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Reply-To: "Hausa language, literature and culture" <H-HAUSA@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Sender: "Hausa language, literature and culture" <H-HAUSA@H-NET.MSU.EDU> From: John Philips <philips@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU> Subject: Hausa on Wikipedia To: H-HAUSA@H-NET.MSU.EDU List-Help: <mailto:LISTSERV@H-NET.MSU.EDU?body=INFO%20H-HAUSA> List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:H-HAUSA-unsubscribe-request@H-NET.MSU.EDU> List-Subscribe: <mailto:H-HAUSA-subscribe-request@H-NET.MSU.EDU> List-Owner: <mailto:H-HAUSA-request@H-NET.MSU.EDU> ___________ REPLY 1 Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2012 14:15:21 +0400 From: Ismail Audu <firstname.lastname@example.org> This actually does not surprise me. Hausa people are probably some of the most detribalized people I have met in Africa, and a case in point is Nigeria. A typical Hausa views issues whether political, social, or cultural through the prism of religion and not tribe, so that in Nigeria the only states that I know of who have elected governors, and other political figures to represent them who are “none indigene” are states that are predominantly Hausa such as Kano (Ibrahim Shekarau), Zamfara (Mahmoud Shinkafi). For those of you who know Nigeria and are aware of the issue of “indigenes” and ‘settlers”, than you know how amazing this is. Also in Nigeria almost every tribe has a national organization that represents and protects the interests of their people especially the larger ones, but surprisingly the Hausa been the largest do not. Like I said it does not surprise me because to put in the time and effort required for an article in Wikepedia in Hausa, or the languages you mentioned requires a certain amount allegiance and most Hausa simply don’t have it towards their tribe and language. This used to bother me because even though I am not a Hausa I identify as one, and lived among tribes who are proud and loyal to their tribe before anything else. I came to the conclusion that maybe the reason why the Hausas are the way they are is because of the Fulani conquest. It is possible that after the Fulanis conquered the Hausa people they made religion a unifying factor rather than tribe, so that they could have better control. If this was reflected in the institutions they set up, through time this could be the reason why. But then I also came to the conclusion that this is also why the language has become the lingua franca in most of Nigeria, Niger, and parts of west and central Africa. Who would want to speak the language of a people who act superior to you? The Hausa are a very excepting and tolerant people who have no qualms about associating with or marrying from any tribe as long as you don’t disrespect their religion. I know this because even though both my paternal and maternal grandfathers are non-Hausa who moved to the predominantly Hausa areas of Katsina and Zamfara respectively, I am today a “Hausa” with equal rights in Katsina to everybody else and I don’t even have to hide my history or pretend to be something I am not. I can become a governor or seek for the presidency of Nigeria through my home state of Katsina-the issue of my origin will not even come up. Again, I am not aware of any other part of Nigeria where this is possible. I have so much love, respect and gratitude to this culture that I regret not been able to write it, even though I speak it. I encourage people to please write and help spread this beautiful culture. Regards, Ismail ___________ REPLY 2 Date: October 15, 2012 3:21:52 AM GMT+09:00 From: Don Osborn <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Hausa on Wikipedia John, Joe, Finding ways to promote development of Wikipedia "editions" in African languages has been a long strugle with some interesting stories. The Hausa edition really lags as you note, by comparison to other languages with large numbers of speakers, and despite the fact it has a written tradition in both Boko and Ajami. A contributing factor to its lack of development, which even the small number of articles does not convey (a fair number of the 275 have little or no text content, and sometimes just photographs), might be the relative lack of connectivity in northern Nigeria and Niger compared to other areas. However that could be compensated for by a handful of Hausaphones resident anywhere else. A spurt in growth of several editions, such as Yoruba, has been attributed primarily to one individual - in the case of Yoruba, a user recognized by Jimmy Wales at this summer's Wikimania conference. On the broader issue of African languages on the internet and software, I've suggested that there are 3 main categories of people who can and do contribute: speakers of the languages in Africa, speakers of the languages overseas, and foreigners who have a knowledge of (as L2) and interest in the languages. The first is obvious, but a number of factors may limit involvement, especially for a volunteer online activity like Wikipedia that requires time and paid internet access. The second is often key to work with African languages in information technology. In the case of Wolof Wikipedia, for example, one Senegalese living in Italy gave that edition a boost just at a time when Wikimedia was discusing its viability (and despite Wolof's wide and growing use in Senegal and vicinity). The third (L2 foreigners) is not to be overlooked, and occasionally is important - for instance in technical areas like fonts, keyboards and software localization, where there has been collaboration among Africans and non-Africans. Personally I think L2 speakers' contributions to African language Wikipedias such as Hausa can be helpful, and indeed can benefit the overall efforts in those languages. Obviously moderation and attention to accuracy would be appropriate, but since content on a wiki by definition is subject to revision, what is lost by producing short "stub" articles on selected topics that might help get things going? A suggestion in that regard would be to offer intermediate and advanced students of Hausa the option to draft short Wikipedia articles in Hausa for their classes, and then post revised/corrected versions of them to the Hausa Wikipedia. (The first article in each case should be a user page in Hausa, which includes the fact that they are L2 learners of the language.) I see this as a dimension of use of Wikipedia in African studies classes (see H-Africa http://tinyurl.com/8gujkpv and related thread on Wikipedia and African studies in late 2005 for context). I'm copying this to the "AfrophoneWikis" list. Any who are interested in more background on this subject are invited to review discussions an news going back to 2006 athttp://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/afrophonewikis/ 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.