Ghana Languages

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Beginning Research
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Description[edit | edit source]

The official language of Ghana is English, in which many of the records from the period of British colonization (from the nineteenth century to 1957) have been kept. Earlier colonial records which have survived are in Portuguese, Dutch or Danish. [1]

More than 250 languages and dialects are spoken in Ghana. English is the country's official language and predominates government and business affairs. It is also the standard language used for educational instruction.[2]

Word List[edit | edit source]

For word lists and help researching in Ghana records, see:

Alphabet and Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Portuguese
The Portuguese alphabet uses the same 26 letters and alphabetical used in English. The letters k and w are used only in words that are not of Portuguese origin. [3]

Dutch
IJ is equivalent to a Y. If a word whose first letter is to be capitalized starts with IJ, then both must be capitalized. Usually words beginning with IJ are alphabetized under Y, but not always.

When the Dutch alphabetize names of places or surnames, prefixes such as van der, de, or ter are not considered in the alphabetization.

Example:

ten Brock

van der Graf

's-Gravenhage

van Hijden

de Jong

van Leeuwen

ter Pelkwijk

van IJlst

't Zandt [4]


Danish
Written Danish has three additional letters: Æ (æ), Ø (ø), and Å (å). These letters are filed after A-Z alphabetically. The letter Å (å) was officially introduced in 1953, so it never appears in older records. Prior to that time it was usually written as Aa (aa) and filed at the beginning of the alphabet. Danish dictionaries and indexes, this word list, and the Locality section of the FamilySearch Catalog use the following alphabetical order:

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z æ ø å [5]

Language Aids and Dictionaries[edit | edit source]

Portuguese
A good online dictionary are Collins Dictionary [6] and Lexilogos[7]. Both are a great tool to use.

Dutch
A great online Dutch dictionary are Linguee [8] and bab.la [9]. Both are easy to use.

Danish
A great online Danish Dictionary is Lexilogos. It has current and old Danish translations. [10]

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

Portuguese

  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Department. Genealogical word list : Portuguese [Salt Lake City:Family History Department] [©1994.] Avalible on WorldCat
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah). Portuguese : genealogical word list [Salt Lake City, Utah] [Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] [©1990]. Avalible on WorldCat.
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah). Genealogical word list. Portuguese. [Salt Lake City, Utah] [Family History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints], [1997]. Avalible on WorldCat.
  • Mark Davies; Ana Maria Raposo Preto-Bay. A frequency dictionary of Portuguese : core vocabulary for learners [New York] [Routledge] [©2008]. Avalible on WorldCat.

Dutch

  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Department. Dutch : genealogical word list [Salt Lake City, Utah][Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] [©1989]. Avalible on WorldCat.
  • Ian Robertson. A priliminary word list of Berbice Dutch [Georgetown, Guyana] [University of Guyana] [1976]. Avalible on WorldCat.

Danish

  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Department. Danish : genealogical word list [Salt Lake City, Utah] [Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] [©1989]. Avalible on WorldCat.
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah). Genealogical word list - Danish French, Finnish, Danish, German, Italian, Latin, Norwegian, Polish and Swedish [Publisher:Salt Lake City, Utah] [Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] [©1989]. Avalible on WorldCat.


References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Ghana,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1991-1998.
  2. Embassy of Ghana
  3. Word List
  4. Word List
  5. [https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Danish_Genealogical_Word_List Word List[
  6. Dictionary
  7. Dictioanry
  8. Linguee
  9. bab.la
  10. Dictionary