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Page Content

  1. About Hausa
  2. Fonts for Implosive Consonants and Tones
  3. Windows Implosive Consonants and Tones
  4. Macintosh Imposive Consonant and Tones
  5. Browser Setup
  6. HTML Unicode Character Codes for Implosive Consonants and Tones
    1. Language Codes: ha (Hausa)

About Hausa

Hausa is an Afro-Asiatic Chadic language spoken in Nigeria, Cameroon and other countries.

Modern Hausa Script (boku)

Modern Hausa is written in the Roman alphabet, but includes extra letters for implosive consonants and requires special font keyboard support separate from languages like Spanish and French.

Hausa in Arabic Script (ajami)

Until the 1950s, Hausa was commonly written in the Arabic support. Information about Arabic and Hausa can be found at the sites below:

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Fonts for Implosive Consonants and Tones

Many Hausa texts do not mark implosive consonants or tones, but they can be included if phonetics fonts and utlities are downloaded. However, even the character for r-tilde will be difficult to include.

Phonetics Fonts

Avoiding Implosives

Many sites use k', b', d',y' for implosive consonants, but these spellings are considered workarounds.

Windows Implosive Consonants and Tones

Student Computing Labs

Character Map

The Character Map utility is free on all Windows machines and can be used to copy and paste accented letters and other foreign language characters characters into any Windows application. The Character Map is similar to the Insert Symbol tool found in some Windows applications such as Microsoft Word.

  1. Click on the Windows Start menu, then All Programs (Start » All Programs) on the lower left of your screen.
  2. Select Programs » Accessories » System Tools » Character Map.
    NOTE: On some PC's, the Character Map may be in another location under Accessories or the Start menu.
  3. A window should open which displays a series of characters in a grid.
  4. Make sure that the Font from the dropdown list is Arial Unicode MS or one of the other phonetics fonts listed above.
  5. Use the scroll bars on the right to look for the characters you want.
  6. Double-click on any character you wish to insert then click the Select button to make it appear in the Characters to Copy field. You can Select more than one character at this time.
  7. Highlight one or more of the characters in the Characters to Copy you wish to insert then click the Copy button.
  8. Minimize from the Character Map window, and open or switch to the application window in which you wish to insert a the character.
  9. Position your cursor in the location you wish to insert the character.
  10. Under the Edit Menu, choose Paste (or use the keyboard shortcut Control+V). The character should appear.
  11. If necessary, change the font of the inserted character in the new document to the one selected in the Character Map.

Windows Alt Codes (Word 2003/2007)

If you are using a recent version of Microsoft Word (2003+), you can use the  following ALT key plus a numeric code can be used to type a Latin character (accented letter or punctuation symbol) in any Windows application.

Notes on the Codes

Hausa Word 2003/2007 ALT Codes

Capital Implosives
Sym ALT Code
Ɓ ALT+0385
Capital implosive B
Ɗ ALT+0394
Capital implosive G
Ƙ ALT+0408
Capital implosive K
Ƴ ALT+0435
Capital implosive Y
Lower Imposives
Sym ALT Code
ɓ ALT+0595
Lower implosive B
ɗ ALT+0599
implosive G
ƙ ALT+0409
Lower implosive K
ƴ ALT+0436
Lower implosive Y

Windows Freeware Hausa Keyboard Utility

Tone Marks

Windows Vista

Hausa support has also been expanded in Windows Vista.

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Activate Macintosh Keyboards for Typing

OS X Unicode Numeric Option Codes

If you are working with a Unicode aware application such as Microsoft Office 2004, Text Edit (free with OS X ), Dreamweaver or Netscape 7 Composer /Mozilla Composer you can activate the Unicode Hex keyboard and use the following option codes.

Hausa Unicode Hex Keyboard Codes

Capital Implosives
Let Option Code
Ɓ Option+0181 implosive B
Ɗ Option+018A implosive G
Ƙ Option+0198 implosive K
Ƴ Option+01B3 implosive Y
Lower Imposives
Let Option Code
ɓ Option+0253 implosive B
ɗ Option+0257 implosive G
ƙ Option+0199 implosive K
ƴ Option+01B4 implosive Y

Note: The Unicode Hex Input keyboard must be active in order to use the numeric codes; otherwise only the numbers appear.

Character Palette

You can the Character Pallette to these characters. All characters are located in Symbols folder under "Phonetic Symbols".

OS X Hausa Keyboard

A freeware Hausa keyboard can be downloaded and installed from Tom Gewicke. To use it:

  1. Click the link for Hausa.rsrc.
  2. After the file has been downloaded to the desktop, move it into the Library/KeyboardLayouts Folder.
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. Open the System Preferences, then International. Check the Option for Hausa. See the Mac Keyboards page for details.
  5. Open Word 2004, or Text Edit, then switch US flag icon on the upper right to the Hausa keyboard.
  6. Use Option+B for implosive B, Option+G for Implosive G and so forth.

Tone Marks

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Browser Setup

Test Site

This site on Hausa computing includes implosive consonants:


Recommended Browsers

For implosive consonants and tones, the following browsers have the most consistent results.

Note on Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer for Windows may not display implosive consonants by default. Users who prefer Internet Explorer for Windows should set the Latin font to Arial Unicode MS or some other Unicode script with phonetic symbol support.

Internet Explorer for Macintosh does not support implosive consonant symbols.

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Unicode Accent Codes for HTML

Hausa Encoding and Language Code

These are the codes which allow browsers and screen readers to process data as the appropriate language. All letters in codes are lower case.

See Using Encoding and Language Codes for more information on the meaning and implementation of these codes.

The HTML Entity Codes

Use these codes to input consonants in HTML. For instance, if you want to type saƙar you would type saƙar. These numbers are also used with the Windows Alt codes listed above.

Hausa HTML Entity Codes

Capital Implosives
Let Capitals
Ɓ Ɓ implosive B
Ɗ Ɗ implosive G
Ƙ Ƙ implosive K
Ƴ Ƴ implosive Y
Lower Implosives
let Lowercase
ɓ ɓ implosive B
ɗ ɗ implosive G
ƙ ƙ implosive K
ƴ ƴ implosive Y

NOTE: Because these are Unicode characters, the formatting may not exactly match that of the surrounding text depending on the browser.

Entity Codes: Tones

Using Encoding and Language Codes

Computers process text by assuming a certain encoding or a system of matching electronic data with visual text characters. Whenever you develop a Web site you need to make sure the proper encoding is specified in the header tags; otherwise the browser may default to U.S. settings and not display the text properly.

To declare an encoding, insert or inspect the following meta-tag at the top of your HTML file, then replace "???" with one of the encoding codes listed above. If you are not sure, use utf-8 as the encoding.

Generic Encoding Template

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=??? ">

Declare Unicode

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8 ">


The final close slash must be included after the final quote mark in the encoding header tag if you are using XHTML

Declare Unicode in XHTML

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

No Encoding Declared

If no encoding is declared, then the browser uses the default setting, which in the U.S. is typically Latin-1. Some display errors may occur.

Language Tags

Language tags are also suggested so that search engines and screen readers parse the language of a page. These are metadata tags which indicate the language of a page, not devices to trigger translation. Visit the Language Tag page to view information on where to insert it.

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Last Modified: Friday, 29-Jul-2016 13:40:13 EDT