The West African state of Ghana, situated along the Gulf of Guinea, is home to more than 28.21 million residents and about 80 native and foreign languages and dialects which together create a highly diverse linguistic and cultural environment.

As a result of the country’s colonial past, the official language in Ghana is English, which is also the language of instruction in schools across the country. Aside from being the language used in educational institutions, English is also the language used in government affairs, legal and administrative documents and procedures, business affairs, and media. There is a number of newspapers published in Ghana which are written in English, such as the “Daily Guide Ghana” and the “Ghanaian Chronicle”. The English spoken in Ghana is mostly influenced by the idioms, phrases and grammatical rules of the indigenous languages, and is generally not as fluent as native speakers’ English. The variant of English spoken in Ghana is referred to as Pidgin English.

Fante-Twi, Ga, and Ewe are the most important Kwa languages spoken in the south of the country, while the northern region is dominated by the three subdivisions of the Gur branch: Mole-Dagbane, Grusi, and Gurma. Hausa is a language of northern Nigeria, and in northwestern Ghana, various dialects of the Mande language are spoken among the Dagari-speaking people. Akan, Ewe, Ga, Hausa, Nzema, and Dagbane are the country’s principal indigenous languages. They are also used in radio and television programming.

Minority languages in Ghana include Chinese, Hindi, Lebanese, Hausa, and Yoruba, as well as sign languages such as Ghanaian Sign Language, Adamorobe Sign Language, and Nanabin Sign Language.

The most widely spoken language in Ghana is Akan, the speakers of which comprise about 47.5% of Ghana’s population. Moreover, Dagbani is spoken by approximately 16.6% of the people while Ewe is spoken by nearly 14% of the population of Ghana. French is spoken by about 13% of the residents. Other languages spoken in Ghana include Gurma with 5.7% of the population who speaks the language, Fulani at 5%, Guan at 3.7%, and Bissa at 1.1%.

The literary tradition of northern Ghana is rooted in Islam, while the southern literature was mainly influenced by Christian missionaries. A number of Ghanaian communities have developed writing systems based on the Latin script as a result of European influence. The main written languages in Ghana are the Twi dialects of Asante, Akwapim, and Fante. Other written languages used in Ghana include Nzema, Ewe, Dagbane, Ga, and Kasena. However, most publications in the country are written in English.


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