Updated: May 21, 2020
Many of us who study a new language often find ourselves in situations where it's hard to express and convey our message in the right way when conversing in a foreign tongue. This is no different for new Twi learners, so we've put together this article to help advise you on what to do if you find it difficult to respond to someone in Twi.
1. Don't panic
Firstly don't panic, it's ok if you don't know how to tell the Ghanaian auntie at the market that you want 3 bags of tomatoes, okra and onions all in separate bags and that you will be coming back to pick them up in 5 minutes. Take a deep breath, think carefully about what you want to say and where appropriate, use gestures to signify your point. Remember that you are learning Akan Twi so give yourself time to become a fluent Twi speaker.
2. Use or revert to the vocabulary you know
When learning to speak Twi, you may find yourself rushing to use all the words and phrases but when the opportunity arises you suddenly forget what to say. This is normal, but remember the more you practise the more confident you will become. Use the few words and phrases you know confidently by pronouncing them well and use it regularly to your advantage. The more you do so the easier it will be for you to speak and you will gain confidence in learning and using new words and phrases as you study Twi.
3. Ask them to repeat/slow down
Don't be afraid to ask for help, or to ask the person you are speaking with to repeat, reiterate or clarify what they are saying. After all you are a new Twi speaker! By doing so you will learn the Twi language as you go and you're more likely to speak Twi faster if you receive correction by native and fluent speakers.
4. Check your mannerisms and keep your etiquette in tact
If you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to understand the Twi speaker or you find it difficult to respond, pay attention to your reaction. Body language, facial expressions and tone of voice may come across as being obnoxious and can have a negative impact on those whom you are conversing with. It could come across as disrespectful, although this is not your intention. Therefore, to be a confident Twi speaker you must also know and apply appropriate and local cultural etiquette.
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