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Hawaiian Language Consonants
Pronounce P K as in English but with less aspiration. Pronounce H L M N as in English. W after I and E is usually pronounced like V, but after U and O usually pronounced like W; initially and after A, it can be pronounced like V or W.
Hawaiian Language Vowels
Each of the 5 Hawaiian vowels is generally uniform with some exceptions such as:
A like A in far, tar; also like UH. E like AY in bay, lay; also like E in bet; I like Y in city; also like E in Eve O like O in no, so U like OO in moon; also like U in true.
A pronounced: ah as in "star" as in the Island word ALOHA
E pronounced: ey as in "stay" as in the Island word LEI
I pronounced: ee as in "see" as in the Island word HAWAII
O pronounced: oh as in "glow" as in the Island word MAHALO
U pronounced: oo as in "soon" as in the Island word HONOLULU
Beautiful eyes - Maka nani
Beloved - Ke aloha
Beloved Child - Lei aloha
Brother - Kaikunane
Child - Kamali'i
Close friend - Hoapili
Close to heaven - Pili lani
Companion - Hoahele
Darling - Ipo
Faithful - Ho'opono
Father - Makuakane
Favorite - Punahele
Forever - Mau Loa
Friend - Hoaloha
Goddess of hula - Hi'iaka
Handsome - Nohea
Heavenly - Lani
Heavenly adornment - Wehi lani
Heavenly child - Lei lani
I love you - Aloha au ia'oe
With love - Me ke aloha
Just for you - Nau wale noLively eyes - Maka 'eleu
Lofty sacred one - Ka'iu lani
Loveliness - Nohea
Married Man - Kane male
Married woman - Wahine male
Mother - Makuahine
My beloved - Ku'u lei
My desire - Ku'u 'I'ini
My love - Ku'u aloha
My love is yours - Nau ko'u aloha
My sweetheart - Ku'uipo
Never ending - Pau o'le
Precious or beloved - Hiwahiwa
Princess - Kamali'i wahine
Protected by heaven - Malu lani
Sister - Kaikuahine
Son - Keiki kane
The attractive one - Hiwa lani
The first born - Hiapo
The pretty one - Ka nani
The strong one - Kanunu
Uncle - Makuakane
When planning you're special "Hawaii themed event" remember to use "Vacation Postcards" featuring a "Hawaiian Beach" or "Hawaiian Nature theme". The old classic line that saids; "Wish You Were Here..!" written on the front side of your postcards is always a great opening line to any "Hawaiian Luau" or Hawaiian Party Invitation".
You can use one of the "Hawaiian Greeting Phrases" posted below when writing any details such as the Parties date and location of you're "Hawaii themed Party". For that "Once in a Lifetime" special gathering, a most memorable touch to you're Hawaiian Party Invitation can be to create your own "Airline ticket package", presented as; "Good for one free trip to Paradise". You can write all of your Hawaiian party details directly on the ticket so that the destination, departure and arrival times along with any of your other Hawaiian Party info is clearly displayed. You can create you're very own special "Luau Invitations" and "Hawaiian Party Invitations" to be simple or elaborate but one thing is for sure, you and you're guests will remember this special Hawaiian event for many years to come.
Hello "Aloha" pronounced: (ahh-low-haa)
Good Morning "Aloha Kakahiaka"
pronounced: (ahh-low-haa kahkah he ahh kah)
Good Afternooon "Aloha 'Auinala"
pronounced: (ahh-low-haa ahh-uh-e nah lah)
Good Evening "Aloha Ahiahi"
pronounced: (ahh-low-haa ahh-he ahh-he)
Come to our Wedding "Hele Mai 'Oe I Ko Maua Male 'Ana"
pronounced: (heh-lee my oye e coe ma-uhh-ah ahh-na)
Happy Birthday "Hau'oli la Hanau"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee la ha-now)
Happy Anniversary "Hau'oli la Ho'omana'o"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee la ho-o-ma-na-o)
Happy Sweet 16 "Hau'oli Momona 'Umi Kumaono"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee mo-mo-na oo-me ku-ma-o-no)
Happy Retirement "Hau'oli la Ho'omaha loa"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee la ho-o-ma-ha low-a)
Happy Holidays "Hau'oli Lanui"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee la-new-ee)
Happy Thanksgiving "Hau'oli La Ho'omakikai"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee la ho-o-ma-key-kah-ee)
Merry Christmas "Mele Kalikimaka"
pronounced: (may-lay ka-lee-key-ma-ka)
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
"Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou"
pronounced: (may-lay ka-lee-key-ma-ka how-oh-lee ma-ka-hee-key ho)
Happy Hanukkah "Hau'oli Hanukaha"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee ha-new-ka-ha)
Happy Kwanzaa "Hau'oli Kawanaka"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee ka-wa-na-ka)
Happy New Year "Hau'oli Makahiki Hou"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee ma-ka-hee-key ho)
Happy Hanukkah and New Year
"Hau'oli Hanukaha me ka Makahiki Hou"
pronounced: (how-oh-lee ha-new-ka-ha how-oh-lee ma-ka-hee-key ho)
I Love You "Aloha Au Ia 'Oe"
pronounced: (ahh-low-haa ow e-ahh-oye)
All My Love "Aloha Nui Loa"
pronounced: (ahh-low-haa new-e low-ah)
To My Love "Ia Iho Ke Aloha"
With Love and a Kiss "Ka Honi Mai Me Ke Aloha"
Warm Love and Affection "Aloha Pumehana"
Beloved "Ke Aloha"
My Beloved "Ku`u Lei"
Thanks be to God for this Day "Mahalo E Ke Akua No Keia La"
May there be Love between Us "Aloha Kakou"
Sweetheart you are so Precious "Ko Aloha Makamae E Ipo"
Tuna, especially yellow-fin tuna. Tuna is often served raw as "Poke" (Hawaiian), or as "Sashimi" (Japanese).
chief, chiefess, king, queen, noble. Hawaiian nobility.
Like many Hawaiian words, "Aloha" has a variety of meanings. As a greeting it means "Hello" or "Goodbye". When used as a noun it means, Compassion, Mercy, Love, Lover, Grace or Kindness. As an adjective it can mean, Beloved, Kind or Charitable. As a verb it means "To Love", "To have Pity" or "To Venerate". When doubled as in; "Alohaloha", it means, "To make Love", express Gratitude, Affection, Compassion or to "Give Thanks".
(also see: )
A house or building as in; "Haleakala" (House of the Sun).
"Work""as in; "Pau Hana" (finished work). Also the name of a popular town on Hawaiian Island of Maui.
HAOLE (also see: hau'oli )
Caucasian, American or English. Can mean any foreigner. Also the anme of non-indigineous plants of foreign origin.
To be "Happy, glad or joyful" as in;
"Hau'oli Makahiki Hou" meaning; "Happy New Year..!" or
"Hau'oli Lahanau" meaning; "Happy Birthday..!"
Coconut cream pudding, made famous as a staple at Hawaiian picnics.
An ancient religious Hawaiian site.
To remove or take off.
Again, new, fresh or more. A HUI HOU
"Till we meet again..."
Club, association or gathering of people. Also can mean to join, unite, introduce or meet someone.
Traditional Hawaiian dance distained by the early missionaries but revived by King Kalakaua and performed widely throughout the world and featured acroos all the Hawaiian Islands today. Traditionally a slow dance involving the hands which are used to tell a story.
Hawaii's popular State Fish also known as the "Reef Triggerfish". To pronouce it phonetically, it's "two Humu's", "two Nuku's, followed by a "pua'a".
Sea, Sea water or area near the Ocean. Also the name of a Hawaiian Fish as well as used to designated a famous district east of Honolulu known as; "Hawai'i Kai".
Using Pig in Hawaiian cuisine by the shredded of pork wrapped in "Ti" leaves and cooked in an underground earth-oven called an "Imu", with the aid of pre-heated volcanic rocks water. Kalua is traditionally the main food at any Hawaiian Luau.
"Born of the Land". A Host, native, or of local origin. To be acquainted or familiar with. An important part of Hawaiian culture and native traditions. Being a "Kama'aina", doesn't necessitate one having to be born in Hawaii. It's interpreted more as an individuals attitude about the land, people and lifestyle of the Hawaiian Islands.
A bark-based tree cloth that ancient Hawaiians used in making their clothes, sails and as a type of fabric for many household purposes.
Taboo, forbidden or sacred. Posted on someone's gate or property it means: "No Tresspassing".
A plant with long, broad leaves which has always been very important in the Hawaiian culture. It has and still is used for clothes, cooking, making leis, wrapping packages, and as a key ingredient in Hawaiian traditional medicine.
To enter or go in. To join a class, group or organization.
KU (also see: Lono, Pele)
A Tahitian god who sometimes appears in Hawaiian legends.
Meaning "Light". It is also the name of Hawaii's State Tree, better known as the "Candlenut tree". The burning of the nuts of this tree provided the early Hawaiians with light and they still provide oil and are used for medicinal purposes today. The Kukui tree is considered an ostentatious display of wealth and good fortune.
Heaven, spiritual, or majesty as in: 'Iolani" Palace.
"House of Heaven" or Hotel.
A closed or open garland or wreath of flowers, leaves, shells, ivory, feathers, nuts, beads, paper or other materials worn around the neck or on the head. To put a lei on someone. A beloved child, sibling, spouse or sweetheart (because children are often carried on the shoulders with their legs draped down on both sides like a lei). Leis are very important in Hawaiian culture and there is a complicated ettiquette associated with them. "Never" refuse one. Never give a "Closed" lei to a pregnant woman, as this is considered extremely bad-luck towards the unborn child.
Far, distance, length, height (Mauna Loa) very, very much (Mahalo Nui Loa)
LONO (also see: Ku, Pele)
A Hawaiian god whom Captain Cook was mistaken for on his first visit, to the captain's great short-term benefit and eventual undoing.
To rub, press, massage. Lomilomi salmon is salt cured salmon that has been soaked and "massaged" (to get rid of some of the salt) then chopped up and mixed with chopped tomatoes, green and white onions. Goes great with poi. Traditional fare at a luau.
A hole, pit, grave, or crater. A lua is a hole that has a bottom, contrasted with a puka which is a perforation. Also: a toilet.
LUAU (also see: lua, Kalua, pig, lomilomi, salmon
A traditional Hawaiian feast which usually features Pig slow cooked underground. A local favorite and very popular tourist attraction in Hawaii.
Thank You... As in; "Mahalo Nui Loa", meaning "Thank you very much..."
MAHI MAHI (also see: nai'i)
A Hawaiian fish, small dolphin like in appearance. A favorite fish to eat and served at most restaurants in the Hawaiian Islands.
MAKAI (also see: mauka)
Toward the sea, ocean or downslopes.
Stranger or newcomer. Someone who isn't a "Kama'aina" or of local origin.
Spiritual or supernatural power.
MAUKA (also see: makai)
Toward the inland, hills, upslopes or mountain area. Can be frequently heard on Hawaiian Weather Reports as in the island phrase; "Windward and Mauka showers".
Cut off, or made short. A loose gown, so called because in their haste to get the ladies covered up, the missionaries designed them without a yoke so they could be made faster. Today Mu'u Mu'u dresses are among the most popular evening apparel for women. Designs range from casual to very formal and elaborate. Customarily worn on Friday's in Hawaii to celebrate the "Aloha Spirit" and traditionally has a flower print design.
Porpoise and/or Dolphin.
The Hawaii State Bird also known as the Hawaiian goose and related to the Canada Goose. Once endangered, it is now recovering with populations growing slowly on on The Big Island and Maui. It has adapted itself to life in the harsh lava country by transforming its webbed feet into a claw-like shape and modifying its wing structure for shorter flights. Hunting and wild animals almost destroyed this species until they were protected by law and a restoration project established in 1949.
Much, big, alot as in; "Mahalo Nui Loa" (Thank You very much) or "Aloha Nui" (Much Love).
Family, relatives, to be related as in; "'Ohana nui" menaing "Extended family or clan". Also used to describe a team, fellowship or community.
The buttocks. Can be used as a compliment of in a derrogatory way just as in English.
To speak, use words, speech, talking, language as in; "'Olelo Hawai'i", (the Hawaiian language)
Good, delicious. Frequently used in the half Hawaiian half English slang term; "Ono-licious" (Ono & Delicious).
PAHOEHOE (also see: 'a'a-)
A smooth unbroken ropey formation of lava, compared with 'A'a which is chunky. 'A'a and Pahoehoe are Hawaiian words which have been adopted by geologists around the world to refer to specific types of lava formation.
"Crazy-Weed", numbing tobacco, other wise known as marijuana.
China, or Chinese.
Meaning "Cliff" as in the "Na Pali Coast": ("Cliffs along the Coastline"), cliffs of Kauai or the "Pali Lookout" on the Hawaiian Island of O'ahu.
Finished, all done, As in: "Pau Hana" (finished work).
PELE (also see: Ku, Lono)
Red-eyed Hawaiian Goddess of the Volcano(s), said to reside in Kilauea, the currently active Volcano on "The Big Island of Hawaii".
To burst out, crack open, or break forth. Also known as the Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana), which is often used as a jam.
Hawaiian cuisine made of taro root (locally grown) and pounded into a paste. Poi ferments as it ages and is considered best if it is at least 4- hours old. It is considered a bland side-dish for eating with salted food and fish as well as a food staple of many people in Hawai'i. Its taste is frequently compared humorously to that of wallpaper paste. Usually in short supply because of high demand and limited cultivation.
Snail or appetizer. Formerly the fish, chicken or bananna served with kava.
Giant trevally, pampano or jackfish. A favorite sporting and edible fish in Hawaiian waters.
Female, woman or wife. Also the name of some of Hawaii's Sports and Athletic teams.
Fast, quick or to "hurry up..." Name given to the tram shuttles at the Honolulu International Airport (HNL), as well as a convenience store chain located on the Big Island of Hawaii.p>
The State of Hawaii has maintained a distinctive culture and heritage as well as a lyrical language which has recently experienced a revival throughout the islands. Even with residents whose heritage in not Polynesian, the common use of traditional terms is most predominant in their everyday vocabulary. It is quite rare to encounter a non-Hawaiian language street name anywhere in the Islands making map reading for the Tourist or Visitor challenging unless you can readily recall the 12 - 15 letter names and 5 - 7 syllables while you are searching for road signs and directions.
Another challenge is that most words seem to start with K or W and end in I or A making them virtually indistinguishable to most newcomers. Many Word, People and Place names in Hawaii are dauntingly long and challenging to pronounce unless you view them as a string of shorter words linked together into a longer descriptive and complete sentence. Listed below are a few useful suggestions to help your experience of Hawaii feel more like a local or native.
"Aloha", recognized around the world as the most popular Hawaiian Greeting means much more than "Hi" or "How are you..?" or "See you later". Aloha means to share the breath of life or the essence of existence. The second most popular of the Hawaii spoken words is "Mahalo" meaning "Thank You" throughout the islands. The traditional name for visitor's or foreigners who are non-native is "Haole", a term generally given to light or white Caucasian folks. Kapu is the Hawaiian word for taboo, which may include sacred or forbidden geological areas, archaeological sites or religious practices known and respected within the traditional island Culture. There are a great many more of these than any visitor might ever realize as they are just not discussed or shared as a matter of common course.
The first Sugar Cane plant came to the Islands of Hawaii with the Polynesian settlers but the early technology for making sugar was imported from China. Over the next 150 years, Hawaii created one of the most evolved Sugar Cane production facilities in the world. Today, there are only two Sugar Cane operations left in the State, one on Kauai and the second one on the island of Maui. Water, both fresh and salty has always been an understandable obsession for the local islander people and the Hawaiian's were no exception. This is reflected in their preoccupation in the vast number of longer words and names that incorporate Wai (fresh water) and Kai (sea or salt water) into the base of the language. The Hawaiian word for Wealth is Wai Wai equating the reverence for Water with wealth.
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