Dagaare New Testament Translation Project

Profile of the Dagaare-speaking People


  • Spoken in the northwestern area of Ghana and in the neighboring country to the north, Burkina Faso.

Language Family

  • A Volta-Congo language (part of the greater Niger-Congo family).


  • 700,000 in Ghana
  • 1,000,000 including those in Burkina Faso (Ethnologue)


  • 45% are animists
  • 43% are Christian of some variety
  • 12% are Muslim
  • In the Wa area most are animists.


  • Bibles International is not currently active in literacy development in this language
  • Norene Russ wrote literacy materials without the help of Bibles International, although the primer was printed at BI in 1992.

Existing Bible Translations

  • No mention is made of other Scriptures available.


The people of Ghana are basically animistic in their views and spend a large amount of their money trying to appease evil spirits and entice the help of good spirits. Although there were groups who tried to evangelize the Ghanaian people, most of them have denied the major doctrines of the faith. For the Ghanaians who have chosen to accept those efforts of evangelization, most of them have simply added the new teachings to their animistic beliefs, thus following practices of both religions side by side in their lives.

BMM Missionaries Roger and Norene Russ arrived in Lawra in 1973 and have lived there since then. Roger began the translation of the New Testament into the Dagaare language in 1977. Roger approached BI in 1987, asking for our help. He has worked first with consultant Henry Osborn and now with Glenn Kerr.


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