(1). WHERE DO YOU COME FROM? (NOTE: please this part shouldn’t confuse you, always try to remember your pronouns you learned earlier and you are through).

Dim suglo, tinn kani ka ayina?        > Please where do you come from?

N yila amerika na.                         > am from America.

Ka nyini, tinn kani ka ayina?     > And you, where do you come from?

N yila Togo na.                          > Am from Togo.

Ya ka ayina?                             > Where are you from?

N yila Amerika na                   > Am from America.

Ya ka n yina?                          > Where am I from?

A yila amerika na.               > You are from America.

Ya ka o yina?                      > Where is he/ she from?

O yila amerika naa           > he/ she is from America.

Ya ka ti yina ?                 Where are we from?

Yi yila Amerika mini Austria na   > you are from America and Austria.

Isabella yila Nigeria na?     > Is Isabella from Nigeria?

Aayi, Isabella be yi Nigeria na.      > No, Isabella is not from Nigeria.

O yila amerika na.                  > Isabella is from America.

Farouk yila accra na?           > Is Farouk from Accra?

Aayi, o bi yi accra na.        > Farouk is not from Accra.

O yila Tamale na.            > He is from tamale.

A zoo maa yila Ghana mna?      > Is your friend from Ghana?

Aayi, n zoo maa bi yi Ghana na.      > No, my friend is not from Ghana.

O yila Togo na.                      > He/ she is from Togo.

NOTE: the letter C is never used in writing Dagbani sentences is only the letter K which is used. So don’t be surprise seeing America in K instead of C okay.

(2). ‘’BAG’’ (To know)

M bi bag li.                  > I don’t understand it.

N zii.                           > I don’t know.

Yelimi biela biela.    > speak/ say small small.

Yelimi yim yim.      > say/ speak one at a time.

N zii Dagbani.      > I can’t speak Dagbani.

N zii o yuli.          > I don’t know his/ her name.

O zii nyuli.         > He/ she doesn’t know my name.

Naawuni ni ti biegau   > good night.

Naawuni ni ti go’ sug.        > may God give you good sleep.



Puhimi gorimnima.     > Safe journey.

Naawuni ni sheegi ni alaafee.   > Safe journey.

N ni kuli.              > I will go home.

N ni suhi soli kuli.    > I will ask for permission to go home.

NOTE:  My dear Isabella, in this stanza you could see that ‘’puhimi gorimnima’’ and ‘’Naawuni ni sheegi ni alaafee’’ are all the same ‘’safe journey’’. But in literary Dagbani terms, they mean differently like: ‘’Puhimi gorimnima > literary means ‘’greet those you meet whiles travelling’’ and ‘’Naawuni ni sheegi ni alaafee > literary means ‘’may God give you a safe journey’’. But you could play safe and use any of them as safe journey without been wrong okay.



Ti dima.                > Lets eat.

Ti chemi nyiga      > lets go to my house.

Kam’ na nyiga       > come to my house.

Kpagmi amaga n ka nyiga.     > try and come to my house.




N wumya    > I have heard.

A wumya    > you have heard (singular).

O wumya    >he/ she have heard.

Ti wumya   > we have heard.

Yi wumya   > you have heard (plural)

Be wumya   > they have heard.



N bi wumda   > I don’t understand.

A bi wumda?   > don’t you hear? (Singular)

O bi wumda   > he/ she don’t hear or understand.

Ti bi wumda   > we don’t hear.

Yi be wumda   > haven’t you heard? (Plural)

Be bi wumda   > they don’t hear.


Test yourself and see weather you have understand the lesson or not. Please translate the following clauses and sentences in English.

  1. Dim suglo, tinn kani ka ayina?
  2. N yila amerika na.
  3. Yelimi biela biela.
  4. Yelimi yim yim.
  5. N ni kuli.
  6. N ni suhi soli kuli.
  7. Kam’ na nyiga
  8. Kpagmi amaga n ka nyiga.
  9. Be wumya
  10. Yi be wumda


Assignment Answered by Isabella.

Hi Farouk!

I went over the idea of recording Ghanaian storybooks for the kids with Alice and she seems to like so I’m gonna quickly make a draft for the project and send it to you by the end of this week. Also here is the answers to your assignment:

1.      Dim suglo, tinn kani ka ayina?
Translation: Please, where do you come from?

2.      N yila amerika na.
Translation: I am from America.

3.      Yelimi biela biela.
Translation: Speak/Say small small

4.      Yelimi yim yim.
Translation: Say/speak at one time.

5.      N ni kuli.
Translation: I will go home.

6.      N ni suhi soli kuli.
Translation: I will ask permission to go home.

7.      Kam’ na nyiga
Translation: Come to my house.

8.      Kpagmi amaga n ka nyiga.
Translation: Try and come to my house.

9.      Be wumya
Translation: They have heard.

10.  Yi be wumda
Translation: Haven’t you heard?

Sentences tried by Isabella:

‘’Here are my two sentences, I hope they’re okay:’’
1) N wumya Farouk o yila Ghana na.

2) Yi be wumda n zii Dagbani?

Corrections made by Farouk from the tried sentences.

Thinks for the try okay. But it should have been;

(1). N wumya ni Farouk yila Ghana na.         > I heard Farouk is from Ghana.

(2). Yi be wumdi ni n-zii Dagbani?                > Don’t you hear i don’t understand Dagbani?

But tanks for the try okay, my dear keep on giving me this okay; i like it. BRAVOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Thinking Together — a Summer Action Research Fellowship in Northern Ghana and Pennsylvania, USA