Ghanaian Pidgin English

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Ghanaian Pidgin English
Kru Brofo (akan) "kulu blofo (Ga language)
Native toGhana
Native speakers
5 million (2011)[1]
(not clear if this number includes L2 speakers)
English Creole
  • Atlantic
    • Krio
      • Ghanaian Pidgin English
Language codes
ISO 639-3gpe
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Ghanaian Pidgin English (GhPE), also known as Kru English, is a variety of West African Pidgin English spoken in Ghana, predominantly in the southern towns and the capital, Accra. It is confined to a smaller section of society than other West African creoles, probably due to the presence of Twi as the lingua franca of choice.

GhPE can be divided into two varieties. The first is associated with the uneducated and the illiterate, and is spoken mainly by Ghana's multilingual immigrant population. This type can also be used when an educated person communicates with semi-literate or illiterate person. This association has led to schools discouraging the usage of Pidgin, but despite this, a second variety of "educated Pidgin" has emerged among the student classes. Although other languages of Ghana are available to them, students, particularly males, use Pidgin as a means of expressing solidarity, comradery and youthful rebellion. Today, this form of Pidgin can be heard in a variety of informal contexts, although it still carries a certain stigma. Pidgin language is also banned in schools because it tends to prevent students from acquiring new vocabulary.

Ghanaian Pidgin is closely related to Nigerian pidgin. The use of words from Nigerian pidgin such as "abi", "dey", "ein" and "commot" (the first three words are used a lot by both Nigerian and Ghanaian speakers) shows the basic relationship. Nigerians who settled in Ghana and vice versa have been major factors in the development and use of the language.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ghanaian Pidgin English at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ghanaian Pidgin English". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.