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Hausa (حَوْسَ)

Hausa is a Chadic language with about 39 million speakers. It is spoken mainly in northern Nigeria and Niger, and also in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo, Eritrea, Germany, Ghana, Sudan and Togo.

Since the beginning of the 17th century, Hausa has been written with a version of the Arabic script known as ajami. Most of the early writing in Hausa was Islamic poetry or on Islamic themes. Ajami is still used, mainly to write poetry, but also for at least one newpaper and some books. There is no standard spelling system for Hausa written with the Arabic script so there is some variation in spelling between different writers.

A version of Hausa written with the Latin alphabet and known as boko began to emerge during the 19th century. Until the 1950s ajami and boko were both used, though since then boko has been the main alphabet for most Hausa speakers.

Arabic alphabet for Hausa (ajami)

Arabic alphabet for Hausa (ajami)

Latin alphabet for Hausa (boko)

Latin alphabet for Hausa (boko)


Sample text in ajami

Sample text in ajami
A verse from Aljiyu Namangi, Imfiraji, Part 3 (Verse 3)

Sample text in boko

Su dai yan-adam, ana haifuwarsu ne duka yantattu, kuma kowannensu na da mutunci da hakkoki daidai da na kowa. Suna da hankali da tunani, saboda haka duk abin da za su aikata wa juna, ya kamata su yi shi a cikin yan-uwanci.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Hausa pages

Information about Hausa | Hausa phrases | Hausa numbers | Tower of Babel in Hausa


Information about the Hausa language

Online Hausa lessons

Online Hausa dictionaries

Online radio and news in Hausa

Chadic languages


Other languages written with the Arabic and Latin alphabets.