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Whichever language(s) you speak, I’m sure you know quite a handful of its two-letter words. In English, for example, we have an, am, is, go, to, be, do, and a host of other two-letter words with complete, independent meanings. This is no different in Twi.
Today’s lesson aims to introduce you to a number of two-letter words in Twi and their meanings. A very important point to note before we proceed is the fact that a two-letter Twi word (most, actually) may carry more than a single meaning. In most such cases, the distinctions are made through variations in certain phonological features such as tone and nasalisation.
Thus, pronunciation is key; a little error in the pronunciation of a two-letter Twi word and you’ll be referring to something completely different from what you intend saying. But, in a text lesson like this, I can only list the various meanings a single word may carry. Many of you have expressed interests in one-on-one conversational Skype sessions. I believe this will help a great deal as learners will get the chance to learn new stuff, practise what they’ve learnt and receive corrections on their speech. So, we are currently working on setting up a page where you can book available days and time slots. I will e-mail all subscribers when it is ready.
OK, if you are ready, let’s start.
Two-letter Words in Twi
|Two-letter Word (Twi)||English|
a certain… (e.g. “akwadaa bi” meaning “a certain child”)
create (applicable to God’s creation)
solidify (of oil, e.g. “ngo no ada” meaning “the oil has solidified”)
festival (e.g. “Asanteman rehyɛ fa” meaning “Asanteman is celebrating a festival”)
grow (plant/weeds’ growth, e.g. “nwura no afu” meaning “the weeds have grown”)
grow (in anger, e.g. “me bo afu” literally: “my chest has grown (in anger))
apply the enema
reach the required amount/quantity
sow (verb, seed)
end something interesting (e.g. “Kofi agu agorɔ no” meaning “Kofi has ended/stopped the game)
place on (e.g. “fa gu fam” meaning “place on the floor/ground)
light (weight, adjective)
fart (noun, verb)
tool for preparing banku (a Ghanaian dish)
tool (small pestle) for grinding spices in earthenware pot)
drop/fall (verb, applicable to rain)
pack out of residence
I (1st person singular subject pronoun)
me (1st person singular object pronoun)
my (1st person singular possessive adjective)
you (2nd person plural subject pronoun)
you (2nd person plural object pronoun)
your (2nd person plural possessive adjective)
|na||and (for conjoining clauses)|
and (for conjoining individual elements)
|ni||this is (e.g. “Kofi ni” meaning “This is Kofi”)|
|nu||harvest (verb, applicable to palm fruit e.g. “nu abɛ no” meaning “harvest the palm fruit”)|
uncover/expose (usually applicable to taking off a cloth to reveal one’s nakedness)
bring (swallowed food) up into the mouth again
bring something up (e.g. “pu w’afu” meaning “bring your stomach up/make your tummy big”)
heavily concentrated (applicable to soup and other soluble substances)
you (2nd person singular subject pronoun)
you (2nd person singular object pronoun)
your (2nd person singular possessive adjective)
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