Hawaiian Words to Learn

24 06 2015

Hawaiian Words to Know:

Here’s a handy list of simple Hawaiian words you may encounter and should learn:

‘A ina – (eye-nah) – Land.
Ali’i – (ah-LEE-ee) – A Hawaiian chief; a member of the chiefly class.
Aloha – (ah-LOW-ha) – Hello, goodbye, or a feeling or the spirit of love, affection, or kindness.
Hale – (hah-leh) – House or building.
Hana – (ha-nah) – Work.
Hana hou – (ha-nah-HO) – To do again.
Haole – (how-leh) – foreigner; Caucasion.
He`iau – (hey-ee-ow) – Hawaiian temple.
Hula – (hoo-lah) – The story-telling dance of Hawai`i.
Imu – (ee-moo) – An underground oven.
Kahuna – (kah-HOO-na) – A priest or minister; someone who is an expert in a profession.
Kai – (kigh) – The sea.
Kalua – (KAH-loo-ah) – Cooking food underground.
Kama`aina – (kah-ma-EYE-nah) – Long-time Hawaiian resident.
Kane – (kah-neh) – Boy or man.
Kapu – (kah-poo) – Forbidden, taboo; keep out.
Keiki – (kay-key) – Child or children.
Kokua – (koh-koo-ah) – Help.
Kona – (koh-NAH) – Leeward side of the island; wind blowing from the south, southwest direction.
Lanai – (lah-NIGH) – Porch, veranda, patio.
Lei – (lay) – Necklace of flowers, shells, or feathers.
Limu – (lee-moo) – Edible seaweed
Lomi – (loh-mee) – To rub or massage; lomi salmon is raw salmon rubbed with salt.
Lu`au – (loo-ow) – Hawaiian feast; literally means taro leaves.
Mahalo – (mah-hah-low) – Thank you.
Makai – (mah-kigh) – Toward the sea.
Malihini – (mah-lee-hee-nee) – A newcomer, visitor, or guest.
Mauka – (mow-kah) – Toward the mountain.
‘Ohana – (oh-hah-na) – Family.
‘Ono – (oh-no) – Delicious, the best tasting.
Pali – (pah-lee) – A cliff.
Paniolo – (pah-nee-oh-low) – Hawaiian cowboy.
Pau – (pow) – Finish, end, etc., Pau hana means quitting time from work.
Poi – (poy) – Pounded kalo (taro) root that forms a starchy paste.
Pono – (poh-no) – Goodness, excellence, correct, proper.
Pua – (poo-ah) – Flower, blossom.
Pupu – (poo-poo) – Appetizer, snacks, or finger foods.
Wahine – (wah-hee-nay) – Woman.
Wai – (why) – Fresh water.
Wikiwiki – ( wee-kee-wee-kee) – To hurry up, very quick.

Simple Secrets and Tips:

  1. The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters – the five regular vowels (a, e, i, o, and u) and seven consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w).
  2. The vowels are pronounced ah, ey, ee, oh and oo, not ay, ee, eye, oh and you like in English.
  3. Most of the time each vowel in a word is pronounced separately.
  4. Remember that all letters are pronounced.

 

There are a couple of simple tricks to help you pronounce them properly:

 

  • Hawaiian words may start with any letter, vowel or consonant.
  • Hawaiian words will never end with a consonant.
  • Syllables in Hawaiian words are only one or two letters, never longer.
  • Syllables must end with a vowel, or can be a single vowel, but can never be a single consonant.


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