Learn Twi With Public Inscriptions: “Medaase”

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If this isn’t your first time discovering LEARNAKAN, then you most definitely know what today’s inscription mean. And even if you just came by LEARNAKAN, chances are you already know what today’s phrase mean if you’re this interested in the Akan language and Ghana in general to have landed here.

Today’s inscription is “medaase”. This phrase is by far one of the most popular expressions in Asante Twi. You’ll hear it everywhere!

“Medaase” is the short version of “meda wo ase”, which means “I thank you”, or simply “thank you”. We use the short version “medaase” to express it similar to how you say just “thanks” in English.

The “me” that starts this expression represents the subject of the construction. This means we get to replace this pronoun depending on the one doing the thanking. So, if I’m the only one doing the thanking, I’d go ahead and say “meda wo ase” or “medaase”. But if I’m thanking on behalf of myself and another person or other persons, I’d say “yɛda wo ase (we thank you)” or simply “yɛdaase”.

Let’s see some more sentence examples:

  1. Meda wo ase sɛ woboaa me – I thank you for helping me
  2. Medaase! Ɛnyɛ wo a nka mɛyɛ deɛn? – Thanks! Had it not been for you, what would I have done?
  3. Awurade, medaase! – God, thanks!
  4. Sɛ yɛda so te ase a, yɛda wo ase – If we’re still alive, we thank you
  5. Medaase sɛ woanyi me amma – Thank you for not betraying me.

Now we’re all on the same page. We know what the expression “meda wo ase” – and by extension – “medaase” mean. But what does it mean literally? Let’s do a quick breakdown:

  • me” is the subject pronoun “I”
  • da” is a verb. It means “to lie/sleep”
  • wo” here is the possessive adjective “your”
  • ase” means “under/beneath/bottom”

‘I lie your under’

So, on the literal lines, “meda wo ase” is towards the meaning “I lie prostrate before you (in appreciation)”.

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