Tag Archives: Links

Hausa articles at SOAS’ Online Research Repository

SOAS’ Online Research Repository offers “An open access collection of research papers from the School of Oriental and African Studies”. Records may be browsed and searched for by Title/Abstract/Keywords, Authors/Editors and Date. An Advanced Search gives even more options.

I did a simple search for papers on Hausa and was given the following results:

These papers can be downloaded as PDF-files.

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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

Hausa On Your Desktop via RSS

You can get news and background information in Hausa delivered directly to your computer via RSS from the Hausa section of Radio Deutsche Welle.

They offer the following RSS feeds:

DW-WORLD.DE’s Hausa News

DW-WORLD.DE’s Hausa Politics

You need to copy the URLs into your news aggregator (sometimes also called feed reader) software to subscribe. Browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 have integrated support for RSS feeds. If you use Mozilla Thunderbird as your email software, it can also be used as a simple news aggregator. Here is a list of news aggregators.

If you don’t know RSS yet, you can read more about it at the BBC website.

Teaching with the web

Teaching with the Web is a compilation of ideas for using WWW resources as a language teaching tool. It also offers links to sites that have pedagogical information. There are some links to language-specific activities, including African languages. If you want to be the first to contribute one for Hausa, send it to this email address.

UCLA Language Materials Project

The UCLA Language Materials Project (LMP) is an on-line bibliographic database of teaching and learning materials for over 100 Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs).

The website has a section called Language Profiles where you can find

information about the historical, cultural, and social roots of the language, a map showing where the language is spoken, basic facts about the grammar, writing systems, and history of the language, and a wealth of other sociolinguistic information. Each page also includes contains links to the LMP citations for that language and a list of websites of interest to teachers and learners of the language.

See the language profile for Hausa.

A link to another database produced by the Center for Applied Linguistics leads to further information about learning and teaching resources.

Hausa dictation exercises and other materials online

The Learning Support Service at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has put a few Hausa dictation exercises and other materials online that can be downloaded as MP3 files, e.g.

The sound quality of these files is very high and the content is much easier to understand for Hausa beginners than the radio broadcasts mentioned in earlier weblog entries.

They have materials in other less commonly taught languages, e.g.

Here is a complete list of their online materials.

Hausa videos at YouTube

These days, there is a great hype about the internet video search tool YouTube. I have tried to find videos in Hausa, and in fact, there were a few. One user named Habeebi has put a few private videos from a trip to Niger, for example. There are videos in other languages, too, e.g. Fulani, Swahili, etc.

I guess there may be more in Hausa in future.

Freedom Radio Kano

Freedom Radio Kano (Muryar Jama’a) is a private Radio station in Kano. It came on air 1st December 2003 and is the first of its kind in Northern Nigeria. It broadcasts locally, in “a range of about two hundred kilometers as the crow flies.”

Their mission statement says that

Information, Education, Entertainment and the promotion and protection of our socio cultural values will be paramount in our programming, in addition to advancing the constitutional rights of Freedom of expression, especially for the less privileged members of the society, within the law.

Their schedule includes both religious and news programs, interviews, etc. One can find many interesting broadcasts, e.g. a live interview with HRH the emir of Kano and a feature on democracy.

They keep an archive where broadcasts can be downloaded as MP3 files. Unfortunately, the bandwidth of these files is very low (8 kbit/sec) and they are a bit hard to listen to.

Here is a sample:

Contact Free Radio Kano

H-HAUSA – a mailing list on Hausa language, literature and culture

H-Hausa is a mailing list for the discussion of issues related to Hausa language, literature and culture. It started already in October 2002, but I came across it only now. Here is the first message sent in October 2002:

H-Hausa is for the discussion of issues related to Hausa language, literature and culture. It began as a list concerned exclusively with language, but it has also hosted discussions ranging from traditional, Arabic-based orthography to computerization of Hausa, from grammar to culture and other subjects. It has attracted academics, missionaries, former expatriates and Hausa themselves to the only list which deals primarily with Hausa issues.

The H-HAUSA list is edited by John E. Philips.

The list keeps logs of former discussions, and I have started going through the older messages, some of which are actually written in Hausa, e.g.


More information can be found at their Web Site, located at http://www.h-net.org/~hausa/

VTrain — an all-purpose memorization tool

VTrain is a very usefull all-purpose memorization tool. It was originally devised as a vocabulary trainer, but you can use it to learn any subject. VTrain quizzes you by way of question flashcards. Flashcards are grouped by difficulty into the “Boxes” of a VTrain “Cardfile”. Every time the program asks you the question written on a flashcard, that flashcard is either promoted to the next Box (if your answer is correct), or demoted to the first one (if you don’t know the right answer). This way, after going through the flashcards several times, the more advanced Boxes will contain the flashcards you know better. VTrain can also draw up a schedule of repetitions for you. It includes an Automatic Scheduling facility that schedules all these repetitions for each flashcard, and lets you know when it is time to review it again.

Editing the flashcards and multilingual input is very easy. VTrain can switch between the keyboard layouts of 2 languages automatically. It comes with on-screen keyboards for 100 languages, including Hausa. You can use this facility to enter almost any special character with a single mouse click or a shortcut. You can also import and export wordlists and copy & paste from other editors. VTrain is Unicode-based. This means you will be able to use virtually any writing system of the world with it, but, for the same reason, it supports Windows 2000 / XP and later only.

VTrain flashcards support rich text (*.rtf), diagrams, images, videos, sound, and many more formats. You can edit text, diagrams and images, and record voice samples directly from the VTrain window.

You can download flashcards made by others, but you will find it more fun to do your own!