Languages in Ghana

Over 79 languages spoken

Languages in Ghana

English is the official language of Ghana, thanks to its colonial history. English is used for all legal, administrative and official procedures and documents, and is also the language used in Ghanaian politics, education, radio and television.

Daily newspapers such as the Daily Guide Ghana, or the Ghanaian Chronicle  are widely available in English. English is a compulsory subject taught in all schools. The use of English is very helpful for English-speaking expats, as it aids the transition to a new country, as well as adapting to a new environment.

In Ghana, a lot of the English that can be heard will be pidgin English (such as GhPE). It is important to note that many Ghanaians may not speak English fluently nor in the same manner as a native English speaker, and so much of the spoken English appears to almost be a parallel language with its own grammatical rules, idioms and phrases.

There are many regional dialects in Ghana, which are classified into 6 main groups:

  • Kwa
  • Gur
  • Mande
  • Kulango
  • Senufo
  • Gbe

The largest language family is the Kwa family, which groups several different dialects. This includes the Akan Dialect which is spoken by more than 40% of the Ghanaian population as well as in regions in the Ivory Coast. Around 60% of Ghanaians speak a form of Kwa.

Ethnologues recently counted at least 79 different spoken languages and dialects in Ghana, with some sources claiming that there are more than 100 different languages.

Further reading

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