Tag Archives: Reading

Answering readers’ questions

On the website of Muryar Jamus, there is a section “Amsoshin takardunku” which provides very nice reading material for intermediate Hausa learners. Here are some topics that have been treated in the last months:

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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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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 Online Materials at Vienna University

Franz Stoiber has been teaching Hausa for many years at the Department of African Studies at the University of Vienna. He has produced a number of online materials (in German), including:

There is other linguistics stuff, and some photographs, too. Check out what is there!

Haifuwar Yesu

We are getting closer to Christmas, the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Here is a simplified Hausa version of the story of Jesus’ birth, as it is written in the Bible in the gospel of Luke, chapter 2 :

1 A kwanakin nan, Kaisar Augustas ya ba da umarni a ƙirga dukan mutanen da suke a ƙarƙashin mulkin Roma. 2 Wannan shi ne ƙirga na farko wanda aka yi lokacin da Kiriniyus yake mulkin ƙasar Suriya. 3 Dukan mutane suka koma garuruwansu domin a ƙirga su.

4 Yusufu ma ya bar garin Nazarat a cikin Galili ya je birnin Baitalami a cikin Yahudiya, wato, garin da aka haifi sarki Dauda ke nan. Yusufu ya je can domin shi daga dangin Dauda ne. 5 Ya tafi tare da Maryamu da aka yi alkawari zai aura, domin a ƙirga su tare. Lokacin nan kuwa tana da ciki.

6 Da suna can Baitalami, sai kwanakin haihuwarta suka yi. 7 Ta haifi ɗanta na fari, ta rufe shi da zanen goyo, ta kuma kwantar da shi a abin da ake ba wa dabbobi abinci a ciki, domin ba su sami ɗaki a masaukin ba.

8 A wannan gefen ƙasar kuwa, akwai waɗansu masu kiwo suna kwana a fili, suna lura da dabbobinsu da dare. 9 Ba labari sai ga mala’ikan Ubangiji ya bayyana gare su, kuma ɗaukakar Allah ta haskaka su. Sai suka ji tsoro sosai. 10 Amma mala’ikan ya ce musu, “Kada ku ji tsoro! Gama na zo muku da Labari Mai Daɗi, wanda zai sa dukan mutane su yi farin ciki sosai.11 A yau ɗin nan, a cikin birnin Dawuda, an haifa muku Mai Ceto, Almasihu Ubangiji! 12 Wannan ne zai zama muku alama, za ku samu an rufe yaron da zanen goyo, an kuma kwantar da shi a abin da ake ba wa dabbobi abinci a ciki.”

13 Ba labari sai ga ƙungiyar mala’iku daga sama sun bayyana tare da mala’ika na farin, suna yabon Allah suna cewa, 14 “Ɗaukaka ga Allah a can cikin sama! A duniya bari salama ta kasance tare da waɗanda Allah yake jin daɗinsu!”

15 Da mala’ikun suka rabu da su suka koma sama, sai masu kiwon suka ce wa junansu, “Bari mu je Baitalami mu ga abin nan da ya faru, da Ubangiji ya gaya mana.”

16 Sai suka tafi da sauri, suka ga Maryamu da Yusufu, suka kuma ga yaron yana kwance a abin da ake ba wa dabbobi abinci a ciki. 17 Da masu kiwon suka gan shi sai suka ba da labarin abin da mala’ikan ya faɗa musu a kan yaron. 18 Dukan mutanen da suka ji wannan labari, sai suka yi ta riƙe baki suna mamakin abin da masu kiwon nan suka ce. 19 Maryamu kuwa ta riƙe dukan waɗannan abubuwa, tana tunaninsu a zuciyarta. 20 Masu kiwon kuma suka koma, suna ta yin waƙoƙin yabon Allah, saboda dukan abin da suka ji, suka kuma gani. Kome ya faru kuwa kamar dai yadda mala’ikan ya faɗa musu.

(taken from: Littafin sabon alkawari, The New Testament in Hausa Common Language. Apapa, Lagos: Bible Society of Nigeria)

If you prefer to listen to the story, visit the Hausa section of Talking Bibles International.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Hausa – assistance needed

Human Rights Day

This Sunday is “Human Rights Day”, which is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 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.

In a recent post to the H-Hausa discussion network, Don Osborn mentioned that,

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has been online for several years at the OHCHR site in an ASCII-only rendering, and one that also does not indicate the ejective & implosive consonants with apostrophes. See http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/gej.htm . A few years ago a colleague made corrections in the transcription à la Nigerienne which I posted at http://www.bisharat.net/Demos/UDoHR_HAU.htm. There is now a project that is demonstrating use of Unicode in many languages through the UDHR. At my suggestion the project organizer, Eric Muller, has posted that and a Nigerian version (differs in use of ‘y instead of the hooked-y) on the following pages:

In the same mesage, he also asked people to proof these texts.

Would anyone like to proof these copies, not only for orthographic correctness but for other possible errors or less than optimal translations? The project homepage is http://udhrinunicode.org/

In order to facilitate the process, I have layed out for myself the English and the Hausa text side by side, like in the following example (article 19):

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Kowane ɗan-adam na da hakkin ya sami ‘yancin kasancewa da ra’ayin kansa da ‘yancin faɗar ra’ayin nasa; saboda haka yana da hakkin ya sami ‘yancin kauda duk wani tsoro game da ra’ayoyinsa, da ‘yancin neman labaru da sababbin ra’ayoyi, ya same su kuma ya baza su duk inda yake so ba tare da sanin iyaka ba, kuma ta kowace hanya.

Unfortunately, due to copyright issues, I can’t publish the whole text here. If you are interested, I could send you the text as a document.

Who will write the first Hausa blog?

I have just come across a blog in Somali, “The Voice Of Somaliland Diaspora-Ottawa”. Their mission statement says:

“We are committed to publishing and disseminating news and information that contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of current events, as they are occurring to our readers”

Nearly everything else is written in Somali, which prompted me to challenge the readers of my own blog to start something similar in Hausa. The technical aspect of publishing text, audio or even video is nowadays easier than ever before and you can have it hosted for free. All we lack is people who share their ideas in Hausa.