Home Niger-Congo Akan Language

Akan Language

Akan Language
Photo by Pixabay.com

The Akan language belongs to the Kwa sub-family of the higher Niger-Congo family. Mainly it is spoken in the West Africa, in Ghana. When it comes to the regions where the language is used, there are seven of them. The are Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Central, Western and parts of the Volta region. It is considered to be one of the most spoken indigenous languages in Ghana. Nearly the half of the country’s population speak Akan as a native language. Furthermore, there are some non-native speakers who use it as a second language.

The Akan language has many variations. Mainly, Akan dialects are divided into the Fante and Twi dialects. The Fante dialects group is made up of such sub-dialects as the Gomoa, Ekumfi, Nkusukum, Iguae, Breman, and Agona. The Twi dialects include such sub-dialects as the Asante, Akuapem, Wassa, Akyem, Kwahu, and Brong. It is interesting to know that the Bong dialect, spoken in the eastern parts of Côte d’Ivoire, a neighboring West African country, is known there as Abron.

There is also a version of the Akan language used in some part of the Caribbean Islands and South America. The language came into these lands due to the slave trade.  People who speak Akan in these lands are known as the Ndyuka of Suriname and the Coromantee of Jamaica.

Quite often, people make a mistake considering Twi as a language. That is why it is important to understand that Twi is a dialect of the Akan language. Nevertheless, the dialect is quite popular, especially in Ghana. Actually, it is considered to be the most widely used dialect of the Akan language. That is why so many people confuse it as the language itself.

In Ghana, the Akan language is used on the radio, TV, movies, churches and for commerce. The language is also taught in schools from lower primary level, through junior high to senior high school levels.It is worth to mention that it there are some country’s universities where students can study the Akan language.