Hawaiian language Facts 4-14-07

THE ALPHABET:

The Hawaiian alphabet has eight consonants and five vowels in words of native origin. The consonants are: H, K, L, M, N, P, W, plus the 'okina, which appears as a vertical mark. The five vowels are: A, E, I, O, U.

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SPELLING:

- Every word has at least one vowel.

- No word has two consecutive consonants.

- Words never end with a consonant.

- A common spelling mistake is the writing of one word as two, such as mahi mahi. The correct spelling of the fish is mahimahi.

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THE 'OKINA:

The eighth consonant in the Hawaiian alphabet is called the 'okina, or glottal stop. The symbol for the 'okina is a single open quote or vertical mark.

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THE KAHAKO:

The kahako is a diacritical mark, or macron, that indicates a long vowel.

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10 COMMON WORDS:

aloha (ahLOWha): encompasses many meanings including love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity; also, hello, goodbye, farewell.

Hawai'i (haVAIee): both the official name for the island known as the Big Island and for the chain of the Hawaiian Islands.

kalo (KAHlow): taro, a sacred plant considered an ancestor to the Hawaiian people.

kapu (KAHpoo): taboo, prohibited, forbidden, sacred, holy, no trespassing, keep out.

keiki (KAYkee): child, offspring, descendant, youngster, son, lad, kid, cub.

kupuna (kuuPOOnah): elder, grandparent, ancestor.

kokua (koKOOah): help, aid, assistance, assistant, associate, deputy.

mana: (MAHnah): supernatural or divine power, powerful, authority.

'ohana (OHhana): family, relative, kin group, related.

'ono (OHno): delicious, tasty, savory. (Ono, spelled without the 'okina, is a large mackereltype fish.)

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LEARN MORE:

Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library:
http://www.ulukau.org./english.php

Hawaiian Dictionary: http://wehewehe.org/

'Aha Punana Leo language program: http://www.ahapunanaleo.org/

University of Hawai'i at Hilo's College of Hawaiian Language: http://www.olelo.hawaii.edu/

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SOURCE: 'Aha Punana Leo, The Hawaiian Dictionary

 

 

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