Talk:Akan language

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the designation 'Akan'.[edit]

There is no evidence that 'Akan' is a name given to them by Arabs. Besides doubting that 'akan' even has any meaning in Arabic, it is well-documented on Europeans maps of the 'Gold Coast', that as early as 1573 the Akan were a distinct group within what we now call 'the Akan-speaking people, Fante, Brong, Akyem, etc. They were an interior group known to Europeans as 'Hacanys, Acanes, Acanni' and occupied an area now partly in the Ashanti region (see pages 259-260 in P.E.H Hair's Ethnolinguistic Continuity on the Guinea Coast from the Journal of African History 8, 2 (1967)

Why would Arabs single that group out and how did they compel the Hacanys/Acanes/Acanni to accept this as an ethno-political name? It doesn't make any sense. It is also well-documented in much of the literature on the Akan that through the western & central areas of West Africa, as well as Saharan, and North Africa the Akan were known variously as ‘To’ (Akan), ‘To-na’ (Akan country), 'Tonawa' (Akan people). The area they occupied was known as 'Toom' to Arab and other Muslim writers, who would have been unlikely to use 'Akan' to describe a person from a place they knew as 'Toom'.

As early as 1505-1508 'Toom' was mentioned by the Portuguese trader Duarte Pacheco Pereira in his book Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis. (see Wangara, Akan, and Portuguese in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. I. The Matter of Bitu by Ivor Wilks from the Journal of African History, 23, 3 (1982)

In both Arabic and European literature 'Toom' was known but it is only Toom and the variations of ‘To’ that are used in nearly all of Islamic Africa while 'Akan' in not mentioned in their writings. As previously mentioned, 'Hacanys, Acanes, Acanni' was mentioned in European writings to describe a group of people and perhaps an ethno-political entity. Where would have Europeans gotten such a word? Considering the majority of the people they encountered and traded with were 'Akan-speakers' the name probably came from Akan-speakers. It is made even more likely when one considers the word 'akan' has meaning in the 'Akan language'; something close to 'foremost'. Further, in the ’Akan language’ the 'ni' added to the end of 'Hacanys, Acanes, Acanni' denotes membership in an ethnic group, a political unit, and a class, among other things.

Arabs were not necessary for the Akan to use 'Akan'. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:54, 24 April 2007 (UTC).


Is it a tonal language? Badagnani 02:41, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Akan language template[edit]

If you are a native speaker of Akan then you can help translate this template into your own language:

ak This user is a native speaker of Akan.


--Amazonien (talk) 20:53, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I suggested on the discussion page for the template to use the 2-letter code "ak" rather than the 3-letter code "aka." This is the general practice where 2-letter (ISO 639-1) codes exist (for example "en" for English rather than "eng").--A12n (talk) 09:07, 27 September 2009 (UTC)


20000 words - sounds like a single language. Contributions/ (talk) 13:07, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I think this refers to a collection of common words - a step towards standardization perhaps - not a complete lexicon of these closely related languages.--A12n (talk) 08:49, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Wider & narrower senses of "Akan"[edit]

I have gotten the impression that Akan in a linguistic sense is used in wider and narrower senses: (1) one as a large linguistic category discussed in the article redirected from Akan languages; and (2) as a "macrolanguage" including Fante and varieties of Twi spoken mainly in Ghana. This article seems to fall somewhere inbetween, so as not to say that it confuses the issue. Are Baule and Anyin (which I understand to be close to each other) also interintelligible with Twi and Fante in the same way that the latter two are interintelligible? In other words, does it make sense to include Baule and Anyin in this article on "Akan language" (the narrower sense)? Or as something else within the larger "Akan languages" sense?--A12n (talk) 09:40, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

The articles were confused, which was partially my fault. Akan means both the language with the new standard orthography, Twi-Fante, and all the varieties spoken by the Akan people, including Baoule. The latter usage is synonymous with Central Tano. — kwami (talk) 00:40, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Reference section needs attention.[edit]

The citation style in this article is inconsistent. Anybody with time and inclination should attempt to attach the references to the article using the


tag. See this page for help and examples.Cliff (talk) 17:27, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

In order to beef up the reference section, I've attached a link to the HathiTrust public domain version of the Twi Basic Course reference. Let me know if this is not appropriate.TheExtraEditor (talk) 06:06, 13 July 2011 (UTC)


Twi is spoken in Suriname? What's the source for this? The wiki page on Suriname doesn't mention Twi, although it mentions Dutch, Sranan Tongo, Hindi, English, Sarnami, Javanese, Malay, Bhojpuri, Hakka, Cantonese, Saramaccan, Paramaccan, Ndyuka, Kwinti, Matawai, Cariban, and Arawakan Kalina. Let's find a source or delete the assertion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Raised my eyebrows, too. It may be that Akan used to be spoken in Suriname and has had an influence on contemporary language (e.g. pidgins, creoles, or the vocabulary of particular dialects), but I really doubt it's still spoken in the country. I'd like to see a reputable source. Dan Cottrell (talk) 16:28, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Deleted. — kwami (talk) 03:58, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm a native of Akan. Wanna translate.[edit]

I'm a typical native Akan speaker from infancy. That's my mother tongue. I can speak other dialects of the Twi such as the Asante, and Akuapem or Akuapim. Personally, I mix them all when speaking for ease and good expressions. I'm wondering how I can gain administrative access to the Main Page and start changing a whole deal of mistakes and grammatical errors in there. First point of correction is the heading, "Nimdeebuukuu". Its wrong, frankly. It should rather be, "Nimdeε Nhoma". I'm sure the translator of that expression wanted to mean something like, "Knowledge Book". But hey! We don't have the word "buukuu" in Twi or any other dialects of Twi. Its rather "Nhoma". There's countless changes that need to be done and more translations. Please help me out so that I can gain access to the Main area where I can make substantial changes to the Akan Pages including the Main Page. Nkansahrexford (talk) 20:55, 6 February 2012 (UTC) Nkansah Rexford, Koforidua, Ghana.