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Hausa is a member of the West Chadic language subgroup of the Chadic languages. It is spoken by approximately 35 million people as a native language, and an additional 20 million people as a second language. It is spoken primarily in the West African countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo, mostly among Muslims. Barinkachi is a pidgin form used in the past in the military.
Hausa is one of Africa's most widely spoken languages, after Arabic, French, English, Portuguese and Swahili. The Kano dialect of Hausa is the standard and is used by the BBC, Radio France, Voice of America and other international news sites, but other major dialects include Western, Northern and Souther variants.
Hausa uses a Latin-based alphabet called boko, introduced by the British in the 1930s. It has also been written in ajami, a variant of the Arabic script, although there is no standard for the ajami script.
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