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Ghanaian Pidgin English

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ghanaian Pidgin English
Kru Brofo (akan) "kulu blofo (Ga language)
Native toGhana
Native speakers
5 million (2011)[1]
(not clear if this number includes L2 speakers)
English Creole
  • Atlantic
    • Krio
      • Ghanaian Pidgin English
Language codes
ISO 639-3gpe
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Ghanaian Pidgin English (GhaPE), also known as Kru English (or, in Akan, kroo brofo), is a variety of West African Pidgin English spoken in Ghana, predominantly in the southern towns and the capital, Accra.[3] It is confined to a smaller section of society than other West African creoles, and is more stigmatized,[3] perhaps due to the presence of Twi as the lingua franca of choice.[citation needed]

GhPE can be divided into two varieties, referred to as "uneducated" or "non-institutionalized" pidgin and "educated" or "institutionalized" pidgin, the former associated with uneducated or illiterate people and the latter acquired and used in institutions such as universities.[4] A particularly basic variety used by illiterate speakers is sometimes called "Minimal Pidgin".[4] Although other languages of Ghana are available to them, students, particularly males, use Pidgin as a means of expressing solidarity, camaraderie and youthful rebellion.[citation needed] Today, this form of Pidgin can be heard in a variety of informal contexts, although it still carries a certain stigma.[citation needed] In some cases, educators have unsuccessfully attempted to ban the use of pidgin.[5]

It is a variety of West African Pidgin English, like Nigerian Pidgin.[6] The use of words from Nigerian pidgin such as "abi", "dey", "ein" and "commot" (the first three words are used often by both Nigerian and Ghanaian speakers)[citation needed] shows the basic relationship.[citation needed] Nigerians who settled in Ghana and vice versa have been major factors in the development and use of the language.[citation needed] When spoken, it can be difficult for Nigerian pidgin speakers to understand Ghanaian speakers.[citation needed] However, because of the influence of Nollywood, it is fairly easier for Ghanaians in general to understand Nigerian pidgin. Furthermore, unlike Nigerian pidgin, the use of Ghanaian pidgin is gendered.[citation needed] Women are less likely to use Ghanaian Pidgin, and mixed-gender groups more often converse in standard Ghanaian English or another language.[7]

Also, young educated men who were raised outside Accra and Tema very often don't know it until they come into contact with others who do at boarding school in secondary school or at university.[citation needed] But that might be changing as Accra-born students go to cities such as Ghana's second city Kumasi to study at university and so could help gain the language new diverse speakers.[citation needed]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Pidgin English in Nigeria vs. Ghana
  • ✪ Ghanaian English Phrases
  • ✪ Ghana Languages: English, Twi, Ga, Ewe, etc.


See also


  1. ^ Ghanaian Pidgin English at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ghanaian Pidgin English". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Magnus Huber, Ghanaian Pidgin English in its West African Context (1999), page 139
  4. ^ a b Huber (1999), pp. 138-153
  5. ^ Huber (1999), p. 158
  6. ^ Tom McArthur, The English Languages (1998), page 164
  7. ^ Huber (1999), p. 150
This page was last edited on 25 December 2019, at 20:11
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