Speak English Salon

Hawaiian English

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Recently I’ve been listening a lot to KINE 105 FM, a radio station from Honolulu, Hawaii. It offers a selection of both old and new Hawaiian songs, as well as information about what’s going on. When you listen to it, you can almost imagine that you are actually in Hawaii. (Sadly, I’m not.)

Anyways, the more I listen to KINE, the more I pick up Hawaiian words which I understand from the context. This reinforces why it’s so important for language learners to expose themselves to the language they are learning. If you study English, then try to listen to English as often as possible. With the Internet, there are no longer any excuses!

Some of the Hawaiian words and phrases I’ve picked up:

Aloha Kakahiaka – Good Morning

Aloha Auina La – Good Afternoon

Aloha Ahiahi – Good Evening

Aloha au ia ‘oe – I love you

Kala mai ia’u – Excuse me

Mahalo – Thank you

‘A’ole pilikia – You’re welcome / No problem

A hui hou – Till we meet again

Pehea ‘oe? – How are you?

Maika’i no au – I am fine

‘O ia mau no – Same as usual

‘A’ole – No

‘Ae – Yes

Pupule – Crazy

Hau’oli La Hanau – Happy Birthday

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou – Happy New Year

Mele Kalikimaka – Merry Christmas

Keiki – Child

Pili loco – Local places

Ohana – Family, relatives

Aloha – Love, compassion, affection, etc.

And here’s a good resource for Hawaiian-English dictionaries.


Author: Aonghas Crowe

Aonghas (pron. "Ennis") Crowe is an author, writer, blogger, and translator. He splits his time between Fukuoka, Japan and Beirut, Lebanon. Read more by Aonghas Crowe at www.aonghascrowe.com

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