Ghanaian English

English is an official language of Ghana, however, a lot of the phrases take on different meanings than American English. Some are easy to understand. Others aren’t. Here are some examples of common words and phrases in “Ghanaian English” and their American English equivalent.

You are welcome! = literally, welcoming someone to their home/restaurant/country

Where are you from? = Where are you coming from

The fufu/any noun is finished = We have run out of fufu, there is none left

It will start in ten minutes time = It will start in ten minutes

Flash me = call my phone and then hang up so I have your number

For here or take away? = (food) for here or to go?

Oh = emphasis

I’m sorry oh = I’m very sorry

Top up = add on

Cue = line

I’m coming= I’m going, hold on, one second, I’m on my way (but really I’m leaving in 30 mins)

Please, I’m coming = Be right back, I’m leaving but I’ll be back (who knows when)

Obama’s People =  Americans

Chop Bar = Restaurant

Will you take banku? = Do you want to eat banku

Ghana is sweet for you? = You think Ghana is great, don’t you?

All the best = Good luck

I’m learning for my papers = I’m studying for my exams

Chilling is for the weekend! = Partying is for the weekend

Last price = the lowest price in bargaining

To grow thin = to lose weight

Dash me some please = add a little extra please

TSSSSS (hissing sound) = calling for one’s attention

Don’t brown me = don’t lose touch/forget about me

I’ve miss you = it’s been a while since I’ve talked to you, it’s good to see you

Let’s pass this way = come on, walk this way

I have to wash = I need to do laundry, hand wash my clothes

You will eat it all! = I don’t care if you’re full…you will finish the food I prepared for you otherwise I will be offended

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