To mark International Motherland Language Day on 21 February, we are inviting people fluent or learning a Ghanaian language to tell us why they love speaking their language.
We showcase some of the Ghanaian language learning organisations we are working with to promote this important initiative.
We start with a profile from Pookie Dumplings Books.
Pookie Dumplings Books was established by author Barbara Serwaa Acheampong in 2020 as a platform to introduce young readers to the Asante Twi language and Ghanaian cultures.
“Our books are designed to help build identity through the sharing of culture,” said Barbara. “Our mission is to help preserve our culture by making it accessible in a beautiful format for future generations.”
Born in Ghana but raised in the UK, Barbara credits her parents for ensuring she and her siblings spoke their Mother Tongue - Asante Twi.
She recalls her father explaining that the importance of knowing Asante Twi was key to her and her siblings knowing where they came from.
“When at home, we always communicated in Twi - something that my father especially insisted on,” she said. “He would say that no matter where you are in the world, language roots you to your identity and heritage.”
His words have left an indelible mark on Barbara and inspired her to establish Pookie Dumplings Books and teach her own daughter her Mother Tongue. Her portfolio includes the books: ‘Days and Names of the week in Twi’ and ‘123 Counting in Twi’, and day name bookmarks.
These books are beautifully illustrated and is an easy way for children to learn Asante Twi.
‘123 Counting in Twi’ is a fun introduction to the language and features colourful illustrations along with the words phonetically spelt to aid pronunciation.
‘Days and Names of the Week in Twi’ is an enjoyable and interactive way for children to discover their Twi name.
Barbara said: “Once a community or a people lose their language, they lose their sense of identity. It’s imperative that we encourage each other to learn and be proud to speak and understand our Mother Tongues. This is the cornerstone in solidifying one’s sense of identity.”
Pookie Dumplings is one of five language-learning providers giving away prizes as part of International Mother Language Day on 21 February.
To be in with a chance of winning one copy of ‘Days and ‘Names of the Week in Twi’ Days or one copy of ‘Names of the week in Twi’:
1. Tell us your name and where you are from [city/town].
2. In your Ghanaian Mother Tongue, tell us why you like speaking in your Mother Tongue.
3. Repeat the sentence in English.
4. [Optional] If you can, please write out the sentence out in your Mother Language.
Please see an example below:
5. Email your audio/written sentence to email@example.com and specify which prize you would like.
6. Prize winners must agree to post a review of their prize/ book or service.
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