Ghana Everyday living: Do Guests Need Much more Than English?


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Ghana, in popular with most other international locations that were at the time British colonies, adopted English as its official language on attaining independence in 1957. This averted getting to make a decision which of the a lot more than sixty vernaculars should really be so designated. Even so, the vernaculars are healthy and nicely and spoken in most houses, informal workplaces, marketplaces and every day social gatherings. Foreigners scheduling to check out Ghana on medium or lengthy-time period company or enhancement assist assignments normally question if it is helpful to learn a person of the nearby languages. The response generally depends upon the nature of the assignment and exactly where it is positioned.

There seems to have been a period of time of a decade or two right after independence when English was not only widely spoken, at least in the southern 50 % of the state, but also extremely properly spoken, but by the mid-1970s officials of the British Council have been declaring that the greatest English speakers ended up currently in their forties. A constant decrease has ongoing. It is tricky to say if the range of fluent English speakers has fallen or that fast inhabitants growth has increased the proportion of individuals who have experienced little or no possibility to discover the language. The consequence, even so, is that for those people foreigners who want to talk with several folks at all concentrations in society, the require to talk a vernacular is bigger than it has been in the previous.

All professional people in Ghana: govt officials, academics, and so on., as properly as all those who offer with foreigners on a day-to-day foundation: lodge staff, store assistants, tourist guides, etc., all talk English fluently, and for those people visitors who will only interact with these kinds of individuals no other medium of interaction in necessary. The very same could be mentioned of people whose main exercise is to be undertaken in the main metropolitan areas of Accra, Tema, Kumasi, and Takoradi, and maybe in most of the relaxation of the regional capitals. For the occasional undertaking further than these limitations inclined interpreters are effortlessly found, but for people who want to converse right and often with wider circles, each socially and geographically, the acquisition of a vernacular is effective.

The subsequent concern to be questioned is which vernacular is most helpful? With so quite a few to select from the remedy could be particularly intricate, in particular in the north wherever it would seem like each individual village speaks a distinct language from its neighbours. In apply, however, a simpler remedy can be offered. One particular language, Twi, the vernacular of the Akans, is greatly spoken over the southern 50 % of Ghana. The a few principal dialects, Asante, Fanti and Akuapem, are mutually comprehensible, as are some slight dialects and regional variants, and because Twi is so extensively spoken, numerous Ghanaians of other tribes have observed it useful to receive a degree of fluency.

Aside from Twi, as a first language to learn in Ghana, a few other languages are worthy of special point out. Quite a few foreigners take the difficulty to study Ga, the vernacular of the cash city, Accra, and some others review Ewe, the language of the the vast majority of the persons of the Volta Area, located east of the Volta River and once component of German Togoland. The third language, Hausa, is spoken extra widely in West Africa outdoors of Ghana, and foreigners who have some Hausa from company in Nigeria and somewhere else will come across it beneficial in northern Ghana and amongst colonies of northerners in the south. Some Hausa phrases have been adopted for common use in Ghana, in particular in relation to markets, trade and horses.

The overseas customer to Ghana who speaks both of those English and Twi will discover that s/he can communicate with most men and women in most components of the nation. For people whose get the job done will consider them for an prolonged interval to a locale with a different mother tongue, the acquisition of that mother tongue would be helpful. This is about the plan adopted by foreign businesses with volunteers posted to all elements of Ghana, this kind of as the United States Peace Corps and British Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).


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