Ghana, in widespread with most different international locations that have been as soon as British colonies, adopted English as its official language on gaining independence in 1957. This prevented having to resolve which of the greater than sixty vernaculars ought to be so designated. Nevertheless, the vernaculars are match and nicely and spoken in most houses, casual workplaces, markets and on a regular basis social gatherings. Foreigners planning to go to Ghana on medium or long-term enterprise or improvement assist assignments usually ask whether it is helpful to be taught one of many native languages. The reply all the time relies upon upon the character of the project and the place it’s positioned.
There appears to have been a interval of a decade or two after independence when English was not solely broadly spoken, no less than within the southern half of the nation, but in addition very nicely spoken, however by the mid-Seventies officers of the British Council have been saying that the perfect English audio system have been already of their forties. A gentle decline has continued. It’s tough to say if the variety of fluent English audio system has fallen or that fast inhabitants development has elevated the proportion of people that have had little or no alternative to be taught the language. The end result, nevertheless, is that for these foreigners who want to talk with many individuals in any respect ranges in society, the necessity to communicate a vernacular is bigger than it has been prior to now.
All skilled folks in Ghana: authorities officers, lecturers, and so on., in addition to those that take care of foreigners every day: lodge employees, store assistants, vacationer guides, and so on., all communicate English fluently, and for these guests who will solely work together with such folks no different medium of communication in wanted. The identical may very well be stated of these whose primary exercise is to be undertaken within the main cities of Accra, Tema, Kumasi, and Takoradi, and maybe in a lot of the remainder of the regional capitals. For the occasional enterprise past these limits prepared interpreters are simply discovered, however for many who want to talk instantly and often with wider circles, each socially and geographically, the acquisition of a vernacular is useful.
The subsequent query to be requested is which vernacular is most helpful? With so many to select from the reply may very well be extraordinarily advanced, particularly within the north the place it looks as if each village speaks a unique language from its neighbours. In follow, nevertheless, an easier reply could be given. One language, Twi, the vernacular of the Akans, is broadly spoken over the southern half of Ghana. The three primary dialects, Asante, Fanti and Akuapem, are mutually understandable, as are some minor dialects and regional variations, and since Twi is so broadly spoken, many Ghanaians of different tribes have discovered it helpful to amass a level of fluency.
Aside from Twi, as a primary language to be taught in Ghana, three different languages are worthy of particular point out. Many foreigners take the difficulty to be taught Ga, the vernacular of the capital metropolis, Accra, and others examine Ewe, the language of the vast majority of the folks of the Volta Area, positioned east of the Volta River and as soon as a part of German Togoland. The third language, Hausa, is spoken extra broadly in West Africa exterior of Ghana, and foreigners who’ve some Hausa from service in Nigeria and elsewhere will discover it helpful in northern Ghana and amongst colonies of northerners within the south. Some Hausa phrases have been adopted for common use in Ghana, particularly in relation to markets, commerce and horses.
The overseas customer to Ghana who speaks each English and Twi will discover that s/he can talk with most individuals in most elements of the nation. For these whose work will take them for an prolonged interval to a location with a unique mom tongue, the acquisition of that mom tongue can be helpful. That is roughly the coverage adopted by overseas companies with volunteers posted to all elements of Ghana, equivalent to the USA Peace Corps and British Voluntary Service Abroad (VSO).