Popular Hawaiian Words and Phrases ...

The 5 vowels a,e,i,o and u as well as the 7 consonants h,k,l,m,n,p, and w make up the entire Hawaiian alphabet. In the Hawaiian language a consonant is always followed by a vowel which also means all Hawaiian words end in a vowel.

Names and words are more easily pronounced when they are broken down into single syllable chunks. Take the name of Hawaii’s state fish, humuhumunukunukuapua’a, and pronounce it hu-mu-hu-mu-nu-ku-nu-ku-a-pu-a-a.  Phonetically pronounced who-moo-who-moo-new-coo-new-coo-ah-poo-ah-ah. Sometimes the letter W is pronounced the same as V as in the traditional pronunciation of Hawai'i which is phonetically pronounced huh-vi-ee rather than huh-why-ee.

 

Stressed vowels

a - ah, as in car: aloha

e - a, as in may: nene

i - ee, as in bee: honi

o - oh, as in so: mahalo

u - oo, as in spoon: kapu Unstressed vowels

a - a, as in about: ali`i

e - eh, as in met: kane

In the Hawaiian language a symbol directly over a vowel called a kahakô indicates that the vowel sound is to be elongated. A apostrophe like symbol called an `okina indicates a quick pause in the word, as in "ah-ah" for the word a`a. Note: These Hawaiian vocabulary words have not been written with the use of the correct kahakô markings due to the absence of a Hawaiian Font.

 

Follow the other links in this series for popular Hawaiian phrases and words. Keep in mind we can not list every word translation. Tip: A trick if you are looking for a specific word translation is to depress the control key and the letter "f" key at the same time. It will bring up a find box. Type in the English word you would like a translation for and click the find next button. If the word is translated on this page it will bring you to it.

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