BootsnAll Travel Network

Yes and no

Before we came to Accra, we were told that English is Ghana’s official language. However, there are some differences between U.S. English and Ghanaian English. For example, a plastic bag that you might get when you buy something at the store is called a “rubber.”

For another example, yes means “no.” I asked a taxi driver if he knew where my destination was. He said “yes.” Then it became apparent that he didn’t know.

Turns out, as we learned in a newcomer orientation yesterday, Ghanaians say “yes” because they want to please. They do not mean “yes” in the American sense. It was recommended that we not ask questions that could only be answered with “yes” or “no.”

Hmm… this requires further study.

Must learn some of the local language, Twi (sounds kinda like “tree.”) First word learned: medassi – thank you. A useful word that results in smiles from the recipient.

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3 Responses to “Yes and no”

  1. Katherine Says:

    yes! we have no bananas…
    Thanks man, I’ve been singing that tune all day.
    Sounds like you’re doing well – keep posting!

  2. Posted from United States United States
  3. Mike G Says:

    Dan & Giselle,

    Glad that you both made it and are enjoying yourselves. I am certainly enjoying your tales.


  4. Posted from United States United States
  5. dorothy Says:

    C. heard this story and told me about a bus she was on in Tanzania. They told her that there were plenty of buses — 8 a.m., 9, 9:30… just show up for the one you want. She showed up (rushing, unwashed, from the hostel) for the 8 a.m., got on, and it sat there till about noon. It was all the same bus.

  6. Posted from United States United States