Ghana Speak No. 7 – Are you sure?

Often used in a situation where you are either not satisfied with the answer or incredulous of the information given to you, or you know there is some confusion.

For example:
‘The bananas are 10 cedis* each’
‘Are you sure?!’

‘I have 12 children’
‘Are you sure?!’

It is neither rude nor out of place here in Ghana.
There is a certain lilt to how it is said although it is difficult to explain when writing. You start midrange, go up then midrange again, rather than getting gradually lower. It is more of a sarcastic, amused way of saying it rather than an irritated, serious way.

I have used it back in the UK out of habit. On one occasion I was in a supermarket, when given the total, which was rather large, at the checkout I asked ‘are you sure?!’. Well suffice to say it is not recommended to use in the UK as they looked a little taken aback!

*People here are still confused by the redenominated cedi which took place in 2007.

10,000 old cedis became 1 new cedi. They still get confused especially with the value of the new cedi and pesewas. There are 100 pesewas in one cedi. Sellers may say something is 10 cedi’s when they mean pesewas. A friend of ours was charged one cedi for a bag of water which in actual fact is 10 pesewas. Likewise we have had someone tell us that the cost of a smart 4×4 car was 300 cedis, when they meant 30,0000. They got very excited when Aubrey said he would buy it there and then if it was 300 cedes!

Suffice to say, it’s always wise to check!

Usually with ‘Are you sure?!’ and a big smile!

The catch is in down in Elmina….
Ochina! x


5 thoughts on “Ghana Speak No. 7 – Are you sure?

  1. I’m a new follower to your blog, I love the photo today, the colors, the satellite dish. What exactly is “the catch”? I need to go back and read some past blogs so I can glean some of the lingo. πŸ™‚

    • Hi and welcome, or as they say here, Akwaaba! Great to have you on board.
      The ‘catch’ is fish! Elmina is a fishing port and the boats had already come in that morning and were selling their ‘catch’. The bowls on this hand-pulled wooden cart were all piled high with small fish and seemed to be pushed by a whole family from the grandfather to the young boys, and girl! The colours here in Ghana are wonderful, everywhere you go is vibrant with colour, and the satellite dish is definitely a sign of the times, some struggle to feed and clothe their families but they will have a TV and mobile phone.
      As a matter of interest, where are you based and what drew you to my blog?! I’m pretty new to all this so still getting to grips with how it all works and am delighted when I get followers! I would recommend reading it from the beginning – it probably won’t take long but some of the posts do follow on from each other and some posts are more understandable if you’ve read a previous post!
      Welcome again and hope you continue to enjoy it.
      All the best

      • You know I had to stop and think about it and then I read your entry today and it clicked. I am from Brookings, SD currently and have been in contact with the Global Mamas crew. I came across Mel’s tribute and then her life’s story, …incredible….I only wish I had been so brave earlier in my life. I 53 and have traveled to Tanzania twice in the last 8 years, Arusha, I understand the craziness of the cell phones etc. It took me until the second trip to understand how they managed to keep them charged up! We have 5 children, the last one graduating from HS this year….then I am going to hit the road and do more exploring and mission trips. Who knows where I will land next. In the mean time I love to experience life through others so keep on keeping on.
        Thanks for the adventures!

  2. i love your blog and your experiences so far! i am a Ghanaian and i always find it interesting how often we communicate as Ghanaians and how it often comes across to an expat. sometimes its funny sometimes confusing πŸ™‚ anyway, i have a Ghanaian Lifestyle Blog which you will find interesting to read over a cool glass of palmwine πŸ™‚ check out this post on some of our funny phrases

    • Thanks Linda! I have quite a list of phrases/words I’ve still to write about yet! Some of which I see you cover in your post on your site! It can be rather confusing but that makes it all the more fun. Can’t say I’ve taken to the palm wine yet, but perhaps an ice cold Star will suffice!

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