Many people mistakenly believe the Hawaiian language linguistics is a primitive communication that can express only a few ideas. However, comprehensive Hawaiian Language dictionaries contain well over 26,000 entries to describe the beauty, culture, history and geography of Hawaii. The “Instant Hawaiian” pocket guide by Scott Burlington indicates there are 33 ways to indicate a cloud, depending the type of cloud you’re referencing.
Would you like to know a little more about the beautiful Hawaiian Language? Perhaps recognize or even speak a few Hawaiian basic words while you’re on vacation? Here is a short lesson of basics for beginners:
Hawaiian Language Alphabets
There are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian Alphabet.
A, E, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, U & W
Think that makes it easy to learn? Think again. Well, it’s not THAT bad. You’ll have it mastered in no time.
Vowels and Consonants
The consonants (H, K, L, M, N, P & W) sound pretty much the same as in English. However, the vowels are different.
è as in bet, or [AY] ay!”
Hawaiian words often have two vowels together in a word. This is called a Dipthong.
Diphthong: ou oi when they appear as first “ai” in i“aeI. You can barely hear the “eh” at the end
ao” in how“au” in hout, but without a nasal twang. (ah-ou, run together)
ei” in chow meight. (eh-ee, run together)
eu” sounds like “eh-oo as a single syllable.
iu” in few“oi” in voi (oh-ee)
ou” in bow“ui” in gooey E ho`oma`ama`a,
[eh hoh oh mah’ ah mah’ ah]
Meanings – Practice, practice, practice!
|KA `ÔLELO HAWAI`I||(HAWAIIAN):||KA `ÔLELO HAOLE (ENGLISH):|
|A hui hou!||[ah hui hou!]||Good bye! See you later!|
|aikâne||[ai KAH’ neh]||friend, pal, buddy; friendly|
|Aloha||[ah loh’ hah]||love, greetings, goodbye, mercy, affection,|
|ânuenue||[AH’ noo (w)eh noo (w)eh]||rainbow|
|E komo mai!||[eh ko’ mo mai!]||Welcome!|
|hale||[hah’ leh]||house, building, institution, lodge, station,|
|hana||[hah’ nah]||work, job, activity; do|
|haole||[hao’ leh]||visitor or foreigner|
|hau`oli||[hau’ oh lee]||happy, glad, joyful; happiness, enjoyment,|
|hiamoe||[hee’ (y)ah moh’ (y)eh]||to sleep|
|Kâ !||[KAH’!]||Oh! How silly! Shoot! #*%@ !|
|kai||[kai]||sea, sea water|
|kâne||[KAH’ neh]||male, husband, man|
|Kaua`i||[kau’ (w)ah ee]||Northernmost of the major Hawaiian islands.|
|kupuna||[koo poo’ nah]||grandparent, elders, ancestors|
|lânai||[LAH’ nai]||porch, veranda, patio|
|Lihue||[LEE’ hue]||City on Kaua`i. It means “cold chill”.|
|mahalo||[mah hah’ loh]||“thanks”, gratitude|
|nani||[nah’ nee]||beautiful, pretty; beauty|
|nui||[nui]||large, big, important, much, great|
|`ohana||[oh hah’ nah]||family, immediate and/or extended|
|pali||[pah’ lee]||cliff, precipice|
|pono||[poh’ noh]||right, moral; goodness, correct, proper;|
|wahine||[wah hee’ neh]||woman, wife, female, Mrs.|
|Wikiwiki!||[wee’ kee wee’ kee]||Hurry up! Quickly! To hurry up, very quick.|
Hawaiian Language and Pronunciation Course
If you would like to learn more about the Hawaiian language, origin and literature, you can affordably buy a Hawaiian language guide book as the New Pocket Hawaiian Dictionary or the little Instant Hawaiian guide, available online in many popular online book stores, which will give you the meanings and pronunciation for many Hawaiian words and common phrases. Good Luck 🙂