Nana Sarpong  on Dec 21st, 2010
10 Asante Twi Proverbs You Should Know

As you learn how to speak the Twi language it is also very imperative that you learn a few Twi proverbs. A good Twi language speaker should be able to intersperse his or her sentences with on the spot witty proverbs to add colour and better understanding to what they are saying. Ultimately, learning Twi proverbs is an excellent way to increase your understanding of the Asante and Akan culture and the way Asantes think. Today, I have put together 10 interesting Twi proverbs for you to practice. Each proverb is in Twi, followed by its literal translation and then the English meaning. Try to memorize them and impress your Twi speaking friends!

Click the speaker button below to hear how they are properly said in Asante Twi.

NOTE: If you don’t see the speaker button, then download and install the Flash player from Adobe.

Nea ɔforo dua pa na wɔpia no
TRANSLATION The one who climbs a good tree is the one who is helped
MEANING If you set your eyes on a good course you will get helpers


Adeε nyinaa dan osuahunu
TRANSLATION Experience is the best teacher
MEANING If you learn patiently you’ll success


Berε annuru annuru a, εtra
TRANSLATION Procrastination is the thief of time
MEANING Procrastination destroys things


Dua baako gye mframa a εbu
TRANSLATION If one tree stands in the path of the wind, it falls
MEANING One person should not take on everybody’s responsibility


Nea wɔnom hɔ no wɔnnware hɔ
TRANSLATION One should not bathe in the water others drink
MEANING Do what is right


Ɛpare wo a, wosua nyansa
TRANSLATION One should learn from a near miss
MEANING If you come out of a trouble you learn from it


Dwaman so wɔ mmara
TRANSLATION There are rules governing every market
MEANING Everywhere has it own rules and regulations


Honam panin ne etire
TRANSLATION The head is the crown of the human body
MEANING A person’s glory is his or her head


Kokora firi bamfo yam
TRANSLATION All things have their origin
MEANING Everything has its kind here on Earth


Nea aba pεn na εsane ba
TRANSLATION History repeats itself
MEANING Everything has happened before


If your pronunciations don’t quite sound like the native speaker’s, go over the proverbs again until you get them right. I hope you enjoyed this short article. Please look for books on Twi proverbs and try to learn more from them. See you later for some more.

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Leave Comments
3 Comments for “Five Akan Colour Symbolisms You Should Know”
  • Louise says:

    I think that there are appropriate twi spellings for these names eg. Sap)n not sarpong. 3dweso and not Ejisu. Akyeampon and not Acheampong/Akyeampong.

    My suggestion is that you try and introduce a row or column where words are first spelt appropriately. Then you can have how the Europeans spelt it as it has come to stay and then etc. If I am learning Asanti twi, dw(o,e,i) not the same as j(o,e,i).

    Aside that there are alphabets that are not part of the twi alphabets and this distinction if not drawn will compromise on the true language you seek to teach and it’s quality. Thank you

  • Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.

  • Indie says:

    I am looking for someone to teach me this language because I am from Atlanta,Ga and my husband is from Ghana and I want to learn his language in order to communicate and talk to him. So that’s why I am asking if someone would help me learn it. And because I am disable and not able to buy the software due to not having any money nor being able to work in order to get the information that I need to get it. So if there is anyone out there who is willing to help me i would really appreciate it to the fullness of my heart. Thank you very much.


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