Tag Archives: Vocabulary

Hausa data in the World Loanword Database (WOLD)

(via World Loanword Database) The World Loanword Database (WOLD), edited by Martin Haspelmath and Uri Tadmor, is a scientific publication by the Max Planck Digital Library, Munich (2009).

It provides vocabularies (mini-dictionaries of about 1000-2000 entries) of 41 languages from around the world, with comprehensive information about the loanword status of each word. It allows users to find loanwords, source words and donor languages in each of the 41 languages, but also makes it easy to compare loanwords across languages.

In this database, there is also a list of 1668 Hausa words (with tone and vowel length marked), together with their meanings and explanations about their status as possible loanwords from Arabic, English, Kanuri and a few other donor languages.

Check it out at http://wold.livingsources.org

Hausar Baka: a Hausa video course

In one of the first posts on this blog, I mentioned “Hausar Baka”, a Hausa video course which is available on video tape or CD. In my last post, you could see an interview with the person who produced it, Prof. Russell G. Schuh.

There is also a website, Hausar Baka Online, where the content of the tapes is explained:

HAUSAR BAKA is a set of 3 videotapes comprising about 5 hours of natural interaction in Hausa. Filmed in and around Kano, Nigeria, the more than 90 individual video segments show a broad range of cultural milieus, from domestic interaction in families through a tour of Daura, the site where, according to legend, the seven Hausa states originated. The segments are arranged in groups, beginning with greetings and simple question-answer dialogs, advancing through more complex interaction and narrative. Over fifty different individuals–men and women, children and adults–appear in the videos, representing a broad range of speaking styles.

On the website, there are materials which can be downloaded:

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!

Using Google to search for Hausa data

You can use Google to do searches on specific websites. For example, the following link will open a customized searchbox that will search the website of Muryar Jamus:


You can customize this for other websites, e.g. any websites mentioned in my linklist or in the postings in my weblogs. All you have to do is change the information in the code above which refers to the URL of the website and which follows

  • domains=
  • sitesearch=

Here are a few more examples:

will search the Hausa Wikipedia

will search the BBC Hausa service

Try out other domains yourself.

Jamusanci ta Rediyo

Muryar Jamus has a section for listeners who want to learn conversational German. There you can find a German course (“Deutsch – warum nicht?”) which comes in two parts, both with 26 lessons. So you can download one lesson every week (MP3 and PDF files), listen to it and read it and in one year learn Hausa as well as German, because all the explanations are in Hausa :-).

Web resources for African languages

Web resources for African languages is a private website by Jouni F. Maho. Here is the statement of purpose for this website:

The main purpose of this site is to offer easy access to online materials that deal with African languages and linguistics. Particular emphasis is put on materials that contain descriptive/structural data, though not exclusively so. In short, this site collects links to other sites hosting free stuff, be they downloadable files (of any format), web-readable texts, searchable databases, or whatever. Links to commercial enterprises won’t be added, as a rule.

As promised, the site has a large number of links, including links to Hausa materials. These include:

  • Dictionaries, word lists, etc.
  • Learners’ materials, grammar introductions, etc.
  • Pronunciation, phonetics, phonology, prosody
  • Studies in grammar and lexicon
  • General, miscellaneous, unsorted

This website should be added to your bookmarks immediately.