Central Tano language
Phrasebooks > Twi phrasebook

Twi or Akan Kasa is a dialect of the Akan language. It is a language spoken in most regions of Ghana. Although it is not a state-sponsored language, Twi is the most widely spoken language in Ghana.

Grammatical pointsEdit

Vowels

  • a as "rat"
  • e as "seat"
  • ε as "set"
  • i as "sit"
  • o as "Kuala Lumpur"
  • ɔ as "pot"
  • u as "Kuala Lumpur"


Consonants

  • b as "bats"
  • d as "dog"
  • f as "fog"
  • g as "goat"
  • h as "hire"
  • k as "cat"
  • l as "log"
  • m as "man"
  • n as "nap"
  • p as "pin"
  • r as "cramp"
  • s as "suit"
  • t as "tomb"
  • w as "wood"
  • y as "yemen"


Diagraphs

  • dw as "j" sound inthe beginning of "dreams"
  • gy as "judge"
  • hw as "whew"
  • hy as "shirt"
  • kw as "equip"
  • ky as "chap"
  • nw is pronounced as "nyw" with rounded lips at the end. For example: Nwunu (to leak)
  • ny as "Español"
  • tw as "trip"

Phrase listEdit

BasicsEdit

Common signs

In Ghana, nearly all signage is in written in the English language. Occasionally, however, some print and media advertisement will incorporate words from the Twi language. Therefore these phrases will be helpful.

OPEN
Bie
CLOSED
To Pɔn
ENTRANCE
Bra (verb), Ɛkwan (noun)
EXIT
Pue (verb), Apueeɛ (noun)
PUSH
Pia mu
PULL
Twe
TOILET
Agyananbea
MEN
Barima (singular) / Mmɛmma (plural)
WOMEN
Ɔbaa (singular) / Mmaa (plural)
FORBIDDEN
Si ho kwan
How are you? (formal)
Wo ho te sεn? (woho te-SAIN)
How are you? (informal)
Ɛte sεn?
Mpɔ mu te sεn? (optional)
Fine, thank you.
Me ho yε, medaase.
Ɛyε.
Bɔkɔɔ. (Optional. Literally "soft". The "ɔ" is pronounced like "o" is rot, but the "ɔɔ" means that the sound is extended.)
And you?
Na wo nso ε?
What is your name?
Wo din de sɛn?
Wɔfrɛ wo sɛn?
Wode sɛn?
Yɛfrɛ wo sɛn? (lit. They call you how?)
My name is ______ .
Me din de ______ .
How old is he/she?
Wadi mfeɛ ahe/sɛn?
How old are you?
Woadi mfeɛ ahe/sɛn?
Nice to meet you.
M’ani agye sɛ yɛahyia.
Please.
Mepa wo kyɛw. (meh-paw-chow)
Mepaa kyɛw. Shorter and most common version
Thank you.
Meda wo ase. (mih-daah-wah-sih)
Medaase. Shorter and most common version
You're welcome.
Ɛnyε hwee.
Yes.
Aane. (ai-in) (pronounced like a nasal “eye”)
No.
Dabi.
OK.
Yoo.
Excuse me. (getting attention)
Mepa wo kyɛw.
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
Wose dɛn?
Ka no bio.
I'm sorry.
Kosɛ.
Kafra.
Goodbye.
Nante yie. (lit. walk well)
Yɛbɛhyia bio. (lit. we will/shall meet again)
Ɛnneɛ akyire yi.
I can't speak Twi [well].
Mente Twi.
Do you speak English?
Wote Borɔfo? (This is actually "You hear/understand English?". In Twi, "Do you speak ______ ?" is not often used.)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Obi wɔ ha a ɔka Borɔfo?
Obi wɔ ha a ɔte Borɔfo?
Help!
Boa me!
Look out!
Good morning
Me ma wo akye. (mih-Maa-waa-chi)
Maakye. (Maa-chi). Shorter version.
Good afternoon.
Me ma wo aha. (mih-Maa-waa-ha)
Maaha. (Maa-ha). Shorter version
Good evening.
Me ma wo adwo. (mih-Maa-waa-jo) The "o" in adwo (aa-jo) is pronounced similarly to a quick "ou" sound in "cous cous"
Maadwo. (Maa-jo) Shorter version
Good night.
Da yie. (dah-yey)

Greetings


Note: The following responses to the greetings “good morning”, “good afternoon” or “good evening” are said according to the age category of the person you are speaking to.

* Yaa nua
(Response to a person who is of similar age to you, i.e. a friend or brother/sister)
* Yaa εna
(Response to an elder female, usually one or more generations above you)
* Yaa agya
(Response to an elder male, usually one or more generations above you) The first letter of agya, "a", is pronounced like the first "e" in "edge" Therefore it is pronounced as "Edga"
* Yaa asɔn
(Response to a younger person or a very young person, usually one generation or more below you.)

Regardless of the time of day, the most popular greeting used is akwaaba. The response is meda wo ase.

Welcome.
Akwaaba.
Thank you. Meda wo ase.
Medaase pii. (lit. I greatly thank you. Its something that would be said if someone is to be invited into someone’s home for the first time.
I don't understand.
Mente aseɛ.
Where’s the toilet/washroom?
Agyananbea no wɔ he?
How do we say ______ in Twi?
Sɛn na yɛka ______ wɔ Twi mu?

ProblemsEdit

Leave me alone.
Firi me so.
Get out of here! (anger)
Firi hɔ kɔ (lit. Leave here and go)
Don't touch me!
Gyae me!
I'll call the police.
Mεfrε polisi.
Police!
Polisi!
Stop them, they are a thief!
Kye no, ɔyε korɔmfoɔ!
I need your help.
Mehia wo mmoa.
It’s an emergency.
...
I'm lost.
Mayera.
I've lost my bag.
Mayera me baage.
I've lost my wallet.
Mayera me sika bɔtɔ.
I'm sick.
Meyare.
Me ho mfa me. (lit. My body is not well)
I need a doctor.
Mehia dɔkota.
Can I use your phone/mobile phone?
Mebetumi a yuso wo fon?

NumbersEdit

Generally, Arabic (Western) numerals are used for everything. Most people actually say English words in order to count things or tell time. However occasionally, the actual Twi words for numbering things can be heard in deep conversations between elders as well as Twi based television and radio station discussions.

0
ohunu/hwee
1
baako
2
mmienu
3
mmiɛnsa
4
ɛnan
5
enum
6
nsia
7
nson
8
nwɔtwe
9
nkron
10
edu
11
dubaako
12
dumienu
13
dumiɛnsa
14
dunan
15
dunum
16
dunsia
17
dunson
18
dunwɔtwe
19
dunkron
20
aduonu
21
aduonu baako
22
aduonu mmienu
23
aduonu mmiɛnsa
30
aduasa
40
aduanan
50
aduonum
60
aduosia
70
aduɔson
80
aduɔwɔtwe
90
aduɔkron
100
ɔha
200
ahanu
300
ahasa
1,000 (one thousand)
apem
2,000
mpem mmienu/mpenu
10,000 (ten thousand)
mpem du
100,000 (one hundred thousand)
mpem ɔha
1,000,000 (one million)
ɔpepem
1,000,000,000 (one billion)
ɔpepepem

TimeEdit

now
seesei ara
later
akyire yi
before
akyi
morning
anɔpa
afternoon
awiaberɛ
evening
anwummerɛ
night
anadwo

Clock timeEdit

Clock times are formed in Twi by placing the word "dɔn" which means "o'clock" before the number. If the time of day is known, it can be stated before the word "dɔn". The numbers after "one o'clock" are said with a liason so "dɔn" becomes "nnɔn".

Note: Many English expressions for telling the time are commonly used by Twi speakers as well.
What time is it?
Abɔ sɛn? (literally "It has hit what?")
It is _____ .
Abɔ _____ . (literally “It has hit")
morning
anɔpa
one o'clock AM
anɔpa dɔnko
two o'clock AM
nnɔnmienu
afternoon
awia
one o'clock PM
awia dɔnko
two o'clock PM
awia nnɔnmienu
night
anadwo
ten o'clock PM
anadwo nnɔdu
midnight
anadwo dasuom

DurationEdit

_____ second(s)
anibɔ _____
_____ minute(s)
simma _____
_____ hour(s)
dɔnhwere _____
_____ day(s)
da _____
_____ week(s)
nnawɔtwe _____
_____ month(s)
bosome _____
_____ year(s)
mfe _____

DaysEdit

Nnanson


The six-day week is referred to as nnanson (literally seven-days) and reflects the lack of zero in the numbering systems. This system uses inclusive counting.

fo
guilty verdict (passing sentence); judgement day
bemim
not guilty verdict (passing sentence); judgement day
nwuna
sleep (death) day; funerals day; covered day
nkyi
behind (hate-taboo) day; destroyed day.
kuro
town (ie. political) day; royal day
kwa
for nothing ('just like that', free, unrestrained) day, servant day
mono
fresh (starting) day
today
ɛnnɛ
yesterday
ɛnnora
tomorrow
ɔkyena
this week
nnawɔtwe wei (literally "week, this")
last week
nnawɔtwe a ɛtwaa mu no (literally "the week that passed")
next week
nnawɔtwe akyi (literally "one week later)

The seven-day week is referred to as Nnawɔtwe (literally eight days). The first day is counted twice to end a full week.

Sunday
Kwasiada
Monday
Ɛdwoada
Tuesday
Ɛbenada
Wednesday
Wukuada
Thursday
Yawoada
Friday
Efiada
Saturday
Memeneda

MonthsEdit

Traditional days


The Akan six-day week, nnanson, is counted alongside the Gregorian seven-day week, nnawɔtwe, to form a combined total of a 42 day cycle. This is known as adaduanan or forty days. Therefore the current Akan/Twi names for the English months have arbitrarily assigned.

January
Ɔpɛpɔn
February
Ɔgyefoɔ
March
Ɔbɛnem
April
Oforisuo
May
Kotonimma
June
Ayɛwohomumɔ
July
Kitawonsa
August
Ɔsanaa
September
Ɛbɔ
October
Ahinime
November
Obubuo
December
Ɔpɛnimma

SeasonsEdit

Ɔpɛ Bere
December – March (4 months)
Asusue Bere
April – June (3 months)
Ofupɛ Bere
July – August (2 months)
Bamporɔ Bere
September – November (3 months)

Writing time and dateEdit

ColorsEdit

black
tuntum
white
fitaa /fufuo
gray
nsonso
red
kɔkɔɔ
blue
bibire
yellow
akokɔsradeɛ
green
ahabammono
orange
ankaahono / ɔrengye
purple
beredum / afasebiri
brown
ahaban dada / dodoeɛ
pink
memen

TransportationEdit

Bus and trainEdit

How much is a ticket to _____?
Sɛ me kɔ _____, tekiti baako bɛyɛ sɛn?
One ticket to _____, please.
Mepa wo kyɛw, mame _____ tekiti baako.
Where does this train/bus go?
Keteke wei bɛkɔ he? (train)
Ɛhyɛn/Bɔɔso/Trotro wei bɛkɔ he? (bus)
Where is the train/bus to _____?
Ɛhefa na keteke a ɛkɔ _____ wɔ? (train)
Ɛhefa na bɔɔso/hyɛn/trotro a ɛkɔ _____ wɔ? (bus)
Does this train/bus stop in _____?
Mepa wo kyɛw keteke wei bɛfa/bɛgyina _____ anaa? (train) : Mepa wo kyɛw bɔɔso/hyɛn/trotro wei bɛfa/bɛgyina _____ anaa? (bus)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave?
Berɛ bɛn na keteke a ɛkɔ _____ bɛfiri ha? (train) (literally “What time will the train that is going to _____ leave here?”)
Berɛ bɛn na bɔɔso/hyɛn/trotro a ɛkɔ _____ bɛfiri ha? (bus) (literally “What time will the bus that is going to _____ leave here?”)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____?
Berɛ ben na keteke bɛ duru _____ ? (train)
Berɛ ben na bɔɔso/hyɛn/trotro bɛ duru _____ ? (bus)

DirectionsEdit

How do I get to _____ ?
Sɛ me kɔ _____ mɛfa kwan bɛn?
...the train station?
keteke stehyɛn no?
...the bus station?
bɔɔso/trotro stehyɛn no?
...the airport?
ɛɛpɔte/wiemhyɛn gyinabea no?
...downtown?
...
...the youth hostel?
...
...the _____ hotel?
_____ hotɛl/hɔhofie no?
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate?
American/Canadian/Australian/UK embassy? (These words are simply understood when said in English.)
Where are there a lot of...
Ɛhefa na _____ beberee ɛwɔ?
...hotels?
ahɔhofie
...restaurants?
adidibea/chop bar
...bars?
...
...sites to see?
...
Can you show me on the map?
Wobetumi akyerɛ me wɔ map no so?
Kyerɛ me wo map no so.
street
ɛkwan
Turn left.
Dane wo benkum so.
Turn right.
Dane wo nifa so.
left
benkum
right
nifa
straight ahead
kɔ w’anim
towards the _____
...
past the _____
...
before the _____
...
Watch for the _____.
...
intersection
...
north
atifi
south
anaafoɔ
east
apueeɛ
west
atɔeɛ
uphill
...
downhill
...

TaxiEdit

Taxi!
Taksii!
Take me to _____, please.
Mepa wo kyɛw fa me kɔ _____ .
How much does it cost to get to _____ ?
Sɛ mekɔ _____ , ɛbɛyɛ sɛn?
Take me there, please.
Mepa wo kyɛw, fa me kɔ hɔ

LodgingEdit

MoneyEdit

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?
Mo gye dɔla/Amɛrikafoɔ/Ɔstreliyafoɔ/Kanadafoɔ sika wɔ ha anaa?
Do you accept British pounds?
Mo gye pounds wɔ ha anaa?
Do you accept Euros?
Mo gye yuro wɔ ha anaa?
Do you accept credit cards?
Mo gye krɛdit kaade wɔ ha?
Can you change money for me?
Wobetumi a sesa me sika ma me?
Where can I get money changed?
Ɛhefa na mebetumi akɔ sesa sika wɔ?
Can you change a traveler's check for me?
...
Where can I get a traveler's check changed?
...
What is the exchange rate?
...
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?
Wo nim baabi a ATM baako no wɔ?

EatingEdit

A table for one person/two people, please.
Mepa wo kyew mayɛ ɛpono baako.
Can I look at the menu, please?
Mepa wo kyew, metumi ahwɛ mɛnyu?
Can I look in the kitchen?
Metumi ahwɛ mukaase?
Is there a house specialty?
Mo wo adeɛ kama ma yɛn?
Is there a local specialty?
Mo wo deɛ ɛfiri fie? (literally. Do you guys have something from the house/this country?)
Mo wo deɛ ɛfiri Ghana? (literally. Do you guys have something from Ghana?)
Mo wo aduane a ɛfiri Ghana? (literally. Do you guys have food from home/the house/this country?)
I'm a vegetarian.
Me taa di atosodeɛ nko ara.
I don't eat pork.
Mentumi di prakonam. (A direct translation is "I cannot eat pork." The word prako means pig. Nam means meat. In the word "prakonam" prako is pronouced more as "preh koe")
I don't eat beef.
Mentumi di nantwinam.
I only eat kosher food.
Medi Yudani aduane pɛ.
I want _____.
Me pɛ _____ .
I want a dish containing _____.
Me pɛ aduane a _____ wɔ mu.
chicken
akokɔ nam
beef
nantwinam
fish
nsuomnam
pork
prakonam
mutton
odwannam
cheese
kyiis
eggs
kosua
salad
salad
(fresh) vegetables
atosodeɛ
(fresh) fruit
aduaba
bread
brodo
paanoo
noodles
taalia
spak
spakɛtii
rice
ɛmo
beans
adua
soup
nkwan
stew
frɔyɛ
May I have a glass of _____ ?
Mepa wo kyɛw ma me _____ gyerase baako.
May I have a cup of _____?
Mepa kyɛw ma me _____ kɔɔpo baako.
May I have a bottle of _____?
Mepa kyɛw ma me _____ bɔtel baako.
coffee
kɔfe
milk
meleke
tea
tii
juice
water
nsuo
beer
biɛɛ
alcohol
nsa
May I have some _____?
Mepa kyew, me pɛ _____ kakra.
Note: People are more likely to understand where the sentence "Mo wo _____ kakra?" (Do you guys have a little _____ ?) is going because the response to it will either be "Mepa kyew, aane." (Yes, please) or "Mepa kyew, daabi." (No, please)
salt
nkyene
sugar
asikyire
pepper
mako
butter
bɔta
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Mepa wo kyɛw?
I'm finished.
M’awie.
It was delicious / tasty.
Ɛyε dε.
This food was very good.
Aduane wei yε dε pa ara.
Please clear the plates.
Mepa wo kyɛw, fa prɛte no kɔ.
The check, please.
Mepa wo kyɛw, fa kyɛke no bra me.

BarsEdit

ShoppingEdit

Do you have this in my size?
Wowɔ wei baako wɔ me size?
How much is this?
Wei yɛ sɛn?
That's too expensive.
Ne boɔ yɛ den dodo.
Would you take _____?
Wobɛgye _____ ?
I will give you _____ cedis.
Mɛma wo _____ cedis. (This is a more assertive way of trying to counteroffer a price to favour the buyer. Learning how to bargain effectively is a valuable skill in Ghana. However, taking care not to come off as rude is equally important.)
expensive
boɔ yɛ den
cheap
ɛyɛ fo/ boɔ nyɛ den
I can't afford it.
Mentumi ntɔ wei.
Mentumi ntua.
I don't want it.
Menpɛ.
You're cheating me.
Wosisi me.
I'm not interested.
Menpɛ bio.
Mentɔ bio.
OK, I'll take it.
Mɛtɔ wei.
Can I have a bag?
Wowɔ rɔba?
Do you ship (overseas)?
...
I need...
Mehia...
...toothpaste.
...
...a toothbrush.
...
...tampons.
...
...soap.
...samina.
...shampoo.
...shampoo.
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen)
...para.
...cold medicine.
...
...stomach medicine.
...
...a razor.
...yiwan/shaving stick.
...an umbrella.
...kyiniiɛ/umbrella.
...sunblock lotion.
...
...a postcard.
...poste kaade.
...postage stamps.
...poste staampe.
...batteries.
...batri.
...writing paper.
...krataa.
...a pen.
...twerɛdua/pɛn.
...English-language books.
...nwoma ayɛ de sua Borɔfo.
...English-language magazines.
...magazin.
...an English-language newspaper.
...amannebɔ krataa
...an English-English dictionary.
...
...a mask.
...nkataanim/maaske.
...souvenir
...nkaedeɛ/mɛmɛnto.

ReferencesEdit

  • A comprehensive course in twi(Asante) for the non-twi learner. By Florence Abena Dolpyne. Associate professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Ghana, Legon.


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