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Learn The Hawaiian Language
English and Hawaiian are Hawaii's two official languages.
Until the arrival of American missionaries in the early 1800s, the Hawaiian language was an oral tradition. These missionaries helped create a written form of the language. It consists of five vowels and seven consonants:
a, e, i, o. u, h, k, l, m. n, p and w
Pronunciation Key
Stressed vowels
a ah. as in far: hale
e - a as in way: nene
i - ee, as in see: pali
o - oh, as in no: taro
u - oo, as in moon: kapu
Unstressed vowels
a - a, as in again: kapu
e - eh. as in get: hale
Consonants sound the same as English.
Note: Sometimes the "W" is pronounced the same as "V"
Commonly used Hawaiian words and definitions:
ae yes
ahupuaa division of land stretching from mountains to sea
aina land, earth
alii Hawaiian royalty
aloha a fond greeting or farewell , the spirit of Kauai
a hui hou until we meet again
aole no
ewa westward
halau house for hula training; hula troupe
hale house or building
hana work; bay
haole foreigner, Caucasian
hapa half, person of mixed ancestry
heiau ancient Hawaiian religious temple
huhu angry, agitated
hui group organization
hula uniquely Hawaiian form of dance, communication, often through stories
imu underground pit oven used in luau
kahiko traditional. old
Kohala humpback whale
kahuna priest, expert in a field
kai ocean, ocean water
kalo, taro a broad-leafed plant that produces starchy roots
kamaaina local or long-time resident
kane man
kapu tax, forbidden
keiki child; offspring
kipuka oasis of undisturbed land within a lava field
koa largest of native trees
kokua help, cooperation
kona leeward, leeward wind
koolau windward side of island
kupuna grandparent
lanai porch veranda
lae cape, point
lei garland of flowers, leaves or shells
lolo feeble minded
luakini temple for human sacrifice
luau feast
mahalo thank you
mahimahi dolfin,fish
makaainana commoner
makahiki celebration held annually with sports and religious festivities
makai towards the ocean
malihini newcomer visitor
mana spiritual power
mauka inland, towards the mountains
mauna mountain
menehune legendary -little people who inhabited islands before Polynesians
moku island
moana ocean, sea
moo lizard, reptile, dragon, water spirit
muumuu long and loose fitting dress
nani beautiful
nene rare native goose
ohana family
ono delicious
pahoehoe smooth lava
pali cliff. precipice
paniolo cowboy
pohaku stone, rock
poi pounded taro root
puka hole, shell
pupu appetizer, snack
puu hill, cinder cone
pupu snack, appetizer
puuhonua place of refuge
ukulele stringed instrument, small guitar
wahine woman
wikiwiki quickly
K Nai'a Palapala A'o 'lelo Hawai'i -- Ha'awina 'ekahi
Nai'a's Learn Hawaiian Writings -- Lesson One: The Basics

This is a lot of information to cover at once, so take your time! It's crucial to have a strong foundation for any further study of the language.
Ka P'p -- The Alphabet
The Hawaiian alphabet is the shortest in the world, with only 13 letters. They are, in order:
a, e, i, o, u, h, k, l, m, n, p, w, '

The names of the letters are pronounced: ', ', ', ', ', h, k, l, m, n, p, w, 'okina.
Vowels sometimes have macrons (kahak) to show that they are long (see below.)
For more on Ka P'p Hawai'i (the Hawaiian alphabet), see:
Leilani's Page, ka p'p", Hawaiian Alphabet Song,
A note on special characters: There are special fonts that one can use which have characters with kahak (macrons). Generally in plain ASCII text, e-mail &c, they are left out (though I've see a_, aa, a* and A, a~ and used to represent my version, , at various times). In these lessons, I'm using , , , , , as they are easy to read both in the Hawaiian fonts, where they are the actual macron characters, and in Times New Roman and some other common fonts, where they look like umlauts.
Both ' and ` are used for the 'okina, depending on preference. The "real" 'okina looks like a backwards apostrophe, that is, pointing in the same direction as ` and curved. The Hawaiian fonts have a special character for the 'okina as well. Personally, I think it's unnecessary, as ' gets the point across perfectly well, is much more convenient and looks fine.
In older written texts sometimes the kahako and 'okina are left out.
Get Hawaiian Fonts for both Macintosh and Windows. (Kualono page)
Here's what Leilani has to say about the diacritical marks.
a is pronounced as in "father"
e is pronounced somewhere between in "met" and ey in "they"
i is pronounced as ee in "meet"
o is pronounced as in "sole".
u is pronounced as oo in "moon".
Long vowels (, , , , ) are pronounced the same as their short counterparts only, quite sensibly, longer. For two beats instead of one, if you will. It is important to pronounce long vowels long, as this can make a difference between the meanings of two otherwise similar words.
h, l, m and n are pronounced as in English.
k, and p are pronounced as in English, but with less aspiration. Hold your hand in front of your mouth while pronouncing words like "poke" or "cap"--you should feel a little puff of air. Now try to pronounce the same words without the little puff of air (as the "p" in "spin" is usually pronounced). This will approximate the Hawaiian pronunciation.
w is pronounced somewhere in between our "v" and "w". (something like a voiced w) Don't worry about it overly, either sound is acceptable.
', the 'okina, represents a glottal stop. This sound often occurs in the middle of oh-oh (as in "oh-oh, I'm in trouble now!") in english. It can be difficult to hear in at the beginning of a word if said alone, though it is still important to remember when it occurs at the beginning of a word, as it can be clearly heard in the middle of a sentence.
Note: Sometimes "t" and "r" sounds are made in place of "k" and "l" sounds, respectively.. This is a common variation, and does not change the meaning of the words. "k" and "l" are almost always written, regardless of which pronunciation is used. The "k" and "l" sounds always go together and the "t" and "r" sounds always go together.
This is just a general guide; for more, see:
Leilani's Pronunciation page
Kualono's Pronunciation Page, with .au files
A page with .wav files of Hawaiian words
Another page with .wav files of Hawaiian words

Tidbits: Why "P'p"?
You might be wondering, hey, how the heck did they get "p'p" out of "alphabet"? The clearest explanation I've heard is from Albert Schutz, in The Voices of Eden:
"In the edition [of Webster's (english) speller, excedingly popular at the time Hawaiians were being taught to read & write] just quoted, Lesson 1 begins with a table of syllables..to be spelled aloud and then pronounced as units: ba be bi bo bu by. Thus, students began to learn to read by reciting the names of the letters and the pronouncing the syllable the letters spelled: b, : b....This practice of spelling aloud, especially using the "syllabarium," gave the Hawaiian alphabet its name. Just as American schoolchildren taught with Webster's speller began their recitation by naming the letters that formed the first syllable, and then pronouncing the result: "B, A--BA," so did Hawaiian learners. However, they pronounced these sounds "p, --p," which is now the word for "alphabet".
Vocabulary/Common Social Phrases...
'Ae - Yes
'A'ole - No
Au - I
'oe - You {singular}
Aloha kakahiaka - Good morning
Aloha 'awakea - Good afternoon
Aloha auinala - Good afternoon (late)
Aloha ahiahi - Good evening
Pehea 'oe? - How are you? (when talking to one person)
Maika'i au. - I'm good.
Maika'i n au. - I'm very good.
Maluhiluhi au. - I'm tired.
Mahalo. - Thanks, thank you.
A 'o 'oe? - And you?
A hui hou. - Goodbye, until we meet again
A hui hou aku n. - {in reply to the above}
E mlama pono 'oe (i kou kino.) - Take care (of your body.) {A common parting phrase}

E ku'u hoaaloha...
"E" is a little grammatical word that is placed in front when addressing someone directly, as used in the example dialogue below.
Example Dialogue:
Keola: Aloha kakahika, e Pua.
Pua: Aloha, e Keola. Pehea 'oe?
Keola: Maika'i au, mahalo. 'A 'o 'oe?
Pua: Mluhiluhi au. Mahalo. A hui hou, e Keola.
Keola: 'Ae, e mlama pono 'oe.
Okay, now we know letters, pronunciations, social phrases... we can get to the interesting part. Words, and words strung together into...sentences!
N 'A'ano:
akamai - smart
kolohe - rascal
maika'i - good
nani - pretty, beautiful
nui - big
'ono - delicious

N Kikino
'lio -- dog
inoa -- name
hale -- house, Building
ka'a -- car
kai -- sea
kane -- man
keiki -- child
kumu -- teacher
l -- day, sun
lani -- sky
mea -- thing
mele -- song, poem
pilikia -- trouble
ppoki -- cat
pua -- flower
wahine -- woman

he -- a, an
ke, ka -- the
kia -- this
kn -- that (near)
kl -- that (far)

Articles, k-words
"He" is somewhat equivalent to the english "a" or "an" (indefinite articles). You'll see it used in the examples below. This is one of a few patterns where it is used, more often "ke" and "ka" are used instead, even where in english we would say "a/an" or have nothing at all.
Ke and ka are both similar to the english "the" (they are definite articles). The difference between them is 'cosmetic', similar to the difference between a and an in english. Ke is used before words beginning with the letters a, e, o and k. (An easy way to remember those letters is the name "Kekoa" (which means "the warrior")) Ka is used everywhere else. Remember that the 'okina is considered a letter, so ka should be used before words beginning with the 'okina.
Hawaiian nouns almost never go about without "ke", "ka" or other "k-words" in front of them. Keia, kena and kela are also k-words, and may replace "ke/ka" in front of nouns.
Kn & Kl
Kn and kl both translate as "that" in english. The difference between them is, kn is used when discussing something near the person being spoken to, and kl is used when discussing something that's not near either the listener or the speaker. (Japanese and some other languages draw the same distinction)
Nani kia pua: N 'a'ano (the stative verbs)
Hawaiian has nothing like the english verb "to be". Different patterns and word orderings are used instead. One of the most basic of these is for describing things. In english, you say that something is pretty or blue or silly or delicious or inspiring. Here's how to do it in Hawaiian:
Nani kia pua. - This flower is pretty. (lit.Pretty this flower.)
Nui kn ppoki! - That (near listener) cat is big!
Kolohe ka 'lio. - The dog is mischevious.
Akamai loa au. - I am very smart.

As you've certainly noticed, the describing word goes first, and then whatever it's describing. In english, most of these describing words are "adjectives", but because of how they function, in Hawaiian, they're called "stative verbs".
If you just want to tack a descriptive word onto a noun, it goes after it (kind of like in Spanish).. for example:
kia pua nani - This pretty flower
kn nui ppoki - This big cat
ka 'lio kolohe - The rascal dog
Stative verbs are all well and good--we can say how blue or sexy or amazing or ugly something is--but what about verbs as English speakers usually think of verbs? In other words, let's get some action going!
N Hamani (transitive verbs)
Ha'awi -- to give
Hele aku -- to go
Hele mai -- to come
Nn -- to look
Ki'i -- to get
'Ai -- to eat
Aloha -- to love
Hana -- to work
N Kikino
Mea 'ai -- food (lit. thing (to) eat)
Puke -- book

Verb Sentences
In Hawai'i, the verb usually goes right near the beginning of the sentence. Next is the subject, that is, what/whoever is performing the action, and after that is the direct object, or what/whoever the action is being performed on (in "Lehua eats the chocolate", Lehua is the subject, eats is the verb, and chocolate is the direct object). We could say that Hawaiian is a VSO language, that is, verb-subject-object. As in any language, this is not a rigid order, but it's right for simple sentences.
Nn ke keiki -- The child looks.
Nn ke keiki i ke kai. -- The child looks at the sea.
'Ai ke kane. -- The man eats.
'Ai ke kane i ka mea 'ai. -- The man eats the food.
Ha'awi au i ka pua i ke keiki. -- I give the flower to the child.

Alia!, you're saying, wait a minute! What are those little "i" things there for? Ah, I say, those are little grammatical particles. You put them in front of the objects. Thusly, in this case, they are "object markers" (amazing, huh?). They go in front of direct objects and indirect objects. (in "I give the flower to the child", the flower is the direct object, the thing I'm giving. The child is the indirect object, the one getting the flower). "i" also functions as a place/time marker, it is placed in front of a place or time, for example:
Hele au i Hawai'i. -- I go to Hawai'i.
Nn ke keiki i ka puke i ka hale. -- The child looks at the book in the house.
'Ai au i ka mea 'ai i ka 'awakea. -- I eat food in the afternoon.
I ke kakahiaka, ha'awi au i ka mea 'ai i ka ppoki i ka hale. -- In the morning, I give food to the cat in the house.
If you're directing someone to do something, "e" is place in front of the verb.
E Lilinoe, e ki'i 'oe i ka ppoki! -- Lilinoe, get the cat!
E 'ai iho 'oe i ka mea 'ai! -- Eat the food!
E hele mai 'oe i Hawai'i! -- Come to Hawai'i!
E hele aku 'oe! -- Go! Go away!
E ha'awi 'oe i kl pua nani i ka wahine. -- Give that pretty flower to the lady.

The subject (in this case "'oe") is often left out if it is obvious. In informal situations, the "e" at the beginning is sometimes dropped as well.
There is a list of common, simple imperative commands here (Leilani's page)
Negative Imperatives
For telling someone not to do something. These are just as straightforward as the positive ones, you simply use "mai" instead of "e".
Mai hele aku! -- Don't go!
Mai 'ai 'oe i kn! -- Don't eat that!
Mai nn i ka l. -- Don't look at the sun.
 kika olelo
Nia kika olelo`a is a project/science fiction conlang begun by me (Eclipse) on the 4th of July, 1997. At the moment, the language is much more developed than the culture it belongs to, but that will change. The language also will be changing a bit as I create it, so don't count on even basic stuff to necessarily remain the same until it's a bit farther along.

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ainu lesson ,4

I want to..

English Sound Ainu
What do you want to eat? Hemanta ee rusuy ya?
I want to eat candy. Topenpe ke rusuy
What do you want to drink? Hemanta eku rusuy ya?
I want to drink tea. Oca kuku rusuy
I want to go home soon. x Tane kuhosipi rusuy
I want to rest because I am tired. Kusinki kusu kusini rusuy


English Sound Ainu
I hope it would be fine tomorrow. Nisatta sirpirka yak pirkap!
One part of a poetry below
I would be wind.., I would be bird.. Rera ta kune,... cikap ta kune,...
If I could be, ki wa ne yakun
I could meet my lover in this day. Kuyupo tananto or ta kunukar oka!

Ainu English
e- you
e eat (foods)
ki do (something)
ku- I
ku drink (beverage)
kusu in order to, because
ke < ku-e
sini take rest
sirpirka fine
sinki tired
- ta - oka (It means hope which is unlikely to realize)
tananto or ta today (It is used in verse. In usual sentense,"tanto")
tane already,no longer
cikap bird
topenpe candy
nisatta tomorrow
nukar meet (person)
ne be,become
hemanta what
hosipi go home
ya (It means question)
yak (It means condition)
yakun in case,if
yupo lover (It is used in verse to man. To woman,"tures". In usual sentense,it means older brother)
rusuy want to
rera wind
wa and
pirka good
-p (It nominalizes verb which is completed by vowel. By consonaunt, "-pe")

ainu language lesson 6

My name is..

English Sound Ainu
What is your name? Erehe mak aye?
My name is ______ Kurehe anakne ______ ne
How old are you? Epaha hempakpe an?
I am Twenty eight years old Kupaha anakne tupesan pa ikasma hotne pa ne

note Let's practice with your name and years

You see "Number"

I come from..

English Sound Ainu
Where do you come from? Hunak wa eek?
I come from Sapporo Sapporo wa kek
Do you come alone? Sinen ne eek?
I come with mother Hapo turano kek
Where do you go to tomorrow? Nisatta hunak un earpa?
I go to Biratori Biratori un karpa
Please go with me! Entura wa enkore!
Let's go! Uturano payean ro!
(To leave men)
Good bye!
Apunno paye yan!

note Let's practice with your places

dic. Number
Ainu English
a- somebody
-an we
anakne (It present subject)
apunno peaceful
arpa go(It is singular form. cf.;paye)
e- you
ek come
en- me
hempakpe how many
hunak where
karpa < ku-arpa
kek < ku-ek
kore give (them goods)
ku- I
mak how
ne be,become
ne (It means situation. cf.;sinen ne)
nisatta tomorrow
pa year
paha (one's) year
paye go(It is plural form. cf;arpa)
re name
rehe (one's) name
ro (It means temptation)
sinen one parson
sinen ne alone
tura bring (them) with
turano together with
un to (place)
uturano together
wa from (place)
wa and
ye tell

Water please!

English Sound Ainu
Water please! Wakka enkore
Chopsticks please! Pasuy enkore
Bowl please! Itanki enkore
Two bowls please! Tu itanki enkore
Here you are. x O

Please help me!

English Sound Ainu
Please put me up! x Enrewsire wa enkore
Please help me! Enkasuy wa enkore
Please take me with you! Entura wa enkore
Please wait for me! Entere wa enkore
Please show me! Ennukare wa enkore
Please tell me! Ennure wa enkore
Please say it again! Na arsuyne ennure wa enkore
Ok Pirka wa

Ainu English
arsuyne once
en- me
itanki bowl
kasuy help (them)
kore give (them goods)
na more
nukare show (them goods)
nure make (them) listen
o Here you are
pasuy chopsticks
pirka good
rewsire put (him) up (It is singular form)
tere wait (them)
tu two
tura bring (them) with
wa (the word soften them voice)
wakka water

Let's go!

English Sound Ainu
Let's go! Uturano payean ro!
Let's eat! Uturano ipean ro!
Let's talk about! Ukoisoitakan ro!
See you again! Suy unukaran ro!

Why don't you..?

English Sound Ainu
Why don't you drink water? Wakka eku hike makanak ne wa?
Why don't you wait a moment? Na atere hike makanak ne wa?

Ainu English
a- we (It is used with transitive verb. cf;-an)
-an we (It is used with intransitive verb. cf;a-)
e- you
ku drink (beverage)
hike which (person do)
makanak how
na more
ne be,become
paye go(It is plural form)
ro (It means proposal)
suy times
tere wait (them)
ukoisoitak talk with
unukar meet
uturano together
wa (the word soften them voice)
wakka water