terms-to know-in-ghana


There are several ways to speak to a native of your traveling destination. You cannot speak like the natives but you can learn certain terminologies to abridge the language gap. Knowing such terms helps a traveler to feel welcomed everywhere or within a certain jurisdiction. Are you thinking of traveling or moving to Ghana, then there are some 14 terms to know before moving to Ghana. Knowing these terms will be helpful because it helps to mingle or fit in the language vibes of Ghana.


AKWAABA ( a-ku-aba)

Akwaaba is a popular word which means welcome

This word is not something new to those two have been to Ghana. Akwaaba is widely used in Ghana and the Ivory coast. It has the same meaning in both countries. It is an Akan Twi word and an important term to know before moving to Ghana. Akwaaba means welcome and it can also be used when someone says “Medase” which means Thank you. Knowing this term gives a traveler in Ghana a relief because whenever it is used to address a native, it makes him or her knows how much you (traveler) admire and in tune with the people and culture of the country.

MEDASE (mi-da-si)

To show gratitude to a Ghanaian, just use these simple word “Medase”. It means “Thank You”, and saying these word to a Ghanaian feels good. It is one of the common word one may hear or understand its meaning before moving to Ghana. Just say “Medase” whenever someone helps you when in Ghana.


Obroni means a white person and Obibini means a black person. In Ghana a white person is called Obroni, the plural form is Abrofo. The plural form of obibini is Ebibifuo. It is a common term given to travelers who visit Ghana. So whether you are a black traveler or a white traveler, prepare to hear such words when you meet a native calling you such. Mostly, you could hear “Obroni how are you?

TRORO ( troh-troh)

Trotro or trosky is the name of a private owned transportation system in Ghana. The trotro is generally a public van  used to convey people to various destination within Ghana. This type of transportation system is the cheapest a traveler can afford. All you need to do is to go to a particular bus/van terminal (station as it is affectionately called in Ghana) and be on board till it’s filled to capacity. One can also stand at the roadside/bus stop to wave the hand to signal the driver to stop. When one is on board, the mate ( a conductor) will ask for money and the destination or where you will alight. Always ask about the charges of the fare to your destination and be certain of what you need to pay, this helps to avoid exorbitant charge.

 Ghana trotro one of the popular and cheapest transportation system in Ghana


In Ghana a mate means the conductor who works with the Trotro driver. The mate is responsible for asking the passengers about their lorry fare, their destination and also provide assistance when carrying a luggage or other belongings. They are obviously the ones who call for passengers to board the trotro. Most of the mates are friendly to foreigners. You can feel free to ask them anything you want to know about your destination.

A trotro mate( conductor) calling for passengers


Station simply means a bus or a car terminal. It is a place where one boards a car to his or her destination within or outside the country. Every province or a region in Ghana has its own transport terminals. One could find cars assembled or arranged orderly in a bus, taxi or a trotro station waiting for their turn to load passengers and luggage to their destinations. These stations are the appropriate place to fetch a car to any tourist site (destination). You could  see vendors moving and calling for people to buy something like food, drinks, souvenirs, arts and crafts and etc. to their destinations. Always remember to take a car from the Station or a bus stop.

A trotro waiting for passengers at the lorry station



Don’t get it twisted, In Ghana, chop means eat. So Chop Bar simply means a place to eat or eatery. It is actually a local restaurant, this means you can only buy local or native dish. Mostly, every chop bar sells Fufu, Banku, or a preferred local or Ghanaian dish of your choice. Chop Bar is also one of the affordable places to get food to eat as well as a perfect place to try any local dish.

14-terms-to-know-before-moving-to-ghana (new-guide)
A chop bar counter, where a food is ordered


Whenever you hear a Ghanaian using these words is referring to a pub. A place that one can sit and order for a drink or sometimes food. These drinking spot or beer bar sells alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. You can get the chance to taste a local brewed alcoholic drink called Akpeteshie or some of Ghana’s popular soft and hard drinks. The most popular and widely drink beverage for local and foreigners alike in Ghana is called Club Beer.

drinking-spot-or beer-bar-in-ghana
A beer bar/drinking spot

AKPETESHIE (ak-pe-te-shi)

It is a locally brewed spirit which is made from highly fermented palm wine or sugarcane and is highly intoxicating. The natives in Ghana also call it Apio. It is widely enjoyed by the old and the young folks. Akpeteshie is one of the cheapest alcoholic drink in Ghana. There is no drinking spot or beer bar in Ghana without Akpeteshie or Apio.

A typical Akpeteshi bar


I am really aware of the type of branch you are thinking about but I am not going to talk about that branch you know. In Ghana when someone says branch, it means curve or go this way or that way. It is used when a foreigner or a visitor ask for directions to a certain destination. You need to prepare to hear this word often if you intend to ask for directions to your destination or a preferred tourist township. Example, one might say branch to your left or right and go straight, you will see a tall tree branch left and ask for so and so.

ETI SEN OR OTSE DEN ( e-ti-sen/ot-si-den_)

A traveler to Ghana will hear these words a lot. It means “how are you”? And the reply would be “ɛyɛ” (ee-ye) which means good or fine. Ghanaians love to ask about how you are doing or about your welfare when exchanging greetings. A white person will be mostly addressed by a Ghanaian as Obroni how are you?

Ete sen or otse den means “How are You”


Yes, dropping is an English word but in Ghana it means asking a taxi or a car driver to take you to a certain destination. Thus without the driver taking any passenger along, only you or with your partner. Before you take a dropping or charter a car, make sure to dialogue with the driver or come to terms with the driver to become certain of the amount he charges you. Make sure to scrutinize the driver before asking for his service. You can check if the driver is properly dressed, has a valid driving license and part of the drivers union ( this badge can be seen hanging on the inside mirror or sometimes you can see them wearing a blue shirt) or if he could speak a bit of English language since it will help both of you to get a better understanding.

Ghana Taxi Cab
Ghana Taxi Cab, popularly used for dropping or charter.


In Ghana, English is not English unless you know the meaning of what it meant. Credit in Ghana means talk time, the air time used to talk on a mobile phone or simply a recharge card. You always have to remember to use these word when you are going to buy talk time or an air time to call loved ones, friends and family back home.

In Ghana mobile phone talk time is called credit


In case you are a cigarette smoker, the best word to use to get one to quench your feelings is to say ” I am buying Jot”. It may surprise you to ask for a cigarette along the street and the vendor will ask you what you mean by that.

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