Gonja language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gonja, Ngbanya, Ngbanyito
Native toGhana
RegionNorthern Ghana
EthnicityGonja people
Native speakers
300,000 (2013)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3gjn

The Gonja language, properly called Ngbanya or Ngbanyito,[2] is a North Guang language spoken by an estimated 230,000 people, almost all of whom are of the Gonja ethnic group of northern Ghana. Related to Guang languages in the south of Ghana, it is spoken by about a third of the population in the northern region. The Brong-Ahafo and Volta regions lie to the south of the Gonja-speaking area, while Dagombas, Mamprussis and Walas are to the north.[3][4] Its dialects are Gonja and Choruba.


Vowels used are: a,e,i,o,ɔ,u,ɛ. Consonants include: ch [tʃ], ŋm, ny, gb, kp, sh [ʃ].


Personal pronouns as subject of the sentence:

singular plural
1st person ma anye
2nd person fo fo, minye
3rd person e, mu bumu, baa


Common Usage Full name Meaning
Achaŋso Achaŋso ni ba bi dari It's because of something that one is being respected
Achulo Achulo
Afiso Bomine ewo afiso Man proposes and God disposes
Amabaŋye Amabaŋye You can't open one's heart to say what's inside
Amankwa Amankwa
Amate Ebore b'agbembi matie God's paths don't close
Amo elema Amo elema They make me OR that's who I am
Amoma OR Allela Allela e-moma Its goodness or kindness that killed me
Aso wura Aso wura Property owner
Ataawa Ataawa Female twins
Awale Awale Its good
Awaare Awaare
Awalekiye Awalekiye Praise when its good
Awo n'nchɛ Awo nchɛ ni ba nyɛnye
Awo n'nka nne Awo n'nka nne Everything is everywhere –both good and bad
Awo omoto OR Brakumu Awo omoto OR Brakumu Everyone has (or brings) their luck
Awoshe Awoshe Everything has a fault, good or bad
Awoshie Awoshie it's (become) cool, peaceful, under control, etc.
Badow Badow
Bakoaso Bakoaso
Banemu ɛyɛ Banemu eye ne mbia nu Elders have said and children have heard
Bangben Bangben They will be tired OR they'll try (but fail)
Benyepo ɛyɛ Benyepo ɛyɛ It is those who know you who have said (only your friend knows your secret)
Bi awur'bi Bi awur'bi Be careful with what u do
Bin'ka Bi mon ka Don't trust completely
Bonyaŋso Bonyaŋso Respectful
Booma Boomaso nnana
Borɛ Borɛ Rain
Borɛ chie Borɛ chie
Borɛ ena sa Borɛ ena sa Its God who gives
Borɛ enye Borɛ enye
Borɛ enyi-enchi Borɛ enyi-enchi
Borɛ esa Borɛ esa God's gift
Borɛ masa alowe Ebore masa alowe God doesn't give completely (no one is created perfect)
Borɛ walae Borɛ walae God is Good
Borɛ wɔ Borɛ wɔ God's own
Borɛ wu Borɛ wu God has seen
B'sha anye B'sha anye They like us
Chepura Chepura
Daa mato Daa mato Character cannot be changed / thrown away
Dambatu K ful dey se na ne anye ba to We came to meet the moon
Dari Dari Twins (unisex, i.e. can be used by females or males)
Dariche Dariche
Dokilebi Dokilebi Literally you've sown a bad seed; Figurative - you reap what you sow
Ebanyepo Ebanyepo
Ebo ɛyɛ Ebo ɛyɛ It's the room that has said
Edonbonɛ Edonbonɛ What has the enemy done? (The enemy might think they are punishing you but God has blessed u already)
Edonkufo Edonkufo Your enemy is not far
Ekomato E ko ma to No one is useless
Ekone oto Eko ne oto piye nba to fo It's happened to someone before you
Ekoso Eko-so ni ba nyeti e-ko Because of someone that we have patience for another
Ekumpo Ekumpo The Protector
Ekunfo Ebore ekunfo God the Protector
Elempo Elempo God the Mighty / the Strong One
Esapɔ Esapɔ God the Giver
Esa ewɔ lanto / Esa ewoeboto Esa ewɔ lanto / Esa ewoeboto
Etimpo Ebore e-na eten awura keshekama God is able to do everything / God is able / The Able One
Ewanyɛ Esa nɛ nyɛ, mo e na wora He who is blessed, much is expected
Ewale Ebore wale God is Good
Ewonyɛ Ewo nye ma wo
Ewunio Ewura mo nio Chief's mother / Queen Mother
Ewuntomah Ewura mo to mah Chief's name sake
Ewura Ewura Chief
Eyri modon Eyri modon ela kulɔ The body's enemy is sickness; Man has no enemy except disease
Foto Foto Blessed
Gbeadese Kashinteng desay ne efe la ekilti The truth is always quite
Gyem che Gyem che
Gyɛma alela Gye maashen a le la Talk well of me
Jinapor Ji ne apor bomu so Win, and overcome them
Gyeowo Gyeowo God's cobra aims far
Kakore Ebore ben nkore, ban lan n'gben God's drums; they'll drum until they get tired
Kanagboŋ Kanagboŋ Big family
Kanamo Kanamo Which family / clan?
Kananmaluwe Kananmaluwe The family doesn't end
Kasha Kasha Love
Keche e-basa Keche e-basa It pains to be a lady
Kenyiti Kenyiti Patience
Keshie eko Men ki shie eko I don't hate anyone
K'fantaŋ Ebore be k'fantaŋ God's Leaf
Kginginfra K'gin gyan fra boɔ ebo fuloŋ A wretched house is better than none
Koji Bakra ko ne k'naŋ e sha fo Be wealthy and family would like you
Kowuribi Ko wuuri bi small chief
Kramoase Kramoase
Kurabaso Kurabaso
Kurayerito Kurayerito Be energetic
Lempoche Lempoche Abled woman
Lomashie Lowu ma shen ne ba sa be gye bo mo komo Death doesn't allow us to enjoy ourselves
Longefiye Longefiye Make yours well / Mind your own business
Longesai Longe nsa a-nye Make it well for us
Maaman Maaman
Mankpa Mankpa Twins (females)
Mankre Mankre When a woman gets pregnant before her menses (either before the first menses, or in between pregnancies)
Mantenso Mantenso I'll not forget
Mapoche Mapoche I don't boost
Masa-agben Ebore masa agben God doesn't tire giving
Masape Ebore masa n k pe God doesn't give completely (no one is created perfectly)
Matuamo Matuamo I wouldn't be bothered
Nefa Nefa Blessing
Njo amonchɛ Njo amonchɛ I'm waiting for that day
Nkpamafo Nkpa ma fo ne an gye a mo Life is not sufficient
Nndefeso Ebore de feso God is watching (protecting) you
Ntoba Nn tutu ba My father has come (reincarnation)
Obosu Obosu
Okonfo Ebore/enemu be kum fo God protects you
Owoshie Owoshie Its cool, calm, peaceful, over etc.
Pumaya Edon pu fa ya to Your enemy is not far, they are right "under your legs"
Safo Ebore sa fo God has given you (God has blessed you)
Samafon Samafon Don't worry
Shuŋ nkpa Shuŋ nkpa Cry (pray) for long life
Techira Techira
Titi aka Fo bi titi e-ka
Yɔmba Yɔmba Go and come (reincarnation)


  1. ^ Gonja, Ngbanya, Ngbanyito at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) closed access
  2. ^ Mary E. Kropp Dakubu (ed.), The Languages of Ghana, page 77
  3. ^ Language Guide (Gonja Version). Bureau of Ghana Languages, Accra, 1977-1988.
  4. ^ Kropp Dakubu, M.E. (editor), The Languages of Ghana. Kegan Paul International, London, for the International African Institute. 1988.
  • Colin Painter, Gonja: a phonological and grammatical study, Indiana University, 1970

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