Hawaii Language – Hawaii Native Language

Words and Phrases of Hawaii Language

Hula Dance - Maui Royal Lahaina Resort Hotel
English and Hawaiian are two official languages in the Hawaii State. Therefore most Hawaii’s residents speak English and some Hawaii native language.

Hawaiian native culture is beautiful and romantic. So many famous movies and Hawaiian songs include some presentations of Hawaiian native language. Today most Hawaii’s residents, including people came from US mainland and other countries, speak some Hawaiian in their daily life.

The alphabet of Hawaii language consists of only 12 letters: five vowels – a, e, i, o, u, and seven consonants – h, k, l, m, n, p, w. Every syllable ends in a vowel, every vowel is pronounced.

The following table lists some common and useful Hawaiian words and phrases that you will often hear in Hawaii.

A E H I K L M N O P U W Phrases

Glossary of Hawaiian Words
Hawaiian Pronunciation English Meaning
A
ahi ahee fire
‘ahi ahee tuna fish
‘ai aye yes
ai eye eat
akamai ah-kah-my smart, intelligent, knowledgeable
‘alana ah-lah-nah church
‘alani ah-lah-nee orange
alanui al-lah-noo-ee road, street
ali’i ah-lee-ee the old royalty of Hawaii
aloha ah-low-hah hello, love, goodbye
aloha’ole ah-low-hah-ohlay without love
‘anakala ah’-nah-kah’-lah uncle
‘anake ah-nah-keh’ aunt, aunty
aole ah-oh-lay no
auwe ow-way alas, woe

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Hawaiian Pronunciation English Meaning
E
‘eha ay-ha pain
‘elima ay-lee-mah five
‘elua ay-lew-ah two
H
halakahiki hah-lah-kah-hee-kee pineapple
halau hah-lau school
hale hah-lay house
haole how-lay Caucasian, foreigner
hapa hah-pah half, part
hauoli how-oh-lee happiness
he’i hey-ee papaya
heiau hey-ee-au temple
hoaloha ho-ah-low-hah friend
holoholo ho-low-ho-low ride around/walk around for fun
honi ho-nee to kiss
hoku ho-koo star
honu ho-new turtle
honua ho-new-ah land, earth
hui hoo-ee union, corporation, club
huhu hoo-hoo angry
hukilau hoo-kee-lau fishing festival, community fishing
hula hoo-lah Hawaiian dance, to dance

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Hawaiian Pronunciation English Meaning
I
ia ee-ah he, she, it
i’amaka ee-ah-ma-kah raw fish
‘i’i ee-ee tiny
iki ee-kee a little bit
imu ee-moo underground oven used to cook luau pig
inu ee-new to drink
ipo ee-po sweetheart
iwi ee-vee bone
K
ka’alawema’i ka-a-lah-vay-ma-ee ambulance
kai kye sea, ocean
kahuna ka-hoo-nah priest
kala kah-lah money
kalua kah-loo-ah to bake underground
kamaaina kah-mah-eye-nah old-timer, local
kane kah-nay man
kapa kah-pah tapa, bark cloth
kapu kah-poo keep out
kaukau kow-kow food
keiki kay-kee child
kokua ko-koo-ah help
L
la lah Sun, day, light
lanai lah-nye porch
lani lah-nee sky, heaven
lei lay necklace of flowers
lua loo-ah bathroom
luau loo-ow feast

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Hawaiian Pronunciation English Meaning
M
mahalo mah-hah-low thank you
ma’ika’i mah-ee-kah-ee good, fine
malihini mah-lee-hee-nee newcomer, stranger
mele may-lay song
muumuu moo-oo-moo-oo Hawaiian long, loose dress
N
nalu nak-loo wave, to surf
nanea nah-nay-ah relaxing, fascinating
nani nan-nee lovely
niu nee-oo coconut
nui noo-ee big (mahalo nui = big thanks)
O
ohana oh-hah-nah family
ola oh-lah life, health
ono oh-no delicious, sweet taste
opu oh-poo belly, stomach
P
pakalaki pah-kah-lah-kee unlucky
pali pah-lee cliff
paniolo pah-nee-oh-low Hawaiian cowboy
pau pow finished
pilialoha pee-lee-ah-low-ha close friendship
pilikia pee-lee-kee-ah trouble
poi poy pounded taro root
puka poo-kah hole
punee poo-nay-ay couch
pupu poo-poo hors d’oeuvre
pupule poo-poo-lay crazy
U
ua oo-ah rain
W
waha wah-hah mouth, speech
wahine wah-hee-nay woman, girl, female
wai why fresh water
wikiwiki wee-kee-wee-kee quickly

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Some Hawaiian Phrases
Hawaiian Pronunciation English Meaning
Hele mai hey-lay my Come here
Komo mai e noho iho ko-mo my ay no-ho ee-ho Come in and sit down
No ke aloha no kay ah-low-hah For love
Aloha ahiahi ah-low-hah ah-hee-ah-hee Good evening
Aloha kakahiaka ah-low-hah kah-kah-hee-ah-kah Good morning
Aloha nui oe ah-low-hah noo-ee-oh-ay Greatest love to you
Hauoli la hanau hah-oo-oh-lee-lah hah-nah-oo Happy Birthday
Hauoli Makahiki Hou hah-oo-oh-lee man-kah-hee-kee ho-oo Happy New Year
Pehea oe? pay-hay-ah oh-ay How are you?
Ma’i ka’i mah-ee-kah-ee I am fine.
Ua kaumaha au oo-ah cow-mah-hah ow I am sorry.
Aloha wauia oe ah-low-hah vow-ee-ah oh-ay I love you.
Mele Kalikimaka may-lay kah-lee-kee-mah-kah Merry Christmas
Owai kau inoa? oh-why kah-oo ee-no-ah What is your name?

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