Tag Archives: Language learning

Discussing theological and political topics on this blog

Recently, I noticed a few comments on earlier blog posts related to Hausa Bibles. In these comments, people wanted to express their opinion on whether “Allah” is the same as the God in the Bible. In order to stop such discussions – which are really not appropriate on this blog, which is about learning Hausa and other LCTLs using the Internet – I had to block the comment function on these posts. I am sorry I had to take that measure.

I would like to ask the readers of this blog to refrain from posting theological and political statements on this blog, as well as business offers and whatever else may not really be related to language learning. Thank you!


LangSource and LangNet – two valuable resources for LCTLs

Are you looking for course and self-study material in Hausa or some other less commonly taught language? A good place to start looking for it is at LangSource, a searchable database for language resources offered by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland. Currently, the LangSource catalogue offers resources in Arabic, Chinese, German, Hausa, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Quechua, Spanish, Tamil, and Yoruba.

They have also developed LangNet, “a state-of-the-art online foreign language learning and maintenance system”. In a message on the H-Hausa discussion list, they have recently asked for educated Hausa speakers who are willing to contribute to a new Hausa project. Part of this would be creating online activities for Hausa learners.

Here is a link to their message

Hausa Language Learning in Tandem

One way to deepen your knowledge of Hausa is learning it in tandem. At the International Tandem Network website you can learn how Language Learning in Tandem works. In short,

Learning in tandem can be defined as a form of open learning, whereby two people with different native languages work together in pairs in order

  • to learn more about one another’s character and culture.
  • to help one another improve their language skills.
  • to exchange additional knowledge – for example, about their professional life.

Tandem language learning takes place through authentic communication with a native speaker, who can correct the learner and also support him in his attempts to express himself. Since each partner can speak the other person’s language at least to some extent, they have more opportunities to help one another: through explanations in the foreign language, through comparisons, etc. As learning in tandem is always based on communication between members of different language communities and cultures, it also facilitates intercultural learning.

At the International Tandem Network website you can learn more on tandem tasks, projects and tandem by email.

If you feel like giving tandem learning a try, you can get in contact with Hausa speakers through Polyglot.

Good luck with your Hausa learning!


Hausa websites

While looking for Hausa stories, I recently stumbled upon a number of Hausa websites. Some of them provide nice reading material for intermediate and advanced learners:

What do you like to read in Hausa?


New audio files at Muryar Jamus

At the website of Muryar Jamus, there are some new audio files which you may find interesting:


In order to play these files, you need the Real Player.

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Hausa blogs

I have come across some new Hausa blogs:

  • Bahaushe Mai Ban Haushi! (Ibrahim Sheme on himself, Hausa culture and the World)
  • Ma’auni (Wannan shafin hatsin bara ne. Ya kunshi nazarce-nazarce, makaloli, ra’ayoyi, da sauransu a kan al’amura daban-daban, kama daga siyasa, tattalin arziki, zamantakewa, al’ada, har ma da addini.)
  • Nishad’in Hululu (Hausa Popular Culture): This blog is about Hausa (Nigeria) popular culture, particularly literature, film, music and visual arts.
  • Sha’irai (Hausa Poets)

Dear Hausa bloggers: Allah ya ba da sa’a!

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Bukin ranar Ruwa

Dealing with limited water resources is a daily problem for people in Africa, including the Hausa people.

Yesterday was World Water Day, which is celebrated each year on 22 March. This year, the theme was ’Coping with Water Scarcity’.

On the website of Muryar Jamus, you can read an article about “Bukin ranar ruwa“.

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Goethe’s poems in Hausa

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — one of Germany’s best-known poets — was born in Frankfurt am Main on Aug. 28, 1749. Goethe’s “West-östlicher Divan“, a collection of lyrical poems, was inspired by the Persian mystic and poet Hafez.

Herrmann Jungraithmayr, a retired professor of African languages at Frankfurt’s Goethe-University, and his collaborator Yahaya Ahmed have produced Waƙoƙin Goethe , which is the first translation of some of these poems into Hausa.

In their introduction to the book the editors give details about the history of the poems, the importance of Hausa as a vernacular and a literary language and the translation process. This is followed by 20 poems, which are presented in German and Hausa side by side. At the end of the book, they present another poem, which they have composed themselves.

The book can be purchased at Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.

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Interesting audio files at Muryar Jamus

At the website of Muryar Jamus, under the rubric Duniyar D’an Adam, there are two new audio files which you may find interesting:

In order to play these files, you need the Real Player.


More African language materials for download

From time to time I come across websites which offer dictionaries, reference grammars and other materials in African languages for (free) download. Here are my latest finds:

  • Jennifer’s Page of Links: African languages
  • A web of online grammars
  • Harald Hammarström’s collection of stolen .pdf reference grammars. Harald Hammarström wrote this: “I put these grammars here for people who don’t have access to a well-stacked library or good personal connections yet want to learn more about the languages of the world.”

If you know about other places where one can find more such things I would be grateful to read about it. Write a comment