Hausa: basic phrases and interesting facts

Hausa: basic phrases and interesting facts

Do you plan on visiting the northern region of Ghana and are wondering whether there is a need for you to learn the area's local dialect? If that is so, it is important to note that learning the area's language might be beneficial as it may help to tackle the issues that are likely to arise during communication. It causes us to want to stop and ask ourselves, is Hausa language spoken in Ghana?

Hausa: basic phrases and interesting facts
Image:, @samharuna
Source: UGC

Hausa is a Chadic ethnic group that is found in some of the west African countries like Nigeria, Niger and Ghana. The language has a number of local dialects that are dependent on the location of the country. For instance, the Ghanaian Hausa dialect is spoken in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo. This makes it necessary for one to familiarise with the phrases as they may be applicable not only in Ghana but in these other countries.

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Hausa language translation

You could learn the language by going through the translations of the language. That way, you will have an easier time understanding the more complex phrases:

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Hausa language greetings

Greetings are a sign of peace. In this regard, it is a good gesture to exchange greetings before engaging in a conversation. It is also important to note the different times that the particular greetings are exchanged. These are the different ways of saying hi to someone in Hausa:

  • Salama alaikum - Hello.
  • Amin. Alaikum salam - Response for Salama alaikum.
  • Sannu - Hello.
  • Kana lahiya? - How are you to a male person.
  • Kina lahiya? - How are you for a female person.
  • Lafiya - Response for 'How are you.' It is used to mean good.
  • Lafiya lau - It used to mean fine.
  • Lafiya ƙalau - It is used to mean very good.
  • Ina kwana? - Greetings exchanged in the morning. It is used to ask about how someone slept.
  • Lahiya lau - This is a response for Ina kwana? It is used to mean 'in good health.'
  • Barka da yamma - This is greting exchanged in the afternoon.
  • Barka da yamma - This is greeting exchanged in the evening.
  • Barka da sabuwar shekara - New year greeting.
  • Barka da Kirsimatikuma - Christmas greeting.
  • Barka da sabon shekera - Birthday greeting.

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Hausa courtesy phrases

Hausa: basic phrases and interesting facts
Image:, @samharuna
Source: UGC

You could also have polite conversations by using the following Hausa courtesy phrases:

  • Gafara dai - Excuse me.
  • Yi hak'uri - Sorry.
  • Sannu barka - Sorry.
  • Na gode - Thank you.
  • Ba kome - Response for thank you.
  • Don Allah - Please.
  • Dan Allah rubuta - Please write it down.
  • Dan Allah kara fada - Please say that again.
  • Fadi sannu sannu - Please speak more slowly.
  • Ban gane ba - I do not understand.
  • Na gani - I understand.
  • A'a - No.
  • Eh - Yes.
  • Ban sani ba - I do not know
  • Zaka so kayi rawa da ni - Asking a male person whether they would like to dance with you.
  • Zaki so kiyi rawa da ni - Asking a female person whether they would like to dance with you.

Other Hausa phrases

These are the other Hausa phrases that could serve you during conversations:

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  • Kana zuwa nan sosai? - Do you come here often?
  • Yaya zakace ... da Hausa - How do you say ... in Hausa?
  • Kana jin harshen Hausa? - Do you speak Hausa?
  • Kana jin harshen turanci kuwa? - Do you speak English?
  • Nawa ne? - How much is this?
  • I na makewayi ya ke? - Where is the washroom?
  • Wannan matar zata biya komai - This lady will pay for everything.
  • Wannan mutumin zai biya komai - This gentleman will pay for everything.
  • Allah ya kawo sauki - Get well soon
  • Kira yan sanda! - Call the police!
  • Rabida ni! - Leave me alone!
  • Yare daya bazai isa ba - One language is never enough.
  • Tsaya! - Stop!
  • Taimaka! - Help!
  • Jirgina a cike yake da bano - My hovercraft is full of eels.
  • Taya murna! - Congratulations!
  • Sauka lafiya - Have a good journey.
  • Allah ya ba da sa'a - Good luck!
  • A ci abinci lafiya - Have a nice meal.
  • Sai sannu - Goodbye.
  • Kwana biyu - Long time no see.
  • Mi sunanka? - What's your name? This is a question directed to a male person.
  • Mi sunanki? - What's your name? This is a question directed to a female person.
  • Sunana ... - My name is ...
  • Ina farin cikin haduwa da kai - Pleased to meet you.
  • Daga ina ka fito? - Where are you from?
  • Na fito daga ... - I am from ...

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Interesting facts about Hausa

Hausa: basic phrases and interesting facts
Image:, @samharuna
Source: UGC

Apart from learning the simple phrases, going through these facts about the Hausa will help create a better understanding for those who wish to know more about the ethnic group. It will also play a key role in ensuring that one is able to pronounce the words in the right way since tonal variation also affects the meaning of the message being communicated.

  1. The native speakers of the language, who are referred to as Hausa people, are found mostly in the Northern parts of Nigeria, some parts of Niger and Chad.
  2. The writings in Hausa are in Arabic.
  3. The language has 23 to 25 consonants and five vowels, both long and short.
  4. In the language, the tonal variation matters and is likely to change the meaning of the intended message. The tonal variation entirely depends on the use of the vowels.
  5. The population of the Hausa people is about 290,000 people.
  6. The main religion of the people in this community is Islam.
  7. The distinctive dress code of the Hausa people is a pair of trousers and flowing gowns. The clothes are complemented by turbans and leather sandals.
  8. The community is known for being very industrious and laziness is not entertained regardless of the gender of the member.

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Hausa local dialect is one of the simplest languages to learn. You could do so by going through these phrases and soon enough, you will get a hang of it.

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