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Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

On the Hunt for French and Twi Books


We are always on the hunt for books in our family to support my childrens’ language acquisition. For French books, this is fairly straightforward. After all, it’s the tenth most widely spoken language in the world, with around 130 million speakers, which makes for a lot of books! There is a French Amazon, and the Canadian Amazon carries lots of French titles as well. And French eBay is great for second-hand bargains, although the postage can be a killer. In the UK there is the French Institute (in London and Edinburgh) with their well-stocked French libraries. Even local libraries tend to have a small selection of French-English (dual language) children’s books.

For Twi, however, a language spoken by only around seven million people, it’s not quite so easy. I rang up Grant & Cutler, the foreign language bookshop in London, to see if they could help. While they didn’t stock such books themselves, they could recommend another shop, the aptly titled The African Book Centre. The man I spoke to was very helpful and sold me three dual language (Twi-English) books over the telephone, although you can also buy the books from their website.

Browsing online for Twi children’s books was less productive. About 10 dual language (Twi-English) books show up, but they seem to be largely restricted to U.S. sites (Language Lizard) or Canadian ones (You Are Special), which either don’t deliver to the UK or charge a lot to do so. The UK multilingual books specialists, such as Mantralingua, unfortunately don’t seem to cover Twi, although they do cover an impressive number of other languages. Type ‘Twi’ into UK Amazon and a few second-hand children’s books come up, but there are no pictures, so I haven’t chanced these yet!

© 2011 – 2013, Omma Velada. All rights reserved.

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Omma and her husband are raising their two children, Schmoo and Pan-Pan, trilingually in the UK with English (native), Twi (late start) and French (non-native). She blogs on raising trilingual children at

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