|Native to Ghana|
Native speakers 1.9 million (2004)
|Ethnicity Fante people|
ISO 639-2 fat
|Language family Niger–Congo
Regulated by Akan Orthography Committee
Fante (Mfantse, Fanti) is one of the three formal literary dialects of the Akan language. It is the major local dialects in the Central Region of Ghana as well as in settlements in other regions from mid to southern Ghana. One such community is Fante New Town in Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
Fante is the common language of communication among the several kingdoms of the Fante people though each has its own (sub)dialect: Agona, Anomabo, Abura, Gomua, Oguaa. Many Fantes are bilingual. Notable speakers include John Atta Mills, Maya Angelou, Roman Catholic Cardinal Peter Turkson, and Kofi Annan.
One striking characteristic of Fante is its tolerance of the English language. This is exemplified by the constant mixing of the two languages even among uneducated folks. Example, in the phrase "Ofi mber tu mber", literally meaning "from time to time", the word "tu" is used in the same way an English speaker would use the word "to".
Fante has many more such examples. It has been a particular source of concern to those Ghanaians who believe that the trend may adversely affect the language and thus lead to its extinction. However, proponents of the mix say that over the centuries, it has helped to encourage the Fantes to like and learn to speak, read and write the English language well.