Category Archives: LCTL

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.

Using video to explain proverbs

(via Boston University) In the African Languages Proverbs Project, the Boston University African Studies Center has collected short performances by African theater troupes in their native languages. These languages include Wolof from Senegal, Hausa from Niger, Amharic from Ethiopia, Xhosa and Zulu from South Africa and Swahili from Tanzania. Each performance focuses on one of ten common proverbs and places them within a cultural and social context. These videos are designed for advanced students of the languages and are an invaluable tool for developing language proficiency and cultural competence.

The following video explains the Hausa proverb ‘In ka iya ruwa, ka iya laka?


I have added this and all the other Hausa proverb videos to my Hausa video collection.

A large number of Hausa proverbs can be found in my Hausa proverbs blog.

More on Hausa proverbs can be found on Twitter and Facebook:

Sim Nigeria Hausa Orientation

SIM Nigeria is a Christian organisation working in different areas in Central and Northern Nigeria. In order to prepare their staff, they are now offering a Hausa Orientation course online. I was proud to see that my Hausa blog is mentioned in the introduction as “the place to go first” in terms of Hausa resources. I would like to return the praise: I think SIM is offering a very helpful tool, including practical language learning tips, a Hausa pronunciation guide, useful words and phrases, and many Hausa language exercises for beginners.

Check out SIM Nigeria Hausa Orientation


Happy birthday, Hausa Online

Happy Birthday Shaftora

Five years ago, on May 20th 2006, I started this blog with a review of Philip J. Jaggar’s book Hausa. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 2001. Since then, I have published posts on many different topics related to the Hausa language and other less commonly taught languages. You can find links to all the posts in the archive.

The original idea of this blog was to help people who want to learn Hausa. It was for them (and myself) that I started collecting links to Hausa texts, video, audio, blogs and other Hausa-related websites. In the meantime, I find that many — if not most — of the people who visit this blog seem to be Hausa speakers. At least, many of the comments to the posts indicate that.

I am happy about so many people visiting this blog — sometimes more than 400 per day. Also, some of my former colleagues (I was working at a German University before) have told me that they recommend my blog to their students.  That is why I try to keep it up and running, even if I don’t find too much time to come up with new language learning ideas.

Let me know if you find this blog useful for your Hausa learning. And if you have ideas you would like to share (something like this or this), you could even write a guest post yourself.  Hope to hear from you!

Jesus film in Hausa

The “Jesus film” is a 2 hour docudrama on the life of Jesus Christ based on the Gospel of Luke. It has been translated into more than 1,000 languages — including Hausa — since its 1979 release. It has been put on the internet by Inspirational and can be watched online following this link. I have also added (a link to) the Jesus film to my Hausa video collection.

FSI Hausa Basic Course Online

At one can find language courses developed by the US Foreign Service Institute. These courses were developed by the United States government and are in the public domain. The course materials are made freely available in an electronic format through the private efforts of individuals who are donating their time and resources to scan and OCR the old course books and digitize the accompanying tapes. Check out what is available for Hausa and other LCTLs.

More Hausa Online Resources

I have come across another website designed to help people learn Hausa. It is called “Hausa Online Resources” and is part of the Language Resource Center of Columbia University. The following screenshot shows the main menu:

Starting from the main menu, you could choose to do a vocabulary quiz:

What I found most useful is a tool where you can listen to an easy Hausa text and read it alongside:

Whenever you point your mouse on a word in bold print, an explanation of the word is given underneath the text. In the following screenshot, I pointed on allo:

The only criticism I have is the orthography, which doesn’t differentiate between normal and hooked letters. Also, there are many typos. Still, I think this resource can be very useful for beginning Hausa learners.

Related posts:

Scenarios from Africa films in Hausa and other African languages

Global Dialogues is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in education and communication about HIV/AIDS. On YouTube, I found a collection of short films on HIV/AIDS in Hausa language produced by them. The films are based on ideas written by young Africans and shot by the continent’s premier directors, including Newton Aduaka of Nigeria.

Similar collections exist in other African languages, including Bambara, Ewe, Fon, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Lingala, Moore, Pulaar, Swahili, Twi, Wolof and Yoruba.

They can be watched online or downloaded (some of the files are quite large).

A 44 minute documentary on the creation of these films can be found on YouTube:

Here is one of the Hausa films:

You will find more of  these films in my Hausa video clip collection.

60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Tomorrow is the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On December 10th, 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration has since been translated into more than 300 languages, including Hausa. The following sentence is taken from that translation:

Dukkan yan-adam suna da mutunci, kuma suna da hakkoki na kowa daidai da na kowa, wad’anda ba za a iya kwace musu ba… Continue reading 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights