Twi Consonant Digraphs | Consonant Combinations

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There are certain unique sounds in Twi whose pronunciation prove particularly difficult for non-natives and other late learners of the language. Knowing the right way of pronouncing these sounds will help speed up the learning process.

I’m assuming you have memorised the letters of the Akan (Twi) alphabet and familiarised yourself with the sounds they represent. Please do so if you haven’t by clicking on The Akan (Twi) Alphabet.

Today, we are looking at Twi consonant digraphs. The aim of the lesson is threefold: 1. to inform ourselves of what digraphs are, 2. to list the consonant digraphs we have in Twi, 3. to give examples of Twi words that contain each of the digraphs listed under 2.

Continue reading beneath the embedded video below.

Video Lesson

What is a Digraph?

A digraph is defined as a group of two successive letters that represent a single sound. Thus, to have a digraph, two letters must combine without any intervening letter(s) to form a single sound.

Examples of consonant digraphs in English include the /ph/ in ‘digraph’, the /th/ in ‘path’, and the /ch/ in ‘chin’. Examples of vowel digraphs in English include the /ie/ in ‘piece’, the /ee/ in ‘free, and the /oo/ in ‘cool’

Now, Let’s list the consonant digraphs we have in Twi, along with some word examples.

List of Twi Consonant Digraphs

DigraphTwi WordEnglish
/gy/gye

 

gyae

take (verb)

 

stop (verb)

/hy/afahyɛ

 

hyɛ

festival

wear (verb)

/ky/

kyiniiɛ

kye

umbrella

fry/catch (verb)

/ny/

nyinsɛn

nyansa

pregnancy

sense (noun)

/nw/

nwa

nwansena

snail

housefly

/dw/

dwonsɔ

adwuma

urine

work (noun)

/tw/

twe

twerɛ

pull (verb)

write

/hw/

ahwɛyie

ahwehwɛ

carefulness

mirror

/kw/

akwantuo

akwadaa

journey (noun)

child

Congratulations on completing yet another lesson. Twi makes extensive use of the digraphs listed above. Getting their pronunciation right, therefore, will serve you a great deal of benefits. This is why I advise that you go over the list a few times, watch the embedded video and repeat the sounds after me. Do so until you are confident you’ve gotten them pronounced right. Then, move on to the next lesson Twi Diphthongs.

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