Hawaii's Language

The Hawaiian language was developed from an unknown South Pacific Polynesian language closely resembling regional languages like Tahitian, Marquesan and Samoan. Named after the largest island in the archipelago, Hawaiian is the native tongue of Hawaii and was established by King Kamehameha III in 1839. Despite its history and breadth (once spoken by 500,000 people), the Hawaiian language has been almost completely taken over by English. In fact, on 6 of the 7 islands of Hawaii, the number of Hawaiian native speakers is less than 0.1% of the national population. Much of the disappearance of Hawaii language can be attributed to its acquisition by the USA in 1959, becoming America's 50th state.

Hawaii - Hula Girls

The Hawaiian language is made up of an alphabet that has only 13 letters - 5 vowels and 7 consonants. Hawaii's modern alphabet is derived from a Latin script and consists of the vowels A, E, I, O and U and the consonants H, K, L, M, N, P and W. The Hawaiian language alternates vowels and consonants with all words ending in a vowel. Each consonant must be followed by a vowel. Below are some basic words and phrases of the Hawaiian language as well as some numbers to get you started. As most of the Hawaiian population speaks English, you shouldn't need to know very much of the Hawaiian language but it can be fun to use it when you're visiting, even just to see the look on the locals faces.

Hawaiian Basic Phrases

Hello - Aloha
What is your name? - 'O wai kou inoa?
Good morning - Aloha kakahiaka
Good evening - Aloha ahiahi
Welcome, come in - E komo mai
Thank you - Mahalo
Thank you very much - Mahalo nui loa
No problem, You're welcome - A'ole pilikia
Farewell to you - Aloha 'oe
Until we meet again - A hui hou kakou
Come visit again - Kipa hou mai
Forever - Mau Loa
Good Luck - Pomaika'i

Hawaiian Numbers

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

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