Category Archives: Hausa

On the Etymology of Hausa “boko”

Professor Paul Newman has recently published a paper entitled “The Etymology of Hausa boko” in which he refutes the often-asserted claim that boko comes from English ‘book’. The paper is available online at the Mega-Chad/Méga-Tchad website under the category ‘Miscellaneous Publications’:

Jesus film in Hausa (and other languages)

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a short blog post about a translation of a film on the life of Jesus (produced by the Jesus film project) in Hausa. On another web site, it can now be watched in full length or in short sections and also be downloaded.  It has been produced in various other languages. Check out the web site to see what is available.

Ranar abota

Today is International Friendship Day. Friendship is a topic in many Hausa proverbs. Here are just a few:

  • Abokin kuka ba a ɓoye masa mutuwa.
  • Abokin cin mushe ba a ɓoye masa wuƙa.
  • Abokin gaɗar bushiya kunkuru.
  • Kowane masaki da abokin burminsa.
  • Talaka ba aboki ba, ko ka so shi, ran buki ka ƙi shi.
  • Sai hali ya yi daidai a kan yi abota.

Write a comment if you know more.

Sorry – Hausa Video clips no longer show

I know that many people have been watching Hausa videoclips on this blog. There used to be a “widget” on the left, where one could find them. Due to a problem with the blog service provider, this widget doesn’t show right now. If you would still like to watch the Hausa videoclips I have collected, follow this link: Hausa Videos

Still Another Hausa Bible Website

When I started this blog six years ago, it was hard to find the Bible in Hausa on the internet. Now you can choose between different versions, or rather, between different modes of presentation, as the words are identical. In addition to YouVersion and Visionneuse, there is now another website called BibleSearch that offers the Bible online in different languages, including Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. You can read the Bible online, it has a search function, and you can also share verses on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Just left-click on any Bible verse and see what happens! I still prefer YouVersion because it has the Hausa Bible in audio and also allows split windows where you can read English and Hausa side by side. But the new website may be more to your liking, so check it out for yourself.

Bukin Ranar Ruwa 2012

Today is World Water Day, which is celebrated every year on 22nd March. Dealing with limited water resources is a daily problem for people in Africa, including the Hausa people. “Water” (“ruwa”) is also found as a topic or symbol in numerous proverbs. Here are just a few (found in proverbs collections like A.H.M. Kirk-Greene 1966: Hausa ba dabo ba ne. A collection of 500 proverbs and Whitting, C.E.J. 1940. Hausa and Fulani Proverbs):

A dubi ruwa a dubi tsaki.
Lit. Look at the water, look at the sediment.
Not all that glitters is gold.

Ba baƙo ruwa ka sha labari.
Give a stranger a drink and you will hear (lit. drink) the news.

Kifi a ruwa sarki ne.
Lit. A fish is a king in the water.
A man  can do what  he likes in  his own house.

Kome zurfin ruwa, da yashi a ciki.
Lit. However deep the water, there’s always sand in it.
There is an end to all things.

Sai ruwa ya yi yawa a kan ba doki.
Only when there is plenty of water do you give it to a horse.

Find more “ruwa” proverbs in my Hausa Proverbs collection

Online Bibliography of Chadic and Hausa Linguistics

The “Online Bibliography of Chadic and Hausa Linguistics”, compiled by Professor Paul Newman of Indiana University, is a comprehensive, open access bibliography containing more than 2500 entries. The initial edition (Version 01) is now available as a searchable pdf file on the website of DEVA, Institute of African Studies, University of Bayreuth. To access the bibliography, find the baobab tree thumbnail at the bottom of the page and click on the Chadic Hausa link.

This initial Version 01 is presented in PDF format only. The goal in the future is to make the bibliography available in database format as well. Scholars using the bibliography will have the opportunity to contribute to its completeness and accuracy by submitting additions and corrections to be incorporated in subsequent editions.

Another Hausa Bible website

While looking for something else, I have come across YouVersion, another website which offers a Hausa translation of the Bible. So far, this is the best online Hausa Bible site I have found!  The Hausa translation is the one published by the Nigerian Bible Society in 1979, which was also used on another website I described here. The difference is the way the books and chapters are presented.

You can have two translations side by side, e.g. Hausa and English:

Two translations side by side (Screenshot by Uwe Seibert)

There is also an audio version of the New Testament, so you could listen to the text while reading it:

Written text and audio version side by side (Screenshot by Uwe Seibert)

There is also a mobile version, so you could have the bible in Hausa on your smartphone. Check it out for yourself and tell me how you like it! — a wiki on Hausa films

Watching Hausa films is an entertaining way to learn the Hausa language and also get insights into the Hausa culture. More and more films – some of them with English subtitles – can be found on YouTube. I have just added a number to my Hausa films collection. a growing number of quality Hausa films can be found on the YouTube channel hausafilmstv.

Now I have come across, “a collaborative wiki-based website and directory set out to disseminate organized and accurate information about Hausa films. Here you’ll find a sortable/filterable list of Hausa films, list of Hausa actors and actresses, directors, producers, musicians, etc., and also news and links relating to the industry. “

Ina farin ciki

Ina farin ciki — literally “I am with whiteness of belly” — is a way of saying “I am happy” in Hausa. Presently the owner of this blog is in this state in two respects:  First, Hausaonline has become quite popular. Every day, several hundred visitors come and look for new Hausa videos, links, proverbs or blog posts. The highest number of hits on a single day (September 17th 2011) so far was 1,057! Secondly, it is nice to see that people have started writing more comments and giving more feedback – something every blog owner yearns for. Then, I am also happy about my new Facebook group on Hausa proverbs. It already has 84 members — mostly Hausa native speakers — and many have started posting their own proverbs. This is all very encouraging and I hope that it will contribute to the knowledge of the Hausa language and culture.