Languages of Ghana
|Languages of Ghana|
|Regional||Government-sponsored languages: Akuapem Twi, Asante Twi, Ewe, Dagaare, Dagbani, Dangme, Ga, Gonja, Kasem, Fante, Nzema|
|Immigrant||Chinese, Hindi, Lebanese Arabic,Sindhi, Yoruba|
|Signed||Ghanaian Sign Language |
(American Sign Language)
Adamorobe Sign Language
Nanabin Sign Language
Ghana is a multilingual country in which about eighty languages are spoken. Of these, English, which was inherited from the colonial era, is the official language and lingua franca. Of the languages indigenous to Ghana, Akan is the most widely spoken.
Ghana has more than seventy ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language. Languages that belong to the same ethnic group are usually mutually intelligible. The Dagbanli and Mampelle languages of Northern Region, for instance, are mutually intelligible with the Frafra and Waali languages of the Upper East Region of Ghana. These four languages are of Mole-Dagbani ethnicity.
Eleven languages have the status of government-sponsored languages: three Akan ethnic languages (Akuapem Twi, Asante Twi and Fante) and two Mole-Dagbani ethnic languages (Dagaare and Dagbanli). The others are Ewe, Dangme, Ga, Nzema, Gonja, and Kasem.
The number of government-sponsored languages is either eleven or nine, depending on whether or not Akuapem Twi, Asante Twi and Fante are considered a single language. They are supported by the Bureau of Ghana Languages, which was established in 1951 and publishes materials in them. During the periods when Ghanaian languages were used in primary education, these were the languages which were used. All these languages belong to the Niger–Congo language family, though to several different branches.
Akan (Asante Twi, Fante and Akuapem Twi)
As part of the Kwa branch of the Niger–Congo family, the Akan languages appear in a diverse number of dialects. With regard to official status however, only three (3) are recognised; Asante Twi, Fante and Akuapem Twi. It is the most-widely spoken language in Ghana.
Ga is the other Ga–Dangme language within the Kwa branch. Ga is spoken in south-eastern Ghana, in and around the capital Accra.
The language of Ghana belong to the following branches within the Niger–Congo language family. Older classifications group them as Kwa, Gur, and Mande:
- Kwa languages (Akan, Bia, Guang in Tano; Ga and Adangme)
- Gbe languages (Ewe)
- Gur languages (Gurunsi, Dagbani, Mossi, Dagaare, and Frafra in Oti–Volta)
- Senufo languages (Nafaanra)
- Kulango languages
- Mande languages (Ligbi)
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- Ethnologue listing for Ghana
- Ethnologue map of languages in Ghana
- Owu-Ewie, Charles. 2006. The Language Policy of Education in Ghana: A Critical Look at the English-Only Language Policy of Education. In Selected Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, ed. John Mugane et al., 76-85. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
- PanAfrican L10n wiki page on Ghana
- L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde page on Ghana
- http://www.Ghanaweb.com (Read Ghana News)