Twi is spoken in the southern two-thirds of Ghana, mainly between the Volta and Tano Rivers, but in the last few centuries it has spread over a larger area, especially to the west, so that there are now a large number of speakers in contiguous areas. There are about three million native speakers of Twi, plus about one million more persons who regularly use the language. All dialects of Twi are mutually intelligible; but at conversational speed and on some subjects, speakers from distant areas may have difficulty understanding one another.
The first grammar of Twi was published in Copenhagen in 1764. Missionaries began to publish in Twi in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Akuapim Twit spoken in the south-east was the first dialect used for Bible translation and other literature. Because of this, Akuapim Twi became the prestige dialect and is still regarded by many people as the 'real' or 'pure' Twi. Pant]. Twi, spoken in the south-central area, is rather different from the other dialects and also has a fairly extensive literature. This manual uses Ashanti Twi, spoken in the central area and by far the largest dialect. The speaker on whose speech the materials are based is from the eastern part of the Ashanti area, and some differences will be noted between the speech of Kumasi, regarded as the standard, and the form used herein. An effort has been made in the footnotes to indicate such differences.
There is also the tendency to use the name of the local dialect as a name of the language, e.g., Ashanti instead of Ashanti Twi. Often Akuapim Twi and Twi are used interchangeably, a practice which speakers of other forms of Twi don't always appreciate. Because of this, an attempt is being made to substi-tute the name Akan for Twi. Akan is an ethnographic term referring to all the peoples of the area and consequently is not felt to favor any one group or form of the language above the others.
Twi, also known as Akan and Fante, is an Akan language that is the principal native language of Akan lands in Ghana, spoken over much of the southern half of that country, by about 58% of the population, and among 30% of the population of Ivory Coast. Three dialects have been developed as literary standards with distinct orthographies, Asante, Akuapem (together called Twi), and Fante, which despite being mutually intelligible were inaccessible in written form to speakers of the other standards. In 1978 the Akan Orthography committee (AOC) established a common orthography for all of Akan, which is used as the medium of instruction in primary school by speakers of several other Akan languages such as Anyi, Sefwi, Ahanta, and the Guang languages.
Twi is spoken in: Ghana
Twi is also called: Akan, Fante