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In some research on some aspects of language policy in Africa, I came across a passage in an otherwise very good article by Richard Farndon and Graham Furniss that had me scratching my head. It alleges that the Bamako 1966 conference on harmonizing transcription of African languages recommended for Hausa transcription in Niger something quite different that what was already in use in Nigeria, but my reading of the Bamako 1966 report says quite the opposite. Two relevant passages from Farndon & Furniss, and the Bamako 1966 report follow: “A classic example of mismatch between Government edict and popular practice can be seen in the case of written Hausa. In 1917, Hans Vischer, then Director of Education for the north of Nigeria, set out rules for Hausa spelling which he published and communicated to a few of his colonial colleagues at a time before Hausa had been written in Roman script to a great extent. This orthography was adopted throughout northern Nigeria. In 1917, linguists and administrators had the opportunity to establish norms. Contrast the situation in 1966 when a group of linguists meeting at a UNESCO conference on the orthography of African languages in Bamako proposed a new orthography for Hausa to bring its conventions into line with those used for other African languages. When the proposals were put into effect in Niger, a situation resulted in which Hausa was written in one way in Niger and in another in Nigeria. Fifty years of experience in Nigeria had been ignored. The situation persisted until the authorities in Niger decided to adopt the Nigerian orthography. As a result of the intervention of prescriptive linguists, and the state's sponsorship of their plans, the difficulties facing people wishing to teach, learn, read and write in Hausa had been multiplied. The linguists and administrators simply failed to recognize the historical inappropriateness of their suggestions and their inability to impose them on Hausa-speaking peoples.” Farndon, Richard, and Graham Furniss (1994) Introduction: Frontiers and boundaries – African languages as political environment. In Richard Farndon and Graham Furniss, eds. African Languages, Development, and the State. London: Routledge. “Les lettres crossés, employées depuis 1930 environ dans la transcription du hausa et ensuite du peul en Nigeria septentrionale, ont été utilisées pour la production d’une littérature assez considérable dans cette région. Pour des raisons d’harmonisation, les États africains francophones ont été invités à adopter ce type de transcription.” Rapport UNESCO, sur la réunion d'experts tenue à Bamako en 1966 pour la transcription des langues africaines http://www.bisharat.net/Documents/Bamako1966.htm (I still have not been able to obtain an English transcription of the report of this meeting) In general, my impression has been that the series of “expert meetings” on transcription of African languages in the 1960s and 70s, supported by UNESCO and participated in by a number of countries represented by some notable figures, had very positive and practical results. Bamako 1966 was of course one of the key ones, to which reference is frequently made. In the case of the actual policies pursued by Niger with regard to Hausa transcription in the years immediately after independence (before & after the Bamako conference) I don’t know a lot, so put the question to the list – what was the history of Hausa transcription in Niger at that time? Are Farndon and Furniss as off on this as I think, or am I missing something? Thanks in advance. Don Osborn -- Wannan wasik'ar i-mel ce daga H-Hausa, inda za'a cigaba da hira game da harshe da al'adu da tarihi da sauran lamura na Hausawa da mak'wabtansu.