Twi: A Beginner’s Guide!

When I started learning twi, I found it very difficult to find clear vocab lists and pronunciation tips on the internet; therefore, now that I have progressed a little further in the language, I thought I’d write a guide to help others.

This guide has been written with thanks to Alex Boakye Antwi and Joseph Edward Addae.

Twi: A Beginners Guide

These are 40 phrases that I have found incredibly useful during my time in Ghana. If you are able to translate and speak all of these phrases and words, then you have officially passed the first stage of the course!

Twi Pronunciation Advice  English
Ete sen? Etty sen? How are you?
Ey3 paa Ay ye paa. I am fine.
Wo ho te sen? Wo ho te sen? How are you?
Me ho y3 Me hoy ye. I am well.
Nyame adom Nya may adom. By the grace of God (they say this a lot!)
Na wonso 33? Na won sua? And what about you?
Wo din de sen? Wo din dee sen? What is your name?
Me din de Cat Me din dee Cat. My name is Cat.
Wofi (ri) he? Wo fri he? Where do you come from?
Mefi (ri) England Mefri England. I come from England.
Akwaaba As written Welcome
Medaase Me daa say! Thank you!
Da yie Da yeeay! Good night!
Nante yie Nan tee yee aay! Safe journey!
Mem a wo akye Maa chi! Good morning!
Mem a wo aha Maa haa! Good afternoon!
Mem a wo adwo Maa jo! Good evening!
Mani agye Manee adjay. I am happy.
Wani agye? Wanee adjay? Are you happy?
Me sua twi kakra kakra Me sueah twi kakra kakra. I am learning twi little by little.
Wote Twi paa Wo tay twi paa! You speak twi very well.
Mereko laibri Me re ko libree. I am going to the library.
Okyena Otchina Tomorrow (can be used as “see you tomorrow!”
Y3behyia bio Ye bishia beo! We’ll meet again!
Aden? Aden? Why?
M’ani gye ho Mani je ho. I’m interested in it/ I like it.
Mani nnye ho Mani ny ho. I’m not interested in it/ I don’t like it.
Me didi Me deedee I am eating.
Me nom Me nom I am drinking.
M’adamfo Me dam foe Friend
Nsuo Un sue oh Water
Kwadu Kwadu Banana
Paanoo Paanoo Bread
Bra Brah Come
Ko Ko Go
Y3nko Yanko Let’s go!
Tw3n me Charn me Wait for me!
Daabi Darbee No
Aane Ahnay Yes
Eebia Eee bee ah Maybe

Basic pronouncation points:

3 –  e (as with French accent)

o – o (sharp o)

e – eee

ky – ch

gy – j

hy – sh

dw – j (slightly different sound, see video when uploaded)

Here are ‘Prof’ Edward and ‘Thunderboy’ Alex, from Abofour in the Ashanti region, helping out with the pronunciation! (I will ask Alex to smile in the next version.. he was happy really!!)

Beginners (Improvers) to soon follow!! 

32 thoughts on Twi: A Beginner’s Guide!

  1. Thank you so much I am a performing artist from the Caribbean who is in my dreams to visit ghana so I must prepare thank you so much

  2. Medaase paa! African-American here born in the south, with no knowledge or way to trace ancestry back to Africa. There fore I’ve tasked myself with learning as many African languages as I can, just to have some attachment to a home I’ll never know but will always love. Thank you so much for this there are very few materials for most African languages and every bit helps tremendously.

  3. Sending to my bf I’ve been trying to teach twi for a while. The break down will be very helpful as some words can be hard to pronounce in twi like hair or nose for none native speakers. Thank you!

  4. Medaase bebree . I had told my dad who also speaks twi that I am starting to learn it and know my and family from ghana want to hear me speak twi and are very excited to hear me speak it. So this helped me a lot to not disappoint them

    1. Does your father know the translation of this phrase?
      “ Aane, me ara ni nnipa a wo twen no.”
      It’s from a book called Golden Hill.
      Thank you.

  5. My husband is from Ghana and I’m trying to learn his language.. some of these phrases are helpful but where can I learn more?

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