Lesson: Being Polite in Akan Twi
Culture: Politeness is incredibly important when greeting and speaking in the Akan language. One is always expected to show respect for older people, using the proper titles and using the word “please” often. People are expected to ask after each others health it is not enough to say “Hello” or “Good morning.”
Male elder = ⊃panyin
Female elder = ⊃baa panyin
Ma’am/Lady = Awuraa
Sir/Mr = Owura
Adult female old enough to be your mother = Maame/Auntie
Adult male old enough to be your father = Uncle/Papa
Title for male or female chief = Nana
How are you? = Wo ho te sƐn?
I am fine = Me ho yƐ
Please = Mepa wo kyƐw (translated directly as “I remove my hat to you”) pronounced mepaakyƐw
Thank you = Meda wo ase (translated directly as “I lay at your feet”) pronounced medaase
Practice by filling in the blank and then reading the sentences aloud:
1: _____ (elderly woman) maaha
2: Yaa nua
1: _____(please), wo ho te sƐn?
2: Me ho yƐ, _______ (thank you).