|1.9 million (2004)|
|Regulated by||Akan Orthography Committee|
Fante (Mfantse, Fanti) is one of the three formal languages (literary dialects) of the Akan language. It is the major local language spoken in the Central and Western Regions of Ghana as well as in settlements in other regions from mid to southern Ghana. One of such communities is Fante New Town in Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Fante is the common language of communication among the several Kingdoms of the Fante people, though each has its own (sub)dialect: Agona, Anomabo, Abura, Gomua, Oguaa, Ahanta. Many Fantes are bilingual. Notable speakers include Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, John Atta Mills, Maya Angelou, Roman Catholic Cardinal Peter Turkson, and Kofi Annan.
One striking thing about the language is its tolerance of the English Language. This is exemplified by the constant mixing of the two languages even amongst uneducated folks. Example, in the phrase "Ofi mber tu mber" literally means from time to time. The use of the word "tu" is similar to the English word "to" and in this phrase is used in the same way an Englishman would have used the word "to". The language has many more of such examples. This has particularly been a source of concern to many Ghanaians who believe that the trend may adversely affect the language and may lead to its extinction. However, proponents of the mix also say that over the centuries it has helped to encourage the Fantes to like and learn to speak, read and write the English language well.
Counting in Fante
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