Fante dialect

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Native to Ghana
Ethnicity Fantse 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]

Fantse (Mfantse, Fante, Fanti) is one of the three formal literary dialects of the Akan language. It is the major local dialect in the Central Region of Ghana as well as in settlements in other regions from mid to southern Ghana. One such community is Fante New Town in Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

Fantse is the common language of communication among the several kingdoms of the Fantse people, though each has its own (sub)dialect: Agona, Anomabo, Abura, Gomua, Oguaa. Many Fantses are bilingual. Notable speakers include John Atta Mills, Maya Angelou, Peter Turkson and Kofi Annan.

One striking characteristic of Fantse is the level of influence from the English language. This is exemplified by the constant mixing of the two languages even among uneducated folks. Example, in the phrase "Ofi mber tu mber", literally meaning "from time to time", the word "tu" is used in the same way an English speaker would use the word "to".

Fantse has many more such examples. It has been a particular source of concern to those Ghanaians who believe that the trend may adversely affect the language and thus lead to its extinction. However, proponents of the mix say that over the centuries, it has helped to encourage the Fantses to like and learn to speak, read and write the English language well.[citation needed]

The language uses a variety of the Twi alphabet with vowels such as ɛ and ɔ.


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

Naming system[edit]

Fantses use a system of giving the first name to a child, based on the day of the week that the child was born.

The Fantse birthday-naming system is as follows:

Day Male Name Female Name
Dwowda (Monday) Kodwo, Kojo, Joojo(Jojo) Adwoa(Adwowa), Ewuradwoa
Benada (Tuesday) Kobina, Kobby Abena, Araba, Ewurabena
Wukuda (Wednesday) Kweku, Kuuku Ekua, Kuukua, Ewurakua
Yawda (Thursday) Yaw, Ekow, Kow Aba, Baaba
Fida (Friday) Kofi, Fiifi Efua, Effie, Ewurafua
Memenda (Saturday) Kwame, Kwamena, Ato Ama, Ewurama
Kwesida (Sunday) Kwesi, Siisi Esi, Ewuresi(Ewuraesi)

Children may also be named according to the sequence in which they are born. The names given are as follows:

Position Consecutive Males Consecutive Males
First Piesi Piesi
Second Manu Abena, Araba, Ewurabena
Third Mensa Mansa
Fourth Maanan Maanan
Fifth Enum -
Sixth Esia -
Seventh Esuon -
Eighth Awotwe -
Tenth Badu Baduwa


  1. ^ Akan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Fantse". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 

External links[edit]