African Languages in Academia: Linguistic Field Methods Courses

Linguistic Field Methods Course Students and Nubiin Speakers


An interesting new source for African language materials has come to our attention. Many of our universities that have linguistics programs offer a course known as Linguistic Field Methods. In such a course, the professor and their students work with one or more consultants who are speakers of a target language that the professor decides would be interesting for the class to research. Sometimes a less-documented language is chosen intentionally, and many of us may choose to use an African language. In the Spring semester of 2018, Prof. Hannah Sande of the linguistics department at Georgetown University was acquainted with two individuals who speak Nobiin, a Nilo-Saharan language spoken in Egypt and Sudan, also known as Nubian. The speakers, Nubantood Khalil (Sudanese) and Tanutamon Gerais (Egyptian) agreed to work as consultants. Students met with the speakers one or more times per week, and were responsible for presenting their documentation gathered to the class and also producing it in a written form. Prof. Sande kindly got in touch with ALMA, and the result is this new page of our website where we present documentation that was gathered through linguistic research carried out in the U.S., in university classrooms. ALMA is extremely pleased with this development, and hopes to collaborate with other professors in the same way. The ALMA Coordinator, John Hutchison, taught a number of these courses which focused on African languages and he now intends to prepare the documents that were collected for presentation in this area of the ALMA site.

The speakers

Nubantood Khalil

Nubantood Khalil

Nubantood Khalil is a native Nubian cultural activist and a freelance linguist. He is also the founder of the Nubian Language Society (NLS), a DC-based NGO that involves in the documentation and the promotion of the Nubian intangible heritage and culture. He was contracted by UNESCO’s intangible heritage section 2009-2011 as a cultural activist in the cultural Nubian museum project of Wadi Halfa. He has also published a number of works about Nubian languages.


  • The First Nobiin Child’s Book “Nobiin Assarin Soor 1”, ,2017 Primedia eLaunch LLC, USA.
  • Nobiin Literacy Book “Nobiin Faayittin Soor”, 2017, Primedia eLaunch LLC, USA.
  • Nobiinga kullan Soor (1), “the first Nobiin language acquisition book”, 2018, Primedia eLaunch LLC, USA.
  • Poetic Comparative Texts in Nobiin (Arb.), 2017, Primedia eLaunch LLC, USA.

Articles and Papers:

  • Verbal Plural Marker in Nobiin (Nile Nubian), 2015, Datawo: A Journal of Nubian Studies, Vol. 2, Article 2.
  • Some Images of Multiculturalism in the history of Sudan, 2014, Sudanese Studies Associations Vol.33 No.1
  • The First Nobiin Shakespeare, Sonnet 18, Sudanese Studies Associations Vol.35 No.1.
  • Signs of Maternalism in Nobiin Language, 2017, Sudanese Studies Associations Vol.36 No.1.

Tanutamon Gerais

Tanutamon Gerais

Tanutamon Gerais was born in Nubia (Sudan). He is a human rights activist and community organizer who dedicated his life to the work of advocating against the oppression of indigenous Africans in Sudan. He is a founding member of many Sudanese and Nubian human rights organizations in the USA, and has spoken on behalf of Nubians in different universities’ platforms, and political conferences, media interviews, and in US Congress and US Senate offices.

Nobiin language

Click here to listen to the Nobiin Language!

%d bloggers like this: