Akan is a part of the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo language family. In 2013 there were about 9.2 million speakers of Akan in Ghana. There are also some speakers of Akan in Ivory Coast / Côte d'Ivoire. There are numerous dialects of Akan, including Twi, Fante, Bono, Wasa, Nzema, Baule and Anyi, with a high level of mutual intelligibility between them.

Akan languages started to be written down, mainly in religious publications, during the 17th and 18th centuries by Danish, German and British missionaries.

There are currently three standardized orthographies for Asante, Akuapem and Fante, there is also a unified Akan orthography which was created during the 1980s. Akan is taught in both primary and secondary schools in Ghana.

Akan alphabet

Akan alphabet

J and V are used used, but only in loanwords.

Akan pronunciation

Akan pronunciation


Hear the sounds of Akan

Download an Akan alphabet chart (Excel)

Sample texts in Akan languages

Akuapem Twi

Wɔɑwo ɑdesɑmmɑ nyinɑɑ sɛ nnipɑ ɑ wɔwɔ ɑhofɑdi. Wɔn nyinɑɑ wɔ nidi ne kyɛfɑ koro. Wɔwɔ ɑdwene ne ɑhonim, nɑ ɛsɛ sɛ wobu wɔn ho wɔn ho sɛ ɑnuɑnom.

A recording of this text by Stephen Yaw Awiba of LearnAkan.com


Nnipa nyinaa yɛ pɛ. Na wɔde adwene ne nyansa na abɔ obiara. Ɛno nti, ɛsɛ sɛ obiara dɔ ne yɔnko, bu ne yɔnko, di ne yɔnko ni.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample video in Akan

Information about Akan | Numbers | Tower of Babel

Corrections by Oscar Tay


Information about Akan

Online Akan lessons

Kwa languages

Abidji, Adele, Ahanta, Akan, Anii, Anyin, Avatime, Baoulé, Chakosi, Chumburung, Dangme, Fante, Foodo, Ga, Gonja, Krache, Kyode, Logba, Mbato, Nkonya, Nzema, Siwu, Tchaman, Twi

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 09.08.21


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