- More is being done with these two languages (without using another tongue as intermediary) than many realize; and
- There appears to be a gap in knowledge of Unicode support for the extended-Latin "hooked" characters in Hausa by people producing materials with Hausa text .
Chinese for Hausa-speakers
The image on the top right, for Sinanci na Zamani - 当代中文, is for one of a set of materials (see here for another) for learning Chinese from Hausa - the title translates as Modern or Contemporary Chinese.
I received divergent assessments of availability of Chinese learning materials for Africa in African languages, with one reporting for instance that Confucius Institutes create local language materials on their own, and another suggesting that materials and teacher skills mainly in English might be limitations of the Institutes. In follow up research, however, I found PDFs of a book chapter introducing the Chinese pinyin system in Hausa, and a chapter on basic conversation (the latter includes the title "Kuaile Hanyu" in the page footers), both on the Confucius Institute's website, Hanban.org (it is not clear that either of these is part of the Sinanci na Zamani series mentioned above).
That doesn't necessarily mean that these materials are used in Confucius Institutes - they could be used in schools. (I would mention here that I heard from another source that a private Chinese language school in Niamey, Niger taught from French, and used neither Hausa or Zarma.)
One technical note on the production of both of these Hausa-Chinese chapters found on Hanban.org pertains to hacks used for extended Latin characters used in both Hausa (the "hooked letters" ɓ, ɗ, and k) and Chinese pinyin (vowels with tone marks). The image of "Gabatarwa" (introduction) above "reveals" the coding behind the hooked characters in the PDF: } = ƙ; ] = ɗ; ~ = ɓ. This is similar to the pre-Unicode 8-bit font hacks like we had to do for the Fulfulde lexicon a quarter century ago, or have been done with fonts like Bambara Arial also in the 1990s. In fact, it appears to be the "ANSI" encoded (8-bit) font "AbdallaUbaAdamu-regular" that is the source of these substitutions (one source indicates this font was created in 1996).
What is more surprising is the many such substitutions done for tone-marked vowels in pinyin, all of which have had Unicode codepoints for years now. (For a quick look, see the Google cached versions of one and the other of the two chapters mentioned above, which show the actual characters that have been hacked for hooked consonants or toned vowels). Either the documents are rather old or their creators were not "Unicode savvy" in an expression that itself is dated.
Hausa for Chinese-speakers
Although there must certainly be a significant number of materials for Chinese speakers learning Hausa, given that Hausa has been taught for many years at Beijing Foreign Studies University, my quick searches have not come up with a lot. One book that did come up in several searches is Harshen Hausa - 豪萨语 (Hausa Language; see image of cover on right).
In addition, the Chinese multinational telecom, Hwawei, has a dictionary app for Android: Ƙamus na Hausa - Sinanci da Sinanci - Hausa / 豪萨语 - 中文 以及 中文 - 豪萨语 字典 Ver 1.0 APK.
I came to this subject with modest expectations, which were more or less confirmed by responses to the question I posed on the CA/AC list (thanks again to those who responded offline to my question). However as I looked into it further, it seemed that there is much more happening. In addition to materials, it bears mentioning that what I understood as plans for Hausa dubbing of Chinese films have already started (more on that in another post).
The 8-bit vs. Unicode font issue mentioned may already be resolved. Assuming it is, the lessons learned might be applicable to China Radio International's Hausa service web content.
This very quick survey is just a start and doubtless has missed much. I hope to come back to the topic as indicated above, in a broader Africa-wide look at connections between Chinese and African languages.
See also: More on Sinanci & 豪萨语 (Chinese & Hausa)