How to speak Hawaiian

People in Hawaii really do say "Aloha" and other Hawaiian terms on a regular basis. This is not a gimmick done just for he tourists.
The Hawaiian language is a dialect of the Polynesian tongue. The alphabet only has 12 letters - A, E, I, O, U and H, K, L, M, N, P and P. Every word ends in a vowel. Here are some words that are a must to know before you make a trip to the islands.

Aloha (uh-LOW-hah) - used in place of hello and goodbye. Also the dominant philosophy of the islands, roughly translating to love - of self, of others, of celebration, and of the natural wonders that Hawaii offers.

Kane (KAHNN-ee) - a man

Wahine (Wah-HEE-Nee) - a woman

Mahalo (muh-HAH-low) - thank you

Lanai (luh-NIE) - name of one of the Hawaiian islands. Also is the Hawaiian term for what main-landers would call a balcony.

Lei (LAY) - a necklace made of fragrant flowers strung together. Traditionally used to say hello, goodbye, thanks, or to celebrate nearly anything.

Luau (lew-OW) - A Hawaiian feast typically held on a beach. Not to be confused with a lua(a toilet).

Haole (HOW-lee) - Derogatory slang term for main-landers.

Kahuna (kuh-HOO-nah) - A Hawaiian priest and wise man knowledgeable about man things. Today, the term is often used to refer to an individual equally skilled in the fine arts of heavy partying (i.e. ?The Big Kahuna?).

 The Hawaiian language is hard to master. It is unlike the English language in almost every aspect. Here are some tips in pronunciation to get you through the day.

P,k - same as in English but with less aspiration
h, l, m, n - same as in English
w - after I and e usually like v ; after u and o usually like w ; after a like v or w.

a  like a in above
e like e in bet
I like y in city
o like o in sole
u like oo in moon

a, a~ like a in far
e like e in bet
e~ like ay in play
I, I~ like ee in see
o, o~ like o in sole
u, u~ like oo in moon

( ~ means a - over the letter)

Here are some words to practice:

Hana ( hah-NA) means work, to labor. It also the name of a famous bay on Maui

LikeLike (leakee-leakee) means alike, similar and is also the name of a highway on Oahu.

Poi (POY) is a paste made from taro root and is used in traditional Hawaiian cuisine.

Mauka ( MOW-kuh) means towards the mountains or inland.
 Here are some sentences that you could find a use for while visiting the islands.

"E hele ana au" which can mean "I was going". "I am going." "I will go."

"Ke kali nei au" which means "I am waiting."

"E hele!" which means "Go Ahead!"

"Mai hee!" which means "don't go!"

"Ko`u aloha" means "my love"

"Ua aloha au ia~ia" is "I love her."

"E Pua, hele mai!" means "Pua, come here!"

" Aloha ka~-ua" means "may there be love between you and me"

" Maika`I ia mea" means "this thing is good."

"Ua makemake nui au I ke~la~ mea." means "I liked that thing very much."


1 - kahi
2 - lua
3 - kolu
4 - ha~
5 - lima
6 - ono
7 - hiku
8 - walu
9 - iwa
10 - `umi

 As you can see, the Hawaiian language is difficult, but fun once you learn it. A person starts off with Nene (pronounced nay-nay). If you practice, you will soon be able to say the state fish, Humuhumunukuapua`a. It is a beautiful language that deserves to be preserved by not only the islanders, but everyone who has ever been to the islands and has seen the wonder that it holds.