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Akan Kasa
EthnicityAsante people, Akuapem, Bono people
Native speakers
9 million[1][2] (2015)[1][3][4]
Official status
Official language in
Ashanti City-State and the Ashanti City-State capital Kumasi
Ghana (both dialects used in national status)
Regulated byAkan Orthography Committee
Language codes
ISO 639-1tw Twi
ISO 639-2twi
ISO 639-3twi
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
A man speaking Twi

Twi (Akan: [tɕᶣi]), also known as Akan Kasa, is a dialect of the Akan language spoken in southern and central Ghana by several million people, mainly of the Akan people, the largest of the seventeen major ethnic groups in Ghana. Twi has about 17–18 million speakers in total, including second-language speakers; about 29% of the Ghanaian population speaks Twi as a first or second language.[7][3]

Twi is a common name for mutually intelligible former literary dialects of the Akan language, Fante, Bono, Asante and Akuapem.[8][9][7] Akuapem, as the first Akan dialect to be used for Bible translation, has become the prestige dialect as a result.[10] It is also spoken by the people of southeastern Côte d'Ivoire.[citation needed]


Twi which is a dialect of the Akan language is a derivative of a Bono king Nana Baffuor Twi.[11]



Labial Alveolar Post-alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal voiced m ⟨m⟩ n ⟨n⟩ ɲ ⟨ny, n⟩ ŋ ⟨ng, n⟩
labialized nʷ ⟨nw⟩
Stop voiced b ⟨b⟩ d ⟨d⟩ g ⟨g⟩
aspirated pʰ ⟨p⟩ tʰ ⟨t⟩ kʰ ⟨k⟩
labialized kʷ ⟨kw⟩
Affricate aspirated t͡ɕʰ ~ c͡çʰ ⟨ky⟩
voiced d͡ʒ ⟨dw⟩ d͡ʑ ~ ɟ͡ʝ ⟨gy⟩
labialized t͡ɕʷ ⟨tw⟩
Fricative voiceless f ⟨f⟩ s ⟨s⟩ ç ⟨hy⟩ h ⟨h⟩
labialized hʷ ⟨hw⟩
Approximant j ⟨y⟩ w ⟨w⟩
Tap/Flap ɾ ⟨r⟩ ɽ ⟨r⟩
Trill r ⟨r⟩
Lateral l ⟨l⟩


Front Central Back
Close i u
Near-close ɪ ʊ
Close-mid e o
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Near-open æ
Open a


Twi contains the diphthongs /ao/, /eɛ/, /ei/, /ia/, /ie/, /oɔ/, /ue/, and /uo/.[12]


Uppercase A B D E Ɛ F G H I K L M N O Ɔ P R S T U W Y
Lowercase a b d e ɛ f g h i k l m n o ɔ p r s t u w y

The letters C, J, V and Z are also used, but only in loanwords.[13]

Naming system[edit]

The Akan peoples use a common Ghanaian system of giving the first name to a child, based on the day of the week that the child was born. Almost all the tribes and clans in Ghana have a similar custom.

Day Male name Female name
Ɛdwoada (Monday) Kwadwo, Kojo Adwoa
Ɛbenada (Tuesday) Kwabena Abena
Wukuada (Wednesday) Kweku, Kwaku Akua
Yawoada (Thursday) Yaw Yaa
Efiada (Friday) Kofi Afia
Memenda/Memenada (Saturday) Kwame Ama
Kwasiada (Sunday) Akwasi, Kwasi Asi, Akosua


  1. ^ a b "Asante » Asante Twi (Less Commonly Taught Languages)". University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. University of Michigan.
  2. ^ "Asante – Asante Twi".
  3. ^ a b "Asante » Asante Twi".
  4. ^ Akan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  5. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Akuapem". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  6. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Asante". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  7. ^ a b Jane Garry, Carl R. Galvez Rubino, "Facts about the World's Languages: An Encyclopedia of the World's Major Languages, Past and Present", H.W. Wilson, USA, 2001, page 8
  8. ^ Arhin, Kwame; Studies, University of Ghana Institute of African (1979). A Profile of Brong Kyempim: Essays on the Archaeology, History, Language and Politics of the Brong Peoples of Ghana. Afram.
  9. ^ Johann Gottlieb Christaller (1875). A Grammar of the Asante and Fante Language Called Tshi Chwee, Twi Based on the Akuapem Dialect ... Harvard University. Printed for the Basel evang. missionary society.
  10. ^ Ager, Simon. "Omniglot". Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  11. ^ The Akan of Ghana: Their Ancient Beliefs. Faber & Faber. 1958.
  12. ^ "Akan languages, alphabet and pronunciation". Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  13. ^ "Language Guide". The African Linguists Network Blog. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2018-07-14.

External links[edit]