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Hawaiian Language:

Pronunciation, Greetings, Expressions,
Common Hawaiian Words plus more.

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Hawaiian language originated with early Polynesians who settled the islands.  It has been changed a great deal by outside influences. 
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The Hawaiian language uses only 12 letters.
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There are the five vowels, a-e-i-o-u, which sound as follows.
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There are seven consonants, h-k-l-m-n-p-w, which sound like English.  
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Sometimes “w” is pronounced as “v”.  This only occurs in the middle of a word and always follows a vowel.
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Consonants are always followed by a vowel, forming two letter syllables, but vowels are often found in pairs or even triplets.

Lei    sounds like: lay
Pali sounds like: pah-lee
Pupu sounds like: poo-poo
Wikiwiki  sounds like: wee-kee-wee-kee
Lanai  sounds like: lah-ni
Lana’i  sounds like: lah-ni-ee
Wahine sounds like: wah-hee-neh
Humuhumunukunukuupa’a sounds like: hoo-moo-hoo-moo-noo-koo-noo-koo-ah-poo-ah-ah
Hawai’i sounds like: Ha-vi-ee
Poi sounds like: poy

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COMMON HAWAIIAN WORDS TO ENGLISH

Hawaiian

English

`A`ole

No

`Ae

Yes

`Aina

Land that feeds

`Anakala

Uncle

`Anake

Aunt

`Apelila

April

`Aukake

August

`Ilio

Dog

`Iole

Rat

`O wai

Who

`Ohana

Family

`Okakopa

October

`Olelo

Speak

`Olu`olu, E `olu`olu `oe

Please

`Ono

Delicious

`Opae

Shrimp

`Uku

Flea

`Ulu

Breadfruit

A`u

Marlin

A`u

Swordfish

Aa

rough, crumbling lava

Ae

yes

Ahi

Fire

Ahiahi

Evening

Ahupuaa

land division usually extending from the mountains to the sea

Ai

Eat

Aia

There

Aia i hea?

Where?

Akamai

smart, clever

Akau

North

Aku

Away from me (directional)

Akua

god, goddess, spirit, ghost, devil, image, idol, corpse; divine, supernatural, godly

Ala

a road, path, or trail

Ali`i

Royalty

Alii

a Hawaiian chief, Hawaiian royalty

Aloalo

Hibiscus

Aloha

love, affection, kindness, also means both greetings and farewell

Aloha au ia'oe

I love you

Ame

And

Aniani

Glass

Aokuewa

Land that is worthless

Aole

no

Au

I

Auinala

Afternoon

Aumakua

family or personal gods, deified ancestors who might assume the shape of, for example, a shark, owl, dog, hawk, plant, or cloud

Aumoe

Midnight

Awakea

Noon

Ha`aha`a

Humbleness

Ha`awina

Lesson

Ha`ule lau

Autumn

Hala

Pandanus tree

Hala-kahiki

Pineapple

Halau, kula

School

Hale

House

Hana

Work

Hanai

Adopt

Hanau

Birth

Haole

white person, formerly any foreigner

Hapa

a part, sometimes a half

Hapai

Pregnant

Hau`oli

Happy

Hauoli

to rejoice; Hauoli Makahiki Hou-Happy New Year

He`e

Octopus

Heiau

an ancient Hawaiian temple

Hele

to go, come, walk

Hele aku

Go

Hele mai

Come

Helu

Number

Hema

South

Hepekoma, pule

Week

Hiapo

The first born

Hi'iaka

Goddess of hula

Hikina

East

Himeni

Sing

Hiwa lani

The attractive one

Hiwahiwa

Precious or beloved

Ho`oilo

Winter

Ho`okipa

Hospitality

Ho`olaule`a

Celebration

Ho`olohe

Listen

Hoahanau

Cousin

Hoahele

Companion

Hoaloha

Friend

Hoapili

Close friend

Hola

Hour

Holo

to run

Honu

Turtle

Hookipa

hospitality

Ho'opono

Faithful

Huhu

angry

Hui

a group, club, or assembly

Hula

the dance of Hawaii

I nehinei

Yesterday

I`a

Fish (noun)

Ianuali

January

Imu

underground oven

Inoa

Name

Ipo

Sweetheart, darling, lover

Ipu

the bottle gourd used as a receptacle, dance rattle and drum

Iulai

July

Iune

June

Iwi

Bone(s)

Ka

the definite article

Ka nani

The pretty one

Kahakai

Beach

Kahako

Macron

Kahawai

Stream

Kahuna

a priest, doctor, or other trained person of old Hawaii, endowed with special professional skills that often included the gift of prophecy or other supernatural powers

Kai, moana

Ocean

Kaikamahine

Daughter

Kaikua`ana

Brother

Kaikuahine

Sister

Kaikunane

Brother

Ka'iu lani

Lofty sacred one

Kaka

Duck

Kakahiaka

Morning

Kako`o

Apprentice

Kalo

the taro plant from whose root poi is made

Kamaaina

literally, a child of the soil, it refers to people who were born in the Islands or have lived in Hawaii for a long time

Kamaiki

Infant

Kamali'i

Child

Kamali'i wahine

Princess

Kanaka

originally a man or humanity in general, it is now used to denote a male Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian

Kane

Man

Kane male

Married Man

Kanunu

The strong one

Kapa

also called tapa, a cloth made of beaten bark

Kapu

taboo, keep out, prohibited, sacred

Kapuna

grandparent, ancestor, elder

Kau wela

Summer

Kaukau

Food

Ke Akua

God

Ke aloha

Beloved

Keia la

Today

Keiki

Child

Keiki kane

Son

Kekemapa

December

Kekoa

Warrior

Kekona

Second (fraction of a minute)

Kela 'apopo

Tomorrow

Kepakemapa

September

Ki

Image, carving

Ki`i

Picture

Ko

Sugar cane

Ko`olau

Windward

Ko`u

My

Kohola

Whale

Kokua

Help

Komohana

West

Kona

Leeward

Kou

Your

Ku

Deity

Ku`ai

Purchase

Kukui

Candlenut tree

Kula

Gold, golden

Kuleana

responsibility, concern, property

Kumu

Teacher

Kumu nui

Coconut tree

Kupulau

Spring (season)

Kupuna

Elder

Kupuna kane, kupuna wahine

Grandfather, grandmother

Ku'u aloha

My love

Ku'u 'I'ini

My desire

Ku'u lei

My beloved

Ku'uipo

My sweetheart

La

Day

La hanau

Birthday

La noa

Weekday

Lanai

a porch, balcony or deck

Lani

heaven, the sky

Lanui

Holiday

Lapule

Sunday

Lauhala

the leaf of the hala or pandanus tree, widely used in Hawaiian handcrafts

Lei

a garland of flowers

Lei aloha

Beloved Child

Lei lani

Heavenly child

Leka

Letter

Lokahi

unity, agreement, harmony

Lua

Hole (with a bottom, crater)

Luau

Hawaiian feast, in the past the word for feast was paina

Ma kai

Ocean-side

Ma`i

Sick

Mahalo

thank you; Mahalo nui loa-thank you very much

Mahina

Month

Mahina

Moon

Mahinahina

Effeminate

Maika`i

Good

Maika`i`ole

Bad

Maka

Eyes

Maka aniani

Eye glasses

Maka 'eleu

Lively eyes

Maka nani

Beautiful eyes

Makahiki

Year

Makai

toward the sea

Makamaka

Colleague

Makana

Gift

Makani

Wind

Make

Dead

Makemake

Desire

Makua

Parent

Makua kane

Father

Makuahine

Aunt, Mother

Makuakane

Father, Uncle

Malaki

March (month)

Malama

Preserve (to preserve, care for)

Malihini

a newcomer to the Islands, visitor

Malu lani

Protected by heaven

Mana

the spiritual power that the Hawaiians believed to inhabit all things and creatures

Mano

Shark

Maoli

Real, true

Mau

Many

Mau ka

Inland

Mau Loa

Forever

Mauka

toward the mountains

Mauna

mountain

Me ke aloha

With love

Mei

May (month)

Mele

chant, song, anthem, Merry Christmas-Mele Kalikimaka

Menehune

a legendary race of little people who worked at night building fish ponds, roads and temples

Minuke

Minute

Moa

Chicken

Moana

the ocean

Moe

Rest

Moe moe

Sleep

Moku

Island

Mu

Silence

Muumuu

a loose gown or dress

Na

The (Plural)

Nai`a

Dolphin

Nana

Observe

Nani

beautiful

Nau ko'u aloha

My love is yours

Nau wale no

Just for you

Nene

Goose

Ninau

Question

Nohea

Handsome, Loveliness

Nowemapa

November

Nui

big

Oe

You (Singular)

Oli

a chant that was not danced to

Olohe

Expert

Ono

delicious

Oukou

You (Plural)

Pa

Begin

Pahoehoe

smooth lava

Pahu

drum

Pali

a cliff, precipice

Pane

Answer

Paniolo

a Hawaiian cowboy

Papa

Earth

Pau

finished, done

Pau o'le

Never ending

Pea

Avocado

Pehea

How

Pepeluali

February

Pili lani

Close to heaven

Pilialo

Wife

Pilikia

Problems

Pilikua

Husband

Po

Night

Po`aha

Thursday

Po`akahi

Monday

Po`akolu

Wednesday

Po`alima

Friday

Po`alua

Tuesday

Po`aono

Saturday

Pohaku

Rock

Pono

Excellence, moral

Pu`u

Hill

Pua

Flower

Pua`a

Pig

Pueo

Owl

Puka

Hole (without a bottom, perforation)

Puka aniani

Window

Pule

Prayer

Pumehana

Affection

Punahele

Favorite

Pupu

hors d'oeuvres

Ua

Rain

Wa`a

Canoe

Wahine

a female, a woman, a wife

Wahine male

Married woman

Wai

fresh water, as opposed to saltwater, which is kai

Wakea

Sky

Wauke

Mulberry tree

Wehi lani

Heavenly adornment

Wiki

Quick, fast

Wikiwiki

to hurry, hurry up

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GREETINGS

Hawaiian                            

English

Aloha

Greetings, hello, good-
bye, affection, love

Aloha kakou

Aloha to all (including speaker)

Aloha kaua

Aloha to you (singular) and me

Aloha nui loa

Much love, fondest regards

Aloha oe

Aloha to you (singular)

Aloha oukou

Aloha to all of you (plural)

Aloha kakahiaka

Good morning

Aloha awakea

Good mid-day (10 am - 2 pm)

Aloha `auinala

Good late afternoon (after mid-day)

Aloha ahiahi

Good evening (around sunset)

Aloha auinapo

Good late night (after midnight)

Aloha po

Good night

Aloha ahiahi ia oukou

Good evening to all of you (plural)

E komo mai

Come in, welcome

E komo mai, e noho mai, e `ai a e,
wala`au

Come in, come sit, eat and talk

Komo mai

Enter, come in

Komo mai e ai

Come in, eat

Komo mai e inu ka wai

Come in, drink

Komo mai e noho

Come in, sit, rest

Ku'u momi makamae

My precious pearl [a beloved person]

Noho ilalo

Please sit down

`Olu`olu komo mai

Please come in

Pehea `oe?

How are you? (Singular)

Pehea oukou?

How are you? (Plural)

Maika`i no mahalo

Fine indeed, thank you
(Response to "Pehea oe?")

Aia i hea kou kauhale?

Where is your kauhale? 
("Kauhale" is a group of houses that comprise a typical, old style, 
Hawaiian living situation)

Aia i _____ ko`u kauhale

______ is where I live

He aha kau hana?

What is your occupation?

_____ ka`u hana

______ is my occupation

He aha kau helu kelopana?

What is your phone number?

_____ ka`u kekepona

______ is my phone number

Ma hea 'oe e noho nei?

Where do you live?

Mai hea mai `oe?

Where are you from?

Mai ____ mai au

I am from _____

`O wai kou inoa?

What is your name?

O ____ ko`u inoa

_____ is my name

 

GOODBYE / PARTING EXPRESSIONS

Hawaiian    

English

A hui hou

Good-bye, until we meet again

A hui kaua

Until we meet again

Malama pono

Take care, be right

   

THANKS

Hawaiian    

English

Mahalo

Thank you

Mahalo nui loa

Thank you very much

`A `ole pilikia

No problem
(Can be a response to mahalo)

He me iki ia

Its a small thing

Me pu oe

The same to you

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MISCELLANEOUS

Hawaiian

English

Aloha mai e

I invite aloha to you
(An appropriate salutation in a letter)

Aloha wau ia 'oe

I love you
(Note  wau is with a soft "v")

E hana me ka ha`aha`a

Let us work with humbleness

`Ehia ou makahiki?

How old are you?

E kala mai

Please excuse me

E `olu`olu `oe/ `Olu`olu

Please

E pili mau na pomaika`i ia `oe

May blessings ever be with you

Hana hou

To do again, encore

Hana me ka lima

To work with the hands

Hau`oli la hanau

Happy Birthday

Hau`oli la ho`omana`o

Happy Anniversary

Hau`oli makahiki hou

Happy New Year

He mea iki

You're welcome

Hele aku

Go away

Hele mai

Come (in my direction)

Hele mai a`i

Come here and eat

Ho`oponopono

To set things right, amend, rectify

I mua

Go forward

Ka makani `olu `olu

Refreshing, perfect wind

Kukakuka

Let's talk story

Mai `ai

Come and eat

Mai hea mai?

From where?

Mai iloko mai

That which is within matters

Makemake oe

I desire you, I miss you

Maui nui a kama

All of Maui that belongs to Kama

Me ka aloha

With love

Me ka aloha pumehana

With kindest regards; warm aloha
(An appropriate close in a letter)

Mele kalikimaka

Merry Christmas

Moi inoino

Restless sleep

Moi moi a

Inability to sleep

No ka `oi

The best (this follows a noun)

`Okole maluna

Bottoms up (toast)

`Olelo mai

Speak to me

Pa`u hana

Quitting time, after work

Pa`a ka waha

Observe, be silent and learn
(If words are exiting your mouth, wisdom cannot come in)

Welina

A greeting of affection
(Can be used as a salutation in a letter)

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PIDGIN

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Pidgin is defined by the dictionary as a simple language with an elementary grammar used as a means of communication between people speaking different languages.
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Hawaiian pidgin began during the plantation days when white owners had to communicate with Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese laborers.
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Hawaiian words make up most of pidgin's non-English vocabulary.
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Local people tend to look down on outsiders trying to speak pidgin.
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English and Hawaiian are the co-official languages of the State of Hawaii.
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The Hawaiian House of Representatives has given pidgin an official sanction.

 

PIDGIN EXPRESSIONS

Pidgin

English

Any kine

anything

Ass right

that's right

Ass wy

that's why

Beef

fight

Brah

friend; brother

Brok da mout

delicious

Bus nose

bad smell

Cheeckin skin

gives you goose bumps

Cockaroach

steal

Da kine

whatever the speaker wishes it to mean

Geevum

go for it!

Grind

to eat

Grinds

food

Howzit

How are you?

Make ass

make a fool of yourself

Mo' bettah

this is better

O wot?

or what?

Poi dog

a mutt

Shaka

All right!

Sleepahs

rubber slippers

Stink eye

dirty looks



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