FSI Twi Basic Course
What is the FSI Twi Basic Course?
There are several dialects of Twi, and although they are generally mutually intelligible, certain differences exist. Akuapem Twi was the dialect first used to translate the Bible, and as such, it is still often considered the “prestige” dialect of the language. However, Ashanti Twi is the most widespread version, and that is what is taught in this course. The speaker the course materials were based on was from the eastern Ashanti area.
The course was first published in 1963 and consists of 20 units. The first unit deals with pronunciation in some depth. Following this, each lesson starts with a dialog that presents the new language, after which you will find a series of drills and exercises for practice. The course is also accompanied by a series of audio recordings, essential for students hoping to master the pronunciation of Twi.
How was FSI Twi Basic originally used?
This FSI Twi course was originally designed for US diplomatic staff who were preparing for postings in areas where Twi is spoken. They attended six hours of class per day, which was supplemented by a further two hours of individual study. The spoke only Twi in class, and even outside of lesson time, they were encouraged to use Twi among themselves. In this way, in only a short amount of time, they were able to acquire sufficient proficiency in the language to carry out their professional and social duties abroad.
How can you use FSI Twi Basic?
Although you won’t be able to recreate the perfect study conditions enjoyed by US diplomats, there is still much you can do to benefit greatly from this comprehensive free online Twi course.
Since this will probably be your main source of study materials, you can work through the units, listening to the dialogs and using the drills to practice as intended. If you can then supplement this by any other study materials you can find, you will be able to benefit even more.
Taking it further
Of course, you can’t learn a language just from books alone, and at the earliest opportunity, you should look to use your Twi in the real world. Try to find native speakers to practice with and make speaking Twi a part of your daily life. Then, if you can do this, you will see how quickly your language skills begin to develop.