What you are reading now is the temporary homepage of our Ewe language project. It is a 100% private, self-funded effort to increase the web-presence of a language one of us speaks and the other is interested in. We think of it as a challenging (and hopefully rewarding) exercise in so many fields (language documentation, web design) we have had little prior experience in.
At present the website is English-only, but we are planning on to add Polish and French language versions in the future. You may also notice that almost nothing is working as of now, but bear with us please and come back often for new additions.
Anyway, we sure hope reading this pages is at least half as exciting for you as writing them was for us. If so, we feel vindicated.
Ewe language or Eʋegbe in Ewe itself, is an African language spoken in south Togo and south-eastern Ghana (eastwards from the Volta river) by at least 3 million people. In both countries it is recognised as one of the national languages, enjoying particular prominence in Togo, where at least 40% of population speaks it natively and many non-Ewe people know it as their second (or third or...) language.
Along with a number of neighbouring languages (Fon, Aja and Mina to name a few) it belongs to the so-called Gbe group, which is quite tightly-knit with a good degree of mutual intelligiblity. Some of the other important languages of the region, like eg. Akan languages and Ga are related to Gbe (and thus to Ewe) within the Kwa sub-family, others yet, like Yoruba or Kabiye, are their kin on a more distant level.
Ewe displays many characteristics common to the languages of the area and Gbe languages in particular. It is tonal, makes use of the peculiar kp and gb sounds, has highly analytical syntax and SVO word order, employs serial verb constructions and ideophones. All in all, it is a truly fascinating, if difficult, language. You can read more about Ewe in our interesting facts section.
This project is the fruit of the work by two people: Djoubogbe Kossi Afoutou and Piotr Kozłowski. The basic idea is that Djoubogbe provides the texts and the language points and insights and Piotr comments Djoubogbe's input and puts it on the Web. A word about each of us:
Djoubogbe was born and raised in Togo and is a native speaker of Ewe. He knows both Standard Ewe (which we deal with here) and a number of dialects. Currently he studies business in Poznań, Poland. You can read his introduction in Ewe (and English) via the texts section.
Piotr is, of all things, an iranist, that is a specialist in all things Iranian. In his spare time he's an amateur(ish) linguist. Hard to believe as it may, he's also greatly interested in African languages, Ewe among them, which brought him to the idea of creating these pages.
It is our intent to provide you, the Reader, with comprehensive information on all aspects of Ewe language starting from its phonetics, through its grammar, vocabulary and usage examples to a set of recorded texts treating about various aspects of Ewe culture and daily life
Quite fortunately, Ewe is a relatively well-described language (for an African language that is), which made our work with creating this website a great deal easier than it would have otherwise been. We list the resources we used or were inspired by in the links section (be sure to check it) and remain grateful to their authors and people who made them available online.
Copyright © 2009-2011 Djoubogbe Kossi Afoutou & Piotr Kozłowski.
Send mail to peterlin -at- peterlin -dot- pl.
See also the other language projects: