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Mali: Information on whether Hausa is a commonly spoken language in Mali and on the countries in which Hausa is more widely spoken

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 September 1992
Citation / Document Symbol MLI11630
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Mali: Information on whether Hausa is a commonly spoken language in Mali and on the countries in which Hausa is more widely spoken, 1 September 1992, MLI11630, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ab0470.html [accessed 14 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

The Hausa language is increasingly used "in the North of Nigeria and in parts of neighbouring states" as a lingua franca among ethnic groups in the region (Encyclopaedia Britannica Micropaedia, Vol. 5 1989, 752; Mazrui 1986, 258). According to one source, it is the most-commonly spoken language of black Africa, especially in Nigeria and in neighbouring states (Malherbe 1990, 285). Twenty-five to thirty million people, mainly in North Nigeria and Niger, speak Hausa, and business people and others use it as well in Ivory Coast and Equatorial Africa (Ibid., 277; Encyclopaedia Britannica Macropaedia Vol. 13 1989, 59; Katzner 1986, 288). Languages related to Hausa are also spoken in Central Nigeria, North Cameroon, Tchad border regions and the Adamawa mountains (Malherbe 1990, 277). Hausa is also related to Cushitic and perhaps even semitic languages, and has been thoroughly influenced by Arabic, although it is no longer written in the Arabic script (Ibid., 276-277).

According to the Embassy of Mali in Ottawa, Hausa is not one of the major languages spoken in Mali, which are mainly Songhai, Bambara and Malinke (29 Sept. 1992). The Hausa language in Mali is spoken mainly among foreigners (Ibid.). According to a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) official who resided for 5 years in Mali as a director of programmes for that country, Hausa is used very little in Mali (29 Sept. 1992). It is possibly used in the North, close to the border with Niger (Ibid.). Throughout West Africa, it is chiefly used in business transactions (Ibid.).

Corroborative or additional information is currently unavailable to the DIRB in Ottawa.

References

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Ottawa. 29 September 1992. Telephone Interview with a former director of programmes for Mali.

Embassy of Mali, Ottawa. 29 September 1992. Telephone Interview with a Representative.

Katzner, Kenneth. 1986. The Languages of the World. London: Routledge, p. 288.

Malherbe, Michel. 1990. Les langages de l'humanité. Paris: Seghers, pp. 277, 285.

Mazrui, Ali A. 1986. The Africans: A Triple Heritage. London: BBC Publications, p. 258.

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (Micropaedia, Vol. 5). 1989. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 752.

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (Macropaedia, Vol. 13). 1989. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 59-60.

Attachments

Grove, A.T. 1970. Africa South of the Sahara. Oxford: Oxford University Press, map 10.

Katzner, Kenneth. 1986. The Languages of the World. London: Routledge, p. 288.

Malherbe, Michel. 1990. Les langages de l'humanité. Paris: Seghers, pp. 277-278, 285-286.

Mazrui, Ali A. 1986. The Africans: A Triple Heritage. London: BBC Publications, p. 258.

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (Micropaedia, Vol. 5). 1989. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 752.

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (Macropaedia). 1989. Vol. 13, 22. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., p. 59-60, 597-598.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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