Languages of Ghana. Ghana is a multilingual country in which about eighty languages are spoken. Of these, English, which was inherited from the colonial era, is the official language and lingua franca. Of the languages indigenous to Ghana, Akan is the most widely spoken.
Ghana has more than seventy ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language. Languages that belong to the same ethnic group are usually mutually intelligible. The Dagbanli and Mampelle languages of Northern Region, for instance, are mutually intelligible with the Frafra and Waali languages of the Upper West Region of Ghana. These four languages are of Mole-Dagbani ethnicity.
Eleven languages have the status of government-sponsored languages: three Akan ethnic languages (Akuapem Twi, Asante Twi and Fante) and two Mole-Dagbani ethnic languages (Dagaare and Dagbanli). The others are Ewe, Dangme, Ga, Nzema, Gonja, and Kasem.
In April 2019, French is in the process of becoming one of Ghana’s official languages due to the country being surrounded by Francophone countries (Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast and Togo)
The number of government-sponsored languages is either eleven or nine, depending on whether or not Akuapem Twi, Asante Twi, and Fante are considered a single language. They are supported by the Bureau of Ghana Languages, which was established in 1951 and publishes materials in the languages; during the periods when Ghanaian languages were used in primary education, these were the languages which were used. All these languages belong to the Niger–Congo language family, though to several different branches.
Akan (Fante, Asante Twi and Akuapem Twi)
Akan, part of the Kwa branch of the Niger–Congo family, is a dialect continuum, but, with regard to official status, only three out of the many varieties of Akan are recognised:Fante, Asante Twi, Akuapem Twi . Taken as a whole, Akan is the most-widely spoken language in Ghana.
Akposo or Kposo language, or Ikposo (Ikpɔsɔ), is the language of the Akposso people, mainly in the Plateau Region of Togo, west of Atakpamé, but also mainly in eastern Ghana. It is considered one of the Ghana–Togo Mountain languages, It is the indigenous language of people of Akposokubi, Akposo Kabo and Akposo Oklabe.
Ewe is a Gbe language, part of the Volta–Niger branch of the Niger–Congo family. The Ewe Language is spoken in Ghana, Togo and Benin with a trace of the language in West Nigeria. Out of the many dialects of Ewe spoken in Ghana, the major ones are Anlo, Tongu, Vedome, Gbi, and Krepi
Dagbani is one of the Gur languages. It belongs to the larger Mole-Dagbani ethnic group found in Ghana and Burkina Faso. It is spoken by Dagombas in the Northern Region of Ghana.
Dangme is one of the Ga–Dangme languages within the Kwa branch. It is spoken in Greater Accra, in south-east Ghana and Togo.
Dagaare is another of the Gur languages. It is spoken in the Upper West Region of Ghana. It is also spoken in Burkina Faso.
Ga is the other Ga–Dangme language within the Kwa branch. Ga is spoken in south-eastern Ghana, in and around the capital Accra.
Nzema is one of the Bia languages, closely related to Akan. It is spoken by the Nzema people in the Western Region of Ghana. It is also spoken in the Ivory Coast.
Kasem is a Gurunsi language, in the Gur branch. It is spoken in the Upper Eastern Region of Ghana. It is also spoken in Burkina Faso.
Gonja is one of the Guang languages, part of the Tano languages within the Kwa branch along with Akan and Bia. It is spoken in the Northern Region of Ghana and Wa
Anii or Basila
[[Anii language|Basila] Is a one of the Guang languages part of the GTM languages within the kwa branch along with Akan and Bia. It is spoken in the Oti region of Ghana. Also, spoken in Togo-Benin borders.
The language of Ghana belong to the following branches within the Niger–Congo language family:
- Kwa languages (Akan, Bia, Guang in Tano; Ga and Adangme)
- Gbe languages (Ewe)
- Gur languages (Gurunsi, Dagbani, Mossi, Dagaare, and Frafra in Oti–Volta)
- Senufo languages (Nafaanra)
- Kulango languages
- Mande languages (Wangara, Ligbi)
Ahanta is one of the Bia languages, closely related to ( nzema) Akan. It is spoken by the Ahanta people in the Western Region of Ghana Older classifications may instead group them as Kwa, Gur, and Mande. In addition Anii or Basila language is also a kwa language in Oti region and also spoken in Togo-Benin border. According to oral history stated that they are originally from Ashanti Mampong in Ghana.
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