Frafra language

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Native toGhana, Burkina Faso
EthnicityFrafra people
Native speakers
720,000[1] (2003)[2]
  • Gurenɛ
  • Nankani
  • Booni
Language codes
ISO 639-3gur

Frafra or Farefare, also known as Gurenɛ, is the language of the Frafra people of northern Ghana, particularly the Upper East Region, and southern Burkina Faso. It is a national language of Ghana, and is closely related to Dagbani and other languages of Northern Ghana, and also related to Mossi, also known as Mooré, the national language of Burkina Faso.

Frafra consists of three principal dialects, Gurenɛ (also written Gurunɛ, Gudenne, Gurenne, Gudeni, Zuadeni), Nankani (Naani, Nankanse, Ninkare), and Booni. Nabit and Talni have been mistakenly reported to be Frafra dialects.[4]


The Frafra language uses the letters of the Latin alphabet with the exception of c, j, q, x, and with the additions of ɛ, ɔ, ŋ, and ɣ.

Gurunɛ Vowels
Sound Representation Example Meaning
/a/ a ya /ja/ houses
/a:/ aa gaarɛ /ga:ɹɛ/ a type of bean cake
/ɛ/ ɛ ɛkɛ /ɛkɛ/ to fly
/e:/ e zoore /zo:ɹe:/ mountain/hill
/ɪ/ i tiŋa /tɪŋa/ city
/i:/ ii piika /pi:ka/ little
/ɔ/ ɔ ɔrɔ /ɔɹɔ/ cold
/o:/ o toma toma / a greeting similar to "hi"
/ʊ/ u buraa /bʊɹa:/ man
/u:/ uu buulika /bu:lɪka/ morning


  • M.E. Kropp Dakubu, S. Awinkene Antintono, and E. Avea Nsoh, A Gurenɛ–English Dictionary and accompanying English–Gurenɛ Glossary


  1. ^ Excluding ?30,000 Nabit and ?100,000 Talni
  2. ^ Frafra at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Farefare". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ ISO change request