nafaanra [nfr], Nchumbulu [nlu], Nkami [nkq], Nkonya [nko], Nzema [nzi], Sehwi [sfw], Sekpele [lip], Tumulung Sisaala [sil], Wasa [wss].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 30%–60%. Literacy rate in L2: 5%–10%. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Literature. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1871–1964.


Latin script [Latn], used since 1978.

Other Comments

The two main subdivisions of Akan are assigned codes in the ISO 639-3 standard: Fanti (fat) and Twi (twi). Fanti dialects: Agona, Anomabo Fanti, Abura Fanti, Gomua. Twi dialects: Ahafo, Akuapem, Akyem, Asante, Asen, Dankyira, Kwawu. ‘Akan’ was a name created by Ghanaian academics and language activists in the mid-20th century when they sought to standardize the Fante-Asante-Akuampen written language varieties.

Page Views Left: