Even though Africa accounts for more than 2,000 of the 7,000 or so languages in the world, most come from only a handful of language families—namely Niger–Congo, Nilo–Saharan, and Afroasiatic. The biggest of these families is Niger–Congo, which stretches across most of sub-Saharan Africa and includes as a subfamily Bantu, which dominates the southern half of the continent. In West Africa, several branches of Niger–Congo languages are prominent, including the Gur branch, which is where we find Dagbani.
Dagbani boasts around 3.1 million native speakers in northern Ghana, specifically in the Dagbon Kingdom of northern Ghana. As the most widely spoken language in this region of the country, Dagbani enjoys relatively vigorous usage despite English being the lingua franca of Ghana and Akan being the most widely spoken language across the country. As with many African languages, while Dagbani may be relatively big, it’s virtually unknown in the international community, which results in scant translation services for the language. That’s where we at TranslationServices.com step in. With our Dagbani translation team, we’re determined to help anyone who needs translation to or from Dagbani.
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A little more about Dagbani, the biggest language of northern Ghana
As mentioned above, Dagbani belongs to the Gur branch of the expansive Niger–Congo language family and enjoys partial mutual intelligibility with Mampelle, also spoken in northern Ghana. It also bears significant similarities to Dagaare, Waala, and Frafra, all spoken in other parts of northern Ghana. The language is split between two key dialects—Eastern Dagbani, simply called Dagbani, and Western Dagbani, known as Dagbanli—but the two are easily mutually intelligible.
Like many other Niger–Congo languages, Dagbani is an agglutinative language, which means it “glues” affixes to root words to create new grammatical meanings. The default word order is the same as in English: subject-verb-object. Dagbani pronouns can be tricky, with separate emphatic and nonemphatic versions. The emphatic versions are used to answer questions like “who’s there?” or to add emphasis. The nonemphatic pronouns are more difficult, and some appear in multiple forms, depending on whether they come before or after the verb. Dagbani also features a focus marker, la, which can double as an imperfective (continuous verb) marker.
Let us translate to and from Dagbani for you.
If Dagbani sounds complicated, that’s because it is. We won’t try to pretend otherwise. That’s why we’ve scoured northern Ghana to locate the best Dagbani translators we could find. Our native-speaking Dagbani translators are experts in both Dagbani and English, and they’re enthusiastic about bridging the language barrier between Dagbani and the outside world.
We’d be happy to translate any Dagbani texts you might have into English. That includes business materials so you can expand your influence abroad, historical documents that showcase the rich history of the Dagbani people, and literature that exhibits the unique Dagbanli culture. At the same time, we’d love to assist you with translating English texts into Dagbani. Perhaps you want to make your brand known in northern Ghana, or maybe you’re interested in producing educational materials for Dagbani-speaking children. Or you could wish to publish works such as books, websites, games, poems, and apps in Dagbani for the local speakers and learners of this rich language. We can do it all.
We can’t wait to help you with your Dagbani translation project. Get started today by sending us a message!