What writing system(s) does this language use?
Hawaiian uses the Latin alphabet, just like English. However, it only uses the letters a, e, i, o, u, h, k, l, m, n, p, w. The five vowels (a, e, i, o, u) use macrons, which are lines written over the letter to make the sound longer (ā, ē, ī, ō, ū). There's also the ʻokina, which looks like this: ʻ. It tells you that you should put a short break between two letters, like the short pause you hear in the word uh-oh.
How many people speak this language?
There are about 200 native speakers of Hawaiian. There is a total of about 27,000 people who can speak Hawaiian. Many people are starting to learn Hawaiian, especially little kids, who learn Hawaiian at special schools. Some of these children learn Hawaiian and English at the same time, so they become bilingual.
Where is this language spoken?
Hawaiian is mainly spoken in Hawai'i. Most of the people who live on the island of Ni'ihau are native speakers. There are also some speakers on the mainland United States.
What is the history of this language?
Hawaiian has been spoken in Hawaii since 1000 A.D.
What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?
|Aloha||Hello, goodbye, love|
|Aloha kakahiaka||Good morning|
|Aloha awakea||Good mid-day|
|Aloha ʻauinalā||Good afternoon|
|Aloha ahiahi||Good evening|
|Pehea ʻoe||How are you?|
|Aia i hea?||Where?|
|Aloha wau iā ʻoe.||I love you.|
|ʻAʻole pilikia.||No problem.|
- ke kai - the sea
- ka moana - the ocean
- ke kupuna - the grandparent/ancestor
- ka mele - the song
What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?
ʻEkolu Mea Nui
|ʻEkolu Mea Nui
ʻEkolu mea nui ma ka honua
|Three Greatest Things
Three important things in the world
Introduction • Glossary • Authors and Contributing • Print Version