Fante dialect

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Native to Ghana
Ethnicity Fante people
Native speakers
1.9 million  (2004)[1]
Official status
Regulated by Akan Orthography Committee
Language codes
ISO 639-2 fat
ISO 639-3 fat
Glottolog fant1241[2]

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 English speaker would use 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

Number Nkanee
1 Kor
2 Ebien
3 Ebiasa
4 Anan
5 Anum
6 Esia
7 Esuon
8 Awɔtwe
9 Akrɔn
10 Du
11 Dubiako
12 Duebien
13 Duebiasa
14 Duanan
15 Duenum
16 Duesia
17 Duesuon
19 Duakron
20 Eduonu
30 Eduasa
40 Eduanan
50 Eduonum
60 Eduosia
70 Eduosuon
80 Eduowɔtwe
90 Eduokrɔn
100 Ɔha
200 Ahaebien
300 Ahaebiasa
400 Ahaanan
500 Ahaenum
600 Ahaesia
700 Ahaesuon
800 Ahaawɔtwe
900 Ahaakrɔn
1000 Apem
2000 Mpemebien
10000 Mpemdu
1000000 Ɔpepem


  1. ^ Akan at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Fante". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

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