Hawaiian Language Workshop:
note to the 2nd Annual 'Ukulele Festival students
Hawaiian language and culture sites:
The Hawaiian Language Web Site: hthttp://www.oocities.org/olelo.geo
The Hula Pages: http://www.oocities.org/olelo.geo/hula.html
'Da Hawai`i Seniors Club: http://oocities.com/dhc2020/
I. Greetings ~ Nâ Aloha:
Dictionary definition: Greetings!
alo = presence
More than a greeting, it is a blessing. To be ONLY used with sincerity: "'Aloha' could not be thoughtlessly or indiscriminately spoken, for it carried its own power. No Hawaiian could greet another with 'Aloha' unless he felt it in his own heart. If he felt anger or hate in his heart, he had to cleanse himself before he said 'Aloha'." ~ Queen Lili`uokalani
is a philosophy, a way of living, a code of life, not in any physical
form, but an intangible substance. Vital to life, Aloha is the spirit
of God in Man. As life's essence, Aloha is everywhere. It is the
magnificence in every person, as well as in the `âina, i.e., the
environs which is the air, the land, the sky, and the sea.
A is for AKAHAI, meaning kindness, to be expressed with a feeling of tenderness.
L is for LÔKAHI, meaning unity, to be expressed with a feeling of harmony.
O is for `OLU`OLU, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with a feeling of pleasantness.
H stands for HA`AHA`A, meaning humility, to be expressed with a feeling of modesty.
A stands for AHONUI, meaning patient, to be applied with perseverance. ~ Pîlahi Pâkî
|Aloha e (Inoa) !||Phonetic
[ah loh' hah (y)eh (Inoa)!]
Aloha to (Name)!
|Aloha kâua!||[ah loh' hah KAH oo' (w)ah!]||Aloha to you and me! (Two of us)|
|Aloha kâkou!||[ah loh' hah KAH kou'!]||Aloha to all of us! (More than two of us)|
|Hûi||[HOO'-(w)ee!]||Halloo! Yoo hoo!|
|Aloha â hui hou!||[ah loh' hah AH hoo'-(w)ee hou!]||Aloha until (we) meet again.|
Only a limited
amount of knowledge can be imparted at a workshop. Please use the online links
to further enhance your Hawaiian language learning experience:
"ALOHA Is..." - More Hawaiian greetings - The Meaning of Aloha - The Aloha Spirit - More Hawaiian greetings and sentiments
II. A Brief History of Hawai`i's Host Language ~ He Mo`olelo Pôkole o Ka `Ôlelo Makuahine o Hawai`i
Origins: ? - Marquesas / Tahiti ---> Hawai`i. Post contact: New England missionaries converted Hawaiian into a written language. Hawaiians soon became the most literate in the world; at one time, up to 90% of the Hawaiian population read and wrote their once oral-only language. Hawaiian population was decimated from 1,000,000 to 40,000 by diseases imported from other parts of the world. Over time, the host language was suppressed and English usage dominated. In the late 1970s, the number of native Hawaiian speakers was down to ~2000. Like the nênê, the endangered Hawaiian goose, the Hawaiian language was on the brink of extinction. Pidgin (a.k.a. Hawai`i Creole English), an amalgam of Hawaiian, English, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and Portuguese words, among others, has helped to preserve its words, as well as its grammatical and intonation patterns. In the 1980's, the Hawaiian language (ka `ôlelo Hawai`i) was revived with the Hawaiian Renaissance.
ola mau ka `ôlelo Hawai`i!
|Today, there are
more than 10,000 speakers and the number is growing. Hawaiian and English
are now the two
official languages of Hawai`i. Today, it is approximated that less than 4000
pure-blooded Hawaiians are left on the planet.
The host culture, however, now thrives again. We honor our kûpuna (elders
and those who have come before us) by heeding them: "If you kill the
language, you kill the culture." Keep the culture alive
by learning Hawaiian. It is never too late.
Learn Hawaiian? 20 Pono Reasons - Give
Back to Hawai`i, Hawaiian Culture, and Aloha
"`O Ka `Ōlelo Ke Ka`ā; O Ka Mauli"
III. Hawaiian Alphabet ~ Ka Pî`âpâ Hawai`i:
The Hawaiian alphabet uses 12 Roman letters ( a, e, i, o, u, h, k, l, m, n, p, w), five (5) Roman letters (a, e, i, o, u) with a diacritical mark called a kahakô, and a diacritical mark called `okina. Number of letters in the Hawaiian alphabet: 10 vowels + 8 consonants = 18 letters. Here's the breakdown:
Graphic, courtesy of The Royal Hawaiian Band
10 Hawaiian Vowels: 5 vowels: a e i o u [pronounced: ah eh ee oh oo] + 5 vowels with kahakô: â ê î ô û [pronounced with elongated sounds: AH EH EE OH OO]
What's a kahakô? (kaha = mark) + ( kô = elongate). It is a diacritical mark that is a horizontal line over a vowel to signify elongation of its sound. Instead of one beat of sound, give it two. In English, this mark is called the macron.
8 Hawaiian Consonants: h, k, l, m, n, p, w, ` [pronounced: heh, peh, keh, lah, moo, noo, peh, veh, `oh kee nah]
What's an `okina? (`oki = cut) + na (a suffix that makes a word a noun). It is a diacritical mark that looks like " a tiny "6" with the hole filled in." Known in English as a "glottal stop," it signifies a break in the breath, as in "oh-oh." Because `okina is recognized as a consonant, there are eight (8) consonants in the Hawaiian language.
Unfortunately, to date, the Internet does not support the faithful rendering of these diacritical marks, although efforts to rectify this situation are underway. The closest renderings of the diacritical marks necessary for the proper pronunciation, spelling, and comprehension of Hawaiian words employ the caret (^) to represent the kahakô and the backward quote mark (`) to represent the `okina, as used on this page. Diacritical marks are important to pronunciation. Use them where they are required. You CAN make them on your word-processor. Here's how.
IV. Pronunciation ~ Ka Hopuna:
Uncorrected, gross mispronunciations go mainstream and become virtually impossible to correct. Learn to pronounce the words correctly. Hawaiian is too beautiful for it to be trashed with mispronunciations which distort and obscure the intended meanings.
Rules of Thumb: All letters are sounded. No silent letters in Hawaiian. Vowels are sounded separately EXCEPT when two vowels are next to each other and the sound is then blended as diphthongs. Stress the last syllable if it contains a diphthong, otherwise, stress the "next-to-the-last" syllable.
"The Nuts and Bolts" of Pronunciating Hawaiian Words: Diphthong [dip' thong] = a blended sound from two vowels in a row, as in "ou" in house or "oi" in noise. In Hawaiian the two vowels are not so tightly joined as in English and BOTH must be "completely executed." The first vowel of the blended pair is stressed more. Don't open your mouth wide.
|Diphthongs:||Pronounced as:||Sounds like:||Examples:|
|ae||ah'-eh||I or eye||Mae`ole = Never-fading|
|ai||uh'-ee||"i" in ice||Kai = Sea water|
|ao||ah'-oh||"ow" in how (without a nasal twang)||Maoli = True Kaona = Hidden Meaning|
|au||uh'-oo||"ou" in house or out (without a nasal twang)||Au = I, I am|
|ei||eh'-ee||"ei" in chow mein or in eight||Lei = Garland|
|eu||eh'-oo||`Eleu = Lively|
|iu||ee'-oo||"ee-(y)oo" (similar to "ew" in few||Wêkiu = Topmost|
|oi||oh'-ee||"oi" in voice||Poi = Hawaiian staple|
|ou||oh'-oo||"ow" in bowl||Kou = Your|
sounds like "V"
when it starts a word
or follows "a".
Welina! [weh lee' nah] or [veh lee' nah] = Greetings!
Hawai`i [hah wai' ee] or [hah vai' ee]
sounds like "V"
when it follows "e" or "i. "
iwi [ee' vee] = bone
`Ewa [eh' vah]
sounds like "W"
when it follows "o" or "u."
wôwô [WOH WOH] = roar
kûwili [KOO wee' lee] = spin
Y-Glides and W-Glides:
These glide sounds are automatically produced with certain vowel combinations. Hawaiian is not spoken in staccato fashion. When two vowels are next to each other (in the same word and with adjacent words), smooth out the sounds with these glides.
|Maui [ Mau'-(w)ee]||`O ia [oi'-(y)ah] : he, she, it; he is, she is, it is|
|`oe [oh-(w)eh' ] : you||`iâia [ee-(Y)AH'-(y)ah] : to him, to her|
|Auê [ au-(W)EH'! ] : Oh no! Darn!||heiau [hei'-(y)au'] : place of worship, rock shrine|
|lauoho [lau-(w)oh' hoh] : hair||E Hawai`i
[eh hah vai' ee-(y)ah loh' hah-(Y)EH]
(Hawaiian way of instruction.)
|A'a i ka hula, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale.||When you dance, leave your bashfulness at home.||Go for it!|
|Ma ka hana ka `ike.||In the work, the knowing.||One learns by doing. Participate!|
|`A`ohe pau ka `ike i ka hâlau ho`okahi.||All knowledge is not found in one school.||Respect the teachings of others though they may differ from your own.|
saying the eight major Hawaiian islands correctly:
Ni`ihau, Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lâna`i, Kaho`olawe, Maui, Hawai`i
Pronounced: [nee ee hau'], [kau-(w)ah' ee], oh ah' hoo], [moh loh kah' ee], [LAH' nah ee], [kah hoh oh lah' veh], [mau'-(w)ee], [hah vai' ee] or [hah wai' ee].
Practice singing this beloved song: HAWAI`I
e ku`u one hânau ê
au i nâ pono lani ou
e nâ `ôpio o Hawai`i nei
aheahe makani e pâ mai nei
Aloha nô Hawai`i
(Alternate last verse):
Music by: The Kawaiahao Church Choir
It's Time to Speak Hawaiian:
|How are you?
[peh heh' (y)ah oh-(w)eh ?]
I am fine.
What is your
My name is
|Where are you from?
No hea mai `oe?
[noh heh (y)ah mai oh-(w)eh ?]
I am from ( your town).
VI. Colors & Numbers ~ Nâ Waiho`olu`u & Nâ Huahelu:
Learn to sing the "color song":
Learn to count in Hawaiian:
VII: Simple Sentences ~ Adjective + Noun/Pronoun Pattern
As with the Spanish language, the adjective (word that describes) come before the noun (the subject). Here are some words to help you begin to speak in sentences.
|Pronouns / Proper noun:|
|au [ Mau'- (w)ee] : I, I am||kâua
[KAH-oo-(w)ah : we, as in "you and I"
kâkou [KAH' kou] : we, as in "all of us"
|`oe [oh'- (w)eh] : you, you are||`olua
[oh loo-(w)ah :
you, as in "you two"
`oukou [ou kou'] : you, as in "all of you"
|`o ia [oi'-(y)ah ] : he or she or it, he or she or it is||lâua
[LAH' kou] : they, as in
"two of them" place of worship, rock shrine
lâkou [LAH' kou] : they, as in "all of them" place of worship, rock shrine
|`o ("Person's name") : "Person's name" is||Example: Pôloli `o Pila. : Bill is hungry.|
[mai kah' ee] : good
kolohe [koh loh' heh] : naughty, rascal
`ino [ee' noh] : bad, evil
`eleu [eh leh-(y)oo] : energetic, lively
mâluhiluhi [MAH' loo hee loo hee] : tired
mâlie [MAH' lee-(y)eh] : calm
huhû [hoo HOO'] : angry, ticked off
[ah' noo-(w) ah' noo] : cold
wela [veh' lah] : hot
mahana [mah hah' nah] : warm
`olu`olu [oh' loo oh' loo] : comfortably cool, pleasant
ola [oh' lah] : healthy
ma`i [mah' ee] : sick
[noo-(w)ee] : big
li`ili`i [lee' ee lee' ee] : little
ikaika [ee kai' kah] : strong
nâwaliwali [NAH vah lee vah' lee] : weak
[POH' loh lee] : hungry
mâ`ona [MAH' oh nah] : full (with food)
makewai [mah keh vai'] : thirsty
kena [keh' nah] : quenched
[nah' nee] : pretty
nohea [noh heh-(y)ah] : handsome
pupuka [poo poo' kah] : ugly
hau`oli [hau oh' lee] : happy
kaumaha [kau mah' hah] : sad
hoihoi [hoi' hoi'] : interesting
manakâ [mah nah KAH'] : bored, uninteresting
[ah kah mai'] : smart
hûpô [HOO' POH'] : stupid
pono [poh' noh] : proper, righteous, balanced
pupule [poo poo' leh] : crazy, insane
onaona [oh nao' nah] ; fragrant
hauna [hau' nah] : smelly, stinky
|* A very
useful word: `ole [oh' leh] : not
Put `ole after
the adjective to negate it:
[pah ah hah' nah] : industrious, busy
moloâ [moh loh-(W)AH] : lazy
miki`oi [mee kee oi'] : neat, precise
kâpulu [KAH' poo loo] : careless, slovenly
Using the sentence pattern of
adjective + noun/pronoun
I am hungry.
VII: Commonly used Hawaiian words and expressions:
Hawaiian Word List
|KA `ÔLELO HAWAI`I (HAWAIIAN):||Hopuna (Pronunciation):||KA `ÔLELO HAOLE (ENGLISH):|
[ah oh' leh]
[peh lah pah' hah]
|aikâne||[ai KAH' neh]||friend; friendly; to become a friend|
|`âina||[ai' nah]||land; overall environment|
|[ah koo'-(w)ah] [ee-(y)eh' soo] [krees' toh]||God, usually
referred to as Ke Akua
|ali`i||[ah lee' ee]||chiefly class; royalty|
|Aloha au iâ `oe.||[ah loh' hah vau-(y)ee YAH' oh-(w)eh]||I love you.|
|`A`ole pilikia.||[ah oh' leh pee lee keh' (y)ah]||No trouble. You're welcome.|
|`au`au||[au au]||to bathe|
|Auê!||[au-(W)EH'!]||Oh no! Alas! Oops!|
[NAH au MAH koo-(w)ah
guardian spirits, ancestors
|E kala mai.||[eh kah' lah mai]||Excuse me. Forgive me.|
|E mâlama pono.||[eh MAH lah' mah poh' noh]||Take care.|
|E `olu`olu.||[eh oh' loo oh' loo]||Please.|
|E komo mai!||[eh koh' moh mai!]||Welcome! Literally, Come In!|
|Haina iâ mai ana ka puana||[hah-(y)ee' nah-(y)ee-(Y)AH' mai-(y)ah' nah kah poo-(w)ah' nah]||"To tell the refrain." Sung at the end of most traditional Hawaiian songs.|
|hale||[hah' leh]||house, home, building|
|hâlau||[HAH' lau]||hula school; originally, canoe house|
|Hana hou!||[hah' nah hou!]||Encore! Do it again!|
|hânai||[HAH' nai]||adopted, Hawaiian style|
|hapa||[hah' pah]||part, usually refers to mixed ethnicities|
|hâpai||[HAH' pai]||pregnant; to carry|
[NAH hau MAH' nah]
|hauna||[hau' nah]||smelly, stinky|
|Hau`oli Lâ Hânau!||[hau oh' lee LAH HAH nau!]||Happy Birthday!|
[hee' kee NOH'!]
Sure! All right! Okay!
(Hiki with more emphasis)
|Hau`oli Makahiki Hou!||[hau oh' lee mah kah hee' kee hou !]||Happy New Year!|
|hô`ike||[HOH' ee keh]||to show, exhibit; exhibition|
|ho`olaule`a||[hoh oh lau leh' ah]||celebration|
|Ho`omaika`i!||[hoh oh mai kah' ee!]||Congratulations!|
|hula `auana||[hoo' lah au-(w)ah' nah]||modern hula|
|hula kahiko||[hoo' lah kah hee' koh]||ancient hula|
|huli||[hoo' lee]||turn, reverse; to turn over|
: the child
The word "the" is far more frequently used in Hawaiian than in English. Abstract words are preceded by "the", as in, ke Aloha.
Rules of Thumb:
Use ke for all other letters.
Use nâ to pluralize, ahead of the noun. Do not add a "s" to pluralize Hawaiian words. Correct: one lei, two lei, four lei...
|kama`âina||[kah mah AI' nah]||native, native-born, Hawai`i born.|
|kanaka maoli||[kah nah' kah mao' lee]||indigenous person; any descendant of those persons who lived in Hawai`i prior to 1778|
|kâne||[KAH' neh]||man, male, husband, Mr.|
|Kanikapila!||[kah nee kah pee' lah!]||kani = sound, ka = the, pila = stringed instrument. Figuratively, "Let's play music!"|
|kaona||[kau' nah]||hidden/deeper meaning of songs|
|kapu||[kah' poo]||taboo, secret, off limits, don't touch!|
that (over there)
keiki o ka `âina
[NAH kei' kee]
[kei' kee oh kah AI' nah]
children of the land, island-born
|kî hô`alu||[KEE HOH' ah loo]||slack key guitar|
|kôkua||[KOH' koo-(w)ah]||help, aid, assistance|
|kona||[koh' nah]||leeward; hot winds that blow from the lee side against the trades|
|kukui||[koo kui']||candlenut tree; its nuts are used for lei|
|Kulikuli!||[koo' lee koo' lee!]||Hush! Quiet! (Hâmau! is more polite)|
[NAH KOO poo nah]
|ku`u ipo||[koo' oo-(w)ee' poh]||my sweetheart|
|Le`a le`a!||[eh leh' ah leh' ah !]||Have fun!|
|lânai||[LAH' nai]||porch, veranda, patio|
|lani||[lah' nee]||heaven; heavenly; sky; spiritual|
|lauhala||[lau hah' lah]||leaves from the hala (pandanus) tree, used for weaving|
|pit or hole
that has a bottom.
Colloquial term for toilet.
The proper words that mean bathroom is lumi ho`opaupilikia, which literally means "room to end your trouble").
|lû`au||[LOO' au]||Hawaiian feast|
|mahalo||[mah hah' loh]||thank you|
|mâhû||[MAH' HOO']||gay person|
|mâkaukau||[MAH' kau kau]||ready|
|makuahine||[mah koo-(w)ah hee' neh]||mother|
|makuakâne||[mah koo-(w)ah KAH' neh]||father|
|makule||[mah koo' leh]||old, of people; aged; elderly|
|malihini||[mah lee hee' nee]||newcomer to Hawai`i, tourist, visitor|
|mana||[mah' nah]||spiritual power|
toward the sea
|Mele Kalikimaka!||[meh' leh kah lee kee mah' kah!]||Merry Christmas!|
|menehune||[meh neh hoo' neh]||industrious, diminutive indigenous people of yore|
|moemoe||[moe moe']||to cause to lie down; to hush or put to sleep|
|momona||[moh moh' nah]||sweet, as in fruit|
|mu`umu`u||[moo' oo moo' oo]||Hawaiian-style dress|
|nîele||[NEE'-(y)eh leh]||nosey, inquisitive|
|`ohana||[oh hah' nah]||family|
|[OH koh' leh]
specifically the orifice (opening); derriere
`Elemu is more polite.
|`ôpû||[OH' POO]||stomach, belly|
|`O wai kou inoa?||[oh vai kou-(w)ee noh'-(w)ah?]||What's your name?|
|`O Name ko`u inoa.||[oh Name koh' oo-(w)ee noh-(w)ah.||Name is my name.|
|pakalôlô||[pah kah LOH' LOH]||marijuana, "pot," "grass"|
|pali||[pah' lee]||cliff; precipice|
|paniolo||[pah nee-(y) oh' loh]||Hawaiian cowboy|
|pâpale||[PAH' pah leh]||hat, cap, head covering|
|pau hana||[pau hah' nah]||finish work; "work is done"|
A `o `oe?
[mai kah' ee NOH]
[ah oh oe?]
|How are you?
|piko||[pee' koh]||navel, umbilical cord, genitals; summit|
|poi||[poi]||Hawaiian staple from pounded cooked taro (kalo) root, forming a paste|
|poke||[poh' keh]||Appetizer made of cubed raw fish in a marinade of kukui nut-sea salt relish with chili peppers and seaweed (limu)|
|Pômaikai!||[POH' mai kah' ee]||Good luck! Best wishes! Blessings!|
|pôpoki||[POH' poh kee]||cat|
|puka||[poo' kah]||hole, as in puka shells|
|pule||[poo' leh]||pray, prayer|
|pûpû||[POO' POO']||hors d`oeuvre, finger food, appetizer; sea/land shells|
|Tsâ! / Cha! / Kâ!||[TSA!] / [cha!] / [kah!]||Darn! Drat! Shucks! Oh no!|
|tûtû||[TOO' TOO]||Grandma; affectionate term for old people--relatives or friends--of the grandparent generation|
|`uku||[oo' koo]||Head louse; flea|
|`ukulele||[oo koo leh' leh]||`uku= flea +
lele = jumping
Literally, "jumping flea"
It is NOT spelled `iukuleili !
|wahine||[wah hee' neh]||woman, female, wife, Mrs.|
|Wikiwiki!||[wee' kee wee' kee]||Hurry up! Quickly! To hurry up, very quick.|
Speak Hawaiian Like a Local ;-) - Links to Hawaiian Language Classes - Kamehameha Schools: Distance Learning: Kulâiwi Streaming Videos - University-level Online Hawaiian Language Classes - University of Hawai`i at Hilo: HAW 101 Online
Aloha â hui hou!
Pau = The End
And not pa`u (soot), pa`û (moist)or pâ`û (long skirt)...