Hausa (حَوْسَ) is a Chadic language with about 39 million speakers. It is spoken mainly in northern Nigeria and Niger, and also in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo, Eritrea, Germany, Ghana, Sudan and Togo.
Since the beginning of the 17th century, Hausa has been written with a version of the Arabic script known as ajami. Most of the early writing in Hausa was Islamic poetry or on Islamic themes. Ajami is still used, mainly to write poetry, but also for at least one newpaper and some books. There is no standard spelling system for Hausa written with the Arabic script so there is some variation in spelling between different writers.
A version of Hausa written with the Latin alphabet and known as boko began to emerge during the 19th century. Until the 1950s ajami and boko were both used, though since then boko has been the main alphabet for most Hausa speakers.