I’ve got a character in my story who is west African and I realised that I don’t know anything about the culture.
The story is set in Britain and Lucy’s (the African character) parents moved to England when she was 2 or 3.
I would love it if someone could tell me some facts about west African culture more specifically the answer to the following questions:
• What languages dose west Africans speak?
• What are the names of some tribes that can be found in the west?
• I’m thinking of replacing the name Lucy with an African name. Should I do this? If so can you give me some ideas?
• This is her current appearance. Should I change anything? (She straightens her hair but naturally she has very tight coils)
Hey, West Africa includes a lot of countries. I suggest choosing a country for your character because even though those countries belong to the same “group”, they have different cultures and languages (dialects,…). I’m from Central Africal, so I can’t help, but hopefully you find someone that can
Also it’s fine to keep the english name because most africans have english names as their first name accompanied by their traditional names as their middle names. So you can leave Lucy just like it is but add a second name which she can be called from time to time.
We have a lot of languages but the largest African language we speak is Twi.
We have different tribes like Akans, Ga Adangbe, Dagombas, Ewes etc.
If you want names for her you can choose day names according to Akan.
Monday - Adjoa
Tuesday - Abena
Wednesday - Akua
Thursday - Yaa
Friday - Afia
Saturday - Ama
Sunday - Akosua.
I did some research into the languages of Ghana and Twi seems to appear the most.
Do you know the language well?
If so could you tell me some key words that Lucy and her family would Exchange? At the moment I’m getting the translations off the internet but I’d rather find a more reliable source like a Twi speaking person.
Example, if her parents want to say they are exhausted , they can say “Ma brɛ” or Lord Help Me, you can say “Ewurade bua me”
Something funny is the way its spoken, isnt always the same as the words written.
I dont know if you get me, but twi can be really hard to write because sometimes a way its spoken, you would expect it to be written that same way but it ends up not.
Luckily, I’m fluent in Ga and Twi so you can ask me anything and maybe a few sentences in Ewe ^^