Twi for Obruni

This is my Twi-English Dictionay.

I ‘ve collected words and phrases from the wonderful Ghanaians who have the patience to teach me and humor my feeble attempts to communicate.  The sounded out column is over-simplified- there aren’t as many syllables as it looks like, they are generally said in one, rushed word.



Twi Spelling Sounded Out English Meaning
Twi Chwee Twi language
Akwaaba Ak- wah-bah Welcome
Obruni o-bro-knee White person


o-bee-bee-knee Black person


Me-chee-owl Greetings


Me-chee-sue “ response


eh-tee-sane How are you
eye a-yay Fine


Wan-sue-eh And how are you
Me Ho ye Meh-hoy-eh I’m well
Ye frewo sen Yo-fro-sane What’s your name


Yo-fremi …



My name is…
Mma ache Mah-chee Good morning
Mma aha Mah-hah Good afternoon
Mma ajo Mah-joe Good evening
Nanti ye Nan-tee-yeh Goodbye
Medace Med-ah-cee Thank you


Misa-med-ah-cee I thank you too


Eh-cha-ree See you later
Echina Oh-che-nah (see you) tomorrow


Yo-mah-tee I understand
Yen kO Yen-co We go
Me kO Mah-co I go
Dabe Dah-beh No


Brah Come


Co Go


Che-na Stop


Meh-kwaaba I’m going and coming


Yeh-kwaaba We’re going and coming


En-dah-see Why


Mee-pow-cho Please (or I beg you)
Wo ko him Woh-co-hen Where
Mi kO Mee- co I’m going…
Wo KO fi Woh-Co-fee (you) go home
Me kO fie Meh-co-fee I go home
Me firi Meh-free… I’m from…


Mem-pay I don’t want it (forcefully)


Mah-mee I’m satisfied


Meh-quam-emdo I’m not hungry
Asem (Pa Pa) As-hem (Pah Pah) (big) Trouble


Mah-poh I’m drunk


Mafia-o I miss you


Weh-didi Have you eaten?
Me didi Mee-deedee I want to eat
Maa didi Mah-deedee I have eaten
KomiO dime Ko-men-oh dim-eh Am not hungry
Ye koO Yeh-co We went to…
Da yie Day-yay Good night
Ne boO eden Neh-boo-oh-din It’s expensive
Edoso Eh-doh-soon It’s too much
Teso Teh-soh Bring it (the price) down

Vowels seem to be the most different looking letters from Twi to English. Once I got the general sound for each letter, can sound out most of the words I see.  My personal favourite is sounding out the Twi words I see written on trotros. Written by hand they look much different, and I’ve changed them to Latin letters in order to put them online.  The capital E is more like a backwards 3 and the capital O is really a backwards C.  Each guide I read seems to put different sounds with the Latin letters, but these seem to be the most accurate:

Twi Vowel Sound in English
a A as in “art”
e ay as in “hay”
E E as in “bet”
i E as in “he”
o O as in “over”
O O as in “hop”
u U as in “hue”

To be really advanced, these are the Twi sentence subjects.  Sadly, it’s not as easy as putting any subject with a verb- there’s no such thing as “she goes” in Twi but either “wo ko” or “(Name) ko”.

Twi Sound English Subject Twi Sound English Subject
Me/ meh ME Ye/ yeh WE
Wo YOU (s) Mo YOU (pl)
Oh-bah SHE Em-mah THEY (f)
Saf-wa HE En-saf-wa THEY (m)


Some funny TwiEnglish bits-

Funny Twi/ English Phrase Meaning
“ go and then come” or Co Brah I’ll be right back
We will meet See you later- no obligation to actually meet
Dash Tip
How? How are you?
How’s back? How are things?
Chalay, or the emphatic “oh Chal-lay!” Mate, or an expression of outrage/ surprise
“saah!” That’s crazy!
Sweet Tasty, good food (“was your foufou sweet?”)
Bitter Not tasty, except for the drink form of Bitters
Spoiled Ruined or broken




One thought on “Twi for Obruni

  1. Pingback: Bon Voyage « Lipscomb in Ghana

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