- Series: Teach Yourself Languages
- Paperback: 394 pages
- Publisher: Teach Yourself Books (February 1, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340263938
- ISBN-13: 978-0340263938
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,104,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Teach Yourself Hausa: A Complete Course for Beginners (Teach Yourself Languages)
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This course in Hausa, a West African language spoken by over 30 million people, introduces the structures of the language through a series of graded lessons, complete with exercises, dialogues and traditional fables. Easy-reference grammar tables and an extensive two-way vocabulary are included.
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Most books in the TY series (and, indeed, in most contemporary self-teaching language books) teach through dialogues and readings. Each chapter would open with a brief dialogue or reading passage, followed by a glossary of new words and then explanations of the grammar points taught in the lesson and some exercises to reinforce knowlege and understanding.
By contrast, "Teach Yourself Hausa" is little more than a sea of grammar rules and explanations, with a few disjointed sentences to show the rules in use. (And then, of course, some practice exercises to do, mostly translating brief phrases/sentences from English to Hausa or vice versa.)
But there is no story line to follow, and no real sense of how the language is actually used.
The other issue is that Hausa is a tonal language, with rising and falling tones often critical to understanding the meaning. The author makes a good effort to explain all this in print, but tapes or CDs would obviously be much more helpful. Unfortunately, there are none.
On the positive side, the book progresses slowly. It has about 30 very brief chapters, each introducing just one or two new grammatical ideas and a small selection of vocabulary words. So the dedicated learner could probably end up with a reasonable grasp of the basics of the language.
Still, I think it's time to update this book to meet the generally high standards of the rest of the series.