Wednesday, 08 June 2011 12:05
This “Orientation” to the Hausa language is intended to help you prepare for anything from a short trip to a Hausa-speaking country all the way to a career speaking Hausa. It is not a course in Hausa but hopefully a way to help you “jump start” your learning, particularly if you are anxious to get started but are not yet in a Hausa-speaking area.
Why Learn Hausa?
- Hausa is the most commonly spoken language of Northern and Middle Belt Nigeria.
- It’s the first language of about 25 million people and second language of another 18 million, including parts of seven West African countries.
- In central and northern Nigeria, many ordinary people speak little or no English, but almost all speak Hausa as a first or second language.
- When in an area where it is used, speaking Hausa shows you care!
Goals for this course
- To help prepare you to learn Hausa on your own or in a classroom.
- To let you get a head start before you even get to your Hausa-speaking area.
- To help you hear Hausa, to get your brain used to listening to Hausa as a language very different from your own.
- To give you a few ideas about how to learn a language … any language.
- To help you learn a few greetings and useful words and phrases for your first weeks in Nigeria, Niger, or whatever part of Hausaland you will be visiting.
What this course is and is not
This course is not
- a list of phrases to be memorized
- all you need to know
- a systematic introduction to Hausa
- a comprehensive introduction covering culture, history, writing systems, and so on
- a substitute for getting out and talking to people in Hausa
- finished—this is the first time we’re trying it out on a few guinea pigs (you!) to see how it works.
This course is (or is intended to be!)
- an encouragement to learn Hausa well
- a way to get started before you can begin other formal or informal learning programs
- a way to focus attention on some aspects of the language that may useful to know at the outset
- a way to help you start hearing Hausa so it becomes a bit familiar
- a tool to help you learn some basic greetings and phrases that you can use from the moment you land in Abuja, Kano, Niamey, or wherever.
We recognize different needs for different people
- Not everyone needs or wants to learn Hausa beyond the basic greetings.
- If you’re coming for two weeks, your needs are different than if you’re coming for two months or two years.
- Take your time … there is not need to rush. Better to learn a little and absorb it than cover too much and get lost.
- Although you have the chance to learn to say some greetings and phrases, the more important thing is for you to learn to listen and understand. Don’t worry if you can’t seem to speak as well as you understand … that’s how it should be!
- Some of the material in the course you can use before you arrive in Hausaland. Other material is designed to prepare you for language learning once you arrive.
- If something is not clear or you get stuck on it, it’s probably a problem with the way it’s presented here, not a problem with you! Just make a note and move on to something else.
- You need to do lots of repetition, even for listening. Keep pushing the buttons to hear things over and over.