Akan language

Spoken in

  • Niger - Congo Atlantic - Congo Volta - Congo Kwa Nyo Potou - Tano Tano Central Akan




The word Akan refers to a group of languages ​​with about 8.3 million speakers, which are assigned to the Kwa language family and are spoken in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Speakers are the various so-called Akanvölker.

Division of Akansprachen / belonging question

Within the Akansprachen distinguishes between the following languages ​​is through their membership in the Akangruppe unity:

  • Asante Twi (about 2,800,000 ),
  • Fante (approx. 1,900,000 )
  • Akuapem - Twi (about 555,000 speakers)
  • Agona
  • Denkyira
  • Chakosi
  • Asen
  • Akyem bosome
  • Kwahu
  • Abron (language)
  • Wassaw

Other sources differ in addition to these listed above languages ​​( then " East Akansprachen " called ) nor a group of " West Akansprachen ":

  • Nzema
  • Ahanta
  • Anyin
  • Baule

According to SIL International, the two Akangruppen but separate after the branch "Central" of the classification scheme in the above infobox equal to " Akan " and " Bia ". Nzema, Ahanta, Anyi and Baule not belong then to the Akansprachen, but the Bia branch.

In contradiction to this, in the work of PK Agbedor CASAS from " complex 1 " and " complex 2 " (about the above " West Akan " or "East - Akan " according to ) the forms of language of Ghana 's speech. The complexes are characterized by evident among themselves.

Complex 1 is designated as a r- Akan (mainly Twi, Fante, Akuapem, Akyem, Wasa, Bono, Asen, Akwamu, the Kwahu spoken in Ghana and parts of Togo). They use the sound " L" does not explicitly. By contrast, the group of l - Akan would ( Nzema, Baule and other dialects are mainly spoken in the Ivory Coast ) that do not use the sound " R".


The larger of these languages ​​also exist in written form. Abron is also used as language very well, but was never developed a written language. The Office of languages ​​of Ghana has put together three dialects a word list with a uniform orthography, which includes over 20,000 words. It is not yet widely used. Akan is one of the supported primarily by the Government of languages ​​in Ghana. It is written in Latin letters with an extended alphabet.

Akan in South America

With the slaves the language was brought to South America. Descendants of escaped slaves in Suriname still speak a form of the language, they have maintained the custom to name their children after the day of their birth, for example, Kwasi ( for a boy ) and Kwasiba ( for a girl ) that on a Sunday were born. The Anansi spider stories NSAIDs are known in Suriname.