Akan (Twi)

Akan Diagraphs

Akan Twi Diagraph Lesson



Diagraphs are two successive letters that represent a single sound. For example, the ‘ph’ in diagraph the p and h combine to form the ‘f’ sound in English. Diagraphs can be consonants or vowels. An example of a diagraph made of vowels in the English language is ‘ie’ sound in piece.



There are many diagraphs in the Akan Twi language, some that sound like more common sounds in the English language while many are unique. See the table below for examples.


Diagraph Twi Word (English translation) Pronunciation
Gy Gye (receive) J as in Jug
Hy Hye (to burn) Sh as in Shirt
Ky Kye (catch) Ch as in chat
Ny Nyame (God) Ñ as in España
Nw Nwunu (cold) Pronounced like Nyw, or Ñ with rounded lips
Dw Dwene (to think) Pronounced like Jw, or J with rounded lips
Tw Twi (the dialect) Pronounced like Chw with rounded lips
Hw Hwe (look) Simultaneous C and Wh
Kw Kwado (Wendesday born male) Qu as in Quick



Listen to the Peace Corps Lesson #3 on diagraphs.

Listen and watch LearnAkan.com’s video on diagraphs.



  1. For each diagraph in the above table, find an additional example of a word in Twi that contains that diagraph.
  2. If helpful, draw your own chart with your additional diagraph examples.
  3. Practice pronouncing your example and the example given above.
  4. Once comfortable with practicing each diagraph, record your pronunciation and compare to the audio resources.
  5. Reflect on your strengths and what you might want to continue working on in the future.


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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.