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LESSON 1
Your first clue that people are speaking a foreign tongue is the fact that their language sounds different. Therefore, the goal of this lesson is to familiarize you with the sounds of Hawaiian to the point where you can articulate them clearly, write them perfectly and read them accurately. Pronunciation is discussed initially in order to maximize the amount of practice you will receive sounding out words in subsequent lessons, plus this initializes good pronunciation habits.

While no text can demonstrate precisely how a language is pronounced, the best we can do is provide you with as much description as possible. While information as to how Hawaiian is spoken can only help you to a point when it comes to pronouncing the language yourself, it will at least sensitize you to various phonetic properties. Concentrating on such properties while listening to fluent speech can enhance your potential to effectively mimic them.

There is no vocabulary section in this lesson, however, animal words will be used in the examples and exercises. It is good to start out learning animal words since they refer to distinctive, tangible creatures, thus their English translations are usually quite straightforward. Chances are you might see some of these animals on a daily basis, especially since terms like pelehū (turkey) double as food items. If so, may you be prompted to recall their Hawaiian equivalents.

SOUNDS
"Hānau kū‘oko‘a ‘ia nā kānaka apau loa, a ua kau like ka hanohano a me nā pono kīvila ma luna o kākou pākahi. Ua ku‘u mai ka no‘ono‘o pono a me ka ‘ike pono ma luna o kākou, no laila, e aloha kākou kekahi i kekahi."
 
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

- Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On first hear, English speakers commonly perceive Hawaiian as sounding somewhat 'repetitious', probably due to its remarkably concise inventory of sounds1. Written Hawaiian constitutes merely ½ of English's 26 letter alphabet, and spoken Hawaiian contains roughly ¼ of English's 40+ sounds! For this reason you should find Hawaiian fairly easy to pronounce, especially since all of its sounds exist in English.

Devoid of 'hiss-like2' (S/SH/CH) and guttural sounds, as well as consonant clusters, English speakers have also been known to characterize Hawaiian as sounding very 'clean' and 'fluid'. Another popular description is 'melodious', which could be attributed to the fact that vowels are more bountiful than consonants.

Whether ancient Hawaiians once had their own writing system remains uncertain, but around the islands there are several sites containing petroglyphs; pictographs that were carved into solid rock.

Some Hawaiian Petroglyphs
hawpicpetroglyphs (24K)

Little is known about these carvings. Although ostensibly semiotic, these symbols bear a striking resemblance to the symbols of Rongorongo, an ancient script from nearby Rapa Nui (Easter Island) that has never been deciphered.

Rongorongo Excerpt
hawpicrongorongo (45K)

In any case, today Hawaiian is written with the Latin alphabet, which was introduced by missionaries so that the Bible could be translated. As you probably noticed, this is the same script used to record English. For this reason, it should be quite easy for you to master writing in Hawaiian. In fact, Hawaiian writing is so straightforward that the first speakers to achieve literacy were writing flawlessly in as little as one month!

Letters of English Alphabet Used to Write Hawaiian
a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l   m   n   o   p   q   r   s   t   u   v   w   x   y   z

VOWELS
As you may have noticed, Hawaiian is written with the same five vowels as English, yet unlike English, all of Hawaiian's vowels are pronounced in one and only one way:

Vowel Pronunciation
  a "ah3" as in 'fall4'; IPA: /a/
  e "eh" as in 'bed'; IPA: /e/
  i "ee" as in 'ski'; IPA: /i/
  o "oh" as in 'so'; IPA: /o/
  u "oo" as in 'duke'; IPA: /u/

Even though the Hawaiian u and English U both sound like "oo", this does not mean they are identical, and this goes for all other vowels. Hawaiian speakers consistently articulate vowels with slightly different mouth and tongue positions than English speakers, causing the vowels to sound somewhat different. In fact, not only is the English "oo" is different from the Hawaiian "oo", both the English and Hawaiian "oo"s sound different from Japanese's "oo", which sounds different from Spanish's "oo", and so forth.

A Hawaiian speaker can detect your English accent simply by listening to the way you pronounce o. You may not realize it, but in English O is always pronounced with a W sound following it.5 This is obvious in words like 'low' or 'mow' because the W is written, but often times the W is not transliterated. Words like 'go', and 'toe' still end in a W sound, even though a W isn't included in the spelling.

In contrast, all of Hawaiian's vowels are pure, which means o does not necessarily pattern with w. Therefore, a word like no is always pronounced as "noh" in Hawaiian and never as "nohw" like it would be in English.

'no'
icontree01 (13K)
English Pronunciation
"nohw"
Hawaiian Pronunciation
"noh"

To say no, try pronouncing the English word 'no' but freeze your lips exactly midway into the utterance. The resulting sound should resemble the Hawaiian pronunciation. The key is to keep your lips still.

Less noticeably, English speakers tend to form a W at the end of "oo" and a Y after "ee", and perhaps after "eh" as well. Pay special attention to how native speakers of Hawaiian pronounce u, i and e. Make sure you are not producing them as uw, iy and ey.

LONG VOWELS
Hawaiian also has longer versions of all five vowels. Whenever you see a line above a vowel that means you should double that vowel's spoken duration. So, while u is pronounced as "oo," ū should be pronounced as "ooo." In English this line is known as a macron, but in Hawaiian it is called the kahakō.

Long Vowel Pronunciation
  ā "ahh" as in 'father'; IPA: /aː/
  ē "ehh;" IPA: /eː/
  ī "eee;" IPA: /iː/
  ō "ohh;" IPA: /oː/
  ū "ooo;" IPA: /uː/

Note that English speakers tend to hear and pronounce ē as "ay" (as in 'play') but this is incorrect; only the segment ei is pronounced as "ay." Ē is nothing more than a long "eh." Also, note that when the kahakō is put above lowercase i, it replaces the dot rather than hovering over it. Many scholars who write about the Hawaiian language still make this mistake.

Although vowel length is trivial in English, it makes a very big difference in Hawaiian; ignoring the kahakō will lead to some catastrophic miscommunications!

maka (face) māka (target)
wahi (place) wahī (wrapper)
kiha (supernatural lizard) kīhā (burp)

CONSONANTS
Hawaiian has only eight consonants. L, m and n sound more or less as they do in English, however, h, k, n, p, and w. differ slightly. There is also an additional consonant represented by a single apostrophe.

Consonant Pronunciation
  l, m, n Same as English more or less. IPA: /l, m, n/.

lio (horse)
(insect)
nūnū (pigeon/dove)
"lee   oh"
"mooo"
"nooo   nooo"

  h Some claim that the Hawaiian h is a bit stronger than the English H, resembling the H of Spanish and Arabic. IPA: /h/.

(tiny caterpillar) "hehh"

In Hawaiian, unlike English, h can go between two vowels. Make sure you pronounce h in this position. Kamehameha, the name of Hawaii's first king is pronounced "kah   meh   hah   meh hah" NOT like kameamea.

  k In general, the Hawaiian k is pronounced with less aspiration. This means that the burst of air that follows K is significantly softened. In this respect, it is more like the K in 'skit' than the one in 'kit'. If you listen closely, the K 'skit' sounds a bit harder than the one in 'kit'. English ears often have trouble telling the difference between the two, but the distinction is quite prominent to speakers of certain languages. IPA: /k/.

kia (deer) "kee   ah"

  p As with k, The Hawaiian p is less aspirated, sounding more like the P in 'spit' than the one in 'pit'.

Although p is pronounced with less aspiration from the lungs, it is accompanied by a puff air from the mouth, which causes the lips to become somewhat lax in its formation. IPA: /p/.

pea (bear) "peh   ah"

  w The Hawaiian w can resemble either an English W or a light V. When pronounced as a light V, the bottom lip gently grazes the top row of teeth.

After o or u it usually sounds like a W, probably having to do with the fact those vowels are pronounced with rounded lips. After e or i, w usually sounds like a light V. Otherwise, it is variable. IPA: /w6/ [w, v].

‘uwī‘uwī (triggerfish)
piwa (beaver)
awa (milkfish)
"-oo   weee   -oo   weee"
"pee   vah"
"ah   wah"/"a   vah"

In fact, there has been some debate over which pronunciation of 'Hawai‘i' is correct. Some people say "hah   wai   -ee," others, "hah   vai   -ee." Well, now you know that both pronunciations are completely acceptable.

   In Hawaiian, this sound is called the ‘okina (break) because it represents a short pause in the start or middle of a word. It has also been called the ‘u‘ina (snap).

In English it is called the glottal stop because it is articulated by constricting one's glottis. It is found in exclamations like 'uh-oh' and 'uh-huh'; the dash in the middle is where the glottal stop occurs. It can also be heard in the midst of the words 'button' and 'kitten' - notice how neither of these words actually contain a T sound. IPA: /ʔ/.

i‘a (marine animal) "ee   -ah"

The ‘okina cannot be capitalized. If a word beginning with an ‘okina begins a sentence or proper name, the vowel after it is capitalized instead.

Certain fonts and handwriting styles change the shape of the ‘okina from a single, reversed apostrophe () to a a straight apostrophe (') or a grave accent ().

Although the ‘okina is technically a break in speech, it is by all means a consonant. Therefore, disregarding the ‘okina in your writing or speech will lead to some significant mistranslations!

koa (warrior) ko‘a (coral)
apo (to circle) ‘apo (to catch)
a‘a (root) ‘a‘a (belt)

Until recently (post World War II), the kahakō and the ‘okina were not considered significant to Hawaiian, since they are unimportant in the English language. If you have the chance to look at old Hawaiian texts, you might not encounter them.

Genesis 1:29 of Ka Baibala Hemolele (The Hawaiian Bible)
hawpicbiblepassage (83K)
29 ¶ Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Eventually it was realized that failing to including these sounds in writing is very problematic since it results in high levels of ambiguity. For instance, when encountering a word like ia (in the last line), the reader must choose between four possible selections depending on whether it is pronounced as ia, , ‘ia, or i‘a; and since each of these individual words have multiple meanings, the translator must sift between a total of ten possible intensions!

Exercise: Writing Practice

ALPHABET & SPELLING
A good way to fine-tune your pronunciation of Hawaiian is to recite the letters of Ka Pī‘āpā Hawai‘i (The Hawaiian Alphabet). The name Pī‘āpā, was derived from the process of explaining how syllables are formed. Hawaiians were instructed "B, A: Ba" to which they repeated , ‘a, .

Every letter of the alphabet has a name that sounds close to the way it is pronounced. The order is nearly identical to the English alphabet except for the fact that all of the vowels appear initially, followed by the consonants.

Ka Pī‘āpā Hawai‘i

Hawaiian Alphabet
Pronunciation
A a
‘ā
E e
‘ē
I i
‘ī
O o
‘ō
U u
‘ū
Ā ā
‘ā kō
Ē ē
‘ē kō
Ī ī
‘ī kō
Ō ō
‘ō kō
Ū ū
‘ū kō
H h
K k
L l
M m
N n
P p
W w
‘okina

This Hawaiian alphabet song can help you remember all of the letters. It was composed by Mary Kawena Pukui, a fervent advocate of Hawaiian language and culture.

E nā hoa kamali‘i,
O fellow children
E a‘o mai kākou
Let us learn together,
I pa‘ana‘au ka pi‘apa.
Till we've memorized the alphabet.
‘Ā, ‘ē, ‘ī, ‘ō, ‘ū,
A, e, i, o, u,
Hē, kē, lā, mū, nū,
H, k, l, m, n,
‘O pī me wē nā panina,
P and w are the last two,
O ka pī‘āpā.
Of the pī‘āpā.
(Elbert 1979, 6)

A few words of borrowed origin are pronounced with these additional consonants.7 Most borrowed words conform to the sound system of Hawaiian, however, there are a few exceptions such as ‘ota (otter) and Kristo (Christ). Z commenced a handful of words, mostly from Greek (Sch�tz 1976, 87).

Hawaiian Alphabet
Pronunciation
B b
D d
F f
G g
R r
S s
T t
V v
Y y

Before the spelling of words was standardized p was often written as b, d as r or l, k as g or t, and w as v. This is because monolingual Hawaiian speakers could not hear the difference between these sounds and whenever they produced what sounded like to an English ear as a p that approximated 'b', an l that was especially 'r'-like, and so forth, English speakers spelled words as such. Thus, lilo (to be lost) could have been written as liro, rilo, riro, lido, dilo, dido, rido, or diro!

A Hawaiian Language Spelling Bee would last almost indefinitely! Because Hawaiian is written so close to how it sounds, there is little need for knowing how to spell words aloud. In fact, speakers used to spell a word simply by reciting its syllables. However, sometimes knowing how to spell can come in handy. For instance, is not clear exactly how a word like ‘aweoweo (bigeye fish) is usually spelled. One could spell it ‘aueoueo, ‘aueoweo, or ‘aweoueo.

When it comes to spelling out proper names like Hawaii, you might want to specify uppercase by saying ma‘aka after a letter, or lowercase by saying na‘ina‘i after a letter. Between words you can say hua‘ōlelo hou (new word).

hawpicstreetsign (15K)

‘okina ‘ō kō mū ‘ā ‘okina ‘ō ‘ī ‘ō

hua‘ōlelo hou

‘ā lā ‘ā nū ‘ū ‘ī

iconpdf (1K) Hawaiian Alphabet Flash Cards (.pdf)

Exercise: Spelling Practice

READING
By now you can write words you hear, and even spell them aloud, but you might find that reading them is a bit more complicated. Quite naturally, native English speakers tend to read Hawaiian as if they were reading English, perhaps pronouncing a word like liona (lion) as "lye   uhn   uh" because it looks like the English word 'lion' rather than as "lee   oh   nah."

'liona'
icontree01 (13K)
English Reading
"lye   uh   nuh"
Hawaiian Reading
"lee   oh   nah"

When most people learn how to read English they are taught phonics, which are little conventions that help them navigate spelling irregularities. For instance, phonics would dictate that the letter I is pronounced consistently as "ih" before N, in words like 'shin', 'fin', and 'pin', and as "ai" after NE, in words like 'shine', 'fine' and 'pine'.

Phonics are only necessary because English spelling is so warped. Take a look at the letter P or the sequence GH. P can be silent (as in 'psychology'), but it can also sound like F before H (as in 'philanthropy'). The sequence GH can also be silent (as in 'thought'), or it can sound like an F (as in 'laugh'), or it can even sound like a G (as in 'ghost'). In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a single letter that doesn't have an alternate pronunciation.

The main reason why English spelling is so disorganized is because while the pronunciation of words changed over hundreds of years, the way they're spelled has remained standard. However, since Hawaiian has only been written down for a couple centuries, its spelling has remained for the most part straightforward. Thus, whereas an English letter such as A can sound like "ah" as in 'tall', "ae" as in 'tack' or "ay" as in 'take' depending on what word it's found in, the Hawaiian a will always sound like "ah" no matter what the word is.

Therefore, it is important never to apply English phonics to Hawaiian words. This might prove difficult since for the average adult, knowledge of phonics has become largely subconscious. However, try to make sure you never do any of the following:

   •   change the sound of any letters
   •   add any letters
   •   ignore any letters

Exercise: Reading Practice

SYLLABIFICATION & DIPHTHONGS
Hawaiian is notorious for containing some very long words. Take humuhumunukunukuāpua‘a - the name of Hawaii's former state fish (it means triggerfish with a pig-like snout)!

The Reef Triggerfish [Rhinecanthus rectangulus]
hawpictriggerfish (20K)

This word is incredibly long, but by breaking down words into syllables you can make it much easier to pronounce. It just so happens that Hawaiian has one of the easiest syllabification patterns of any language! Every syllable within a word can only consist of a:

   1.   V: Vowel or Long Vowel
   2.   CV: Consonant + Vowel or Long Vowel

So, when broken down into syllables, humuhumunukunukuāpua‘a looks like this:

hu
CV
mu
CV
hu
CV
mu
CV
nu
CV
ku
CV
nu
CV
ku
CV
ā
V
pu
CV
a
V
‘a
CV

Now that's a lot more pronounceable!

Singers are often criticized for butchering words by reciting them in a different tempo, as in pronouncing the word honu (turtle) as hon   u - which would violate rule 1 - instead of ho   nu. Learning the syllable structure of Hawaiian will not only allow you to tackle long words, it will also make your speech more authentic sounding.

As inferable by rule 2, ordinarily a vowel cluster cannot exist inside a single syllable. A combination such as koala (koala bear) is syllabified as ko   a   la. However, certain pairs of vowels are exceptions to this rule. In each of the following vowel combinations, the sounds mix together, and as a result these pairs are actually pronounced as quickly, or perhaps near as quickly, as single vowels. These combinations9 are called diphthongs.

Diphthong Pronunciation
  ae "ah" + "eh" (no English equivalent); IPA: /ae/
  ai similar to the word 'eye'; IPA: /ai/
  ao ah" + "oh" (no English equivalent); IPA: /ao/
  au similar to the exclamation 'ow'!; IPA: /au/
  ei similar to the "ei" in 'eight'; IPA: /ei/
  eu "eh" + "oo" (no English equivalent); IPA: /eu/
  oi similar to the "oy" in 'boy'; IPA: /oi/
  ou similar to the word 'owe'; IPA: /ou/

It is important to learn the diphthongs of Hawaiian because they are syllabified as if they are single vowels, rather than as separate vowels. Thus, a two-vowel word like kao (goat) is actually only one syllable long due to the fact it contains the diphthong ao.

kao (goat) } ka   o
kao

Since some Hawaiian diphthongs are not found in English, you might have trouble telling certain pairs apart. For instance, ae and ai might sound nearly identical to you, and the same goes for ao and au.

Try pronouncing "ah" and then "eh" slowly. Increase the speed until you hear them as one. Now do this with "ah" and "ee." After a while the difference should become clearer. Repeat the process with "ah" + "oh" and "ah" + "oo."

Exercise: Syllabification Practice

STRESS GROUPS
In English, certain vowels in a word are emphasized more than others. For instance, in the word 'present', as in "I received a present," the first E is more noticeable than the second. Contrast this with the 'present' in the sentence "I present you with this." In this case the second E is more significant than the first. Accent marks are used to show which vowel is most prominent.

a présent
to presént

This property of language is called stress and it works differently in Hawaiian than it does in English. For example, an English speaker would usually stress a word like kikonia (stork) primarily on the second syllable, ko, whereas a Hawaiian speaker stresses the second-to-last syllable more, ni.

'kikonia'
icontree01 (13K)
English Pronunciation
"kih   kOHW   nee   uh"
Hawaiian Pronunciation
"kEE   koh   nEE   ah"

Fortunately you don't have to memorize how each Hawaiian word is stressed since stress occurs in patterns. Hawaiian has a rule that allows you to predict which vowels in a word receive stress.

Hawaiian Stress Rule10
Stress the second-to-last vowel of every stress group.

A stress group (sometimes called an accent unit) is just a section of a word to which the Hawaiian Stress Rule applies. Some words consist of only one stress group.

   1 stress group: nahéka (snake)

However, many other words consist of two or more. Dictionaries put periods between them to let you know where they are.

   2 stress groups: pòle.wáo (pollywog)

   3 stress groups: ‘ài.nào.náo (anteater)

It is essential to remember that the Hawaiian Stress Rule does not apply to words per say. Naheka, polewao, and ‘ainaonao are all three syllable words, but they are all stressed differently. This is because the second-to-last vowel of every stress group within each word is stressed; not the second-to-last vowel of each word itself.

It is easier to see the Hawaiian Stress Rule applying to long vowels if you think of them as sets of two identical vowels. In other words, for the purpose of assigning stress, ā is really aa, ē is really ee, and so forth.

mā.pū (baboon) = màa.púu

Generally, the last stressed vowel is the loudest of all the stressed vowels within a word.

‘ùu.híni (grasshopper/cricket) = "OOO hEE nee"
‘ùu.hìni.púle (praying mantis) = "OOO hEE nee pOO leh"

Exercise: Stress Group Practice

PREDICTING STRESS GROUPS
Normally, stress groups are not indicated in writing since the way in which a word is stressed does not affect its meaning. Hawaiian has no words like 'present' in which the meaning can change based on which vowels are stressed; all words can only be stressed in one way. In other words, unlike if you were to leave out a kahakō or ‘okina, misappropriating a word's accent will not lead to a misunderstanding; it will just cause you to sound foreign.

Fortunately though, you don't have to look up every word you encounter in the dictionary in order to find its stress groups since stress occurs in patterns. These guidelines can help you to predict where a word's stress groups lie. They only fully predict stress on words up to three syllables long, but this still lets you account for a total of 11,390,625 possible words (Schütz 1994, 20)!

Hawaiian Stress Group Guidelines

1. Every syllable with a long vowel constitutes its own stress group.

(insect) = múu
nēnē (goose) = nèe.née

2. Every syllable with a diphthong constitutes its own stress group.

pīwai (wild duck) = pìi.wái
nu‘ao (porpoise) = nu‘áo

3. 2-3 syllable words having no long vowels or diphthongs constitute their own stress groups.

manu (bird) = mánu
koloa (domestic duck) = kolóa

4. 2 syllables next to a stress group, none of which is is a long vowel or diphthong, constitutes its own stress group.

kāmano (salmon) = kàa.máno
makalē (mackerel/sardines) = màka.lée

The word nai‘a (dolphin) appears to consist of one stress group since there are no dots in the word. If this were the case it would be stressed on the i: naí‘a. However, notice how this word contains the diphthong ai. According to rule 2, it should really be stressed on the a: nái‘a. Remember that dots are only put between two stress groups. Nai‘a consists of a stress group, nai, followed by a non-stress group, ‘a. Thus, only by knowing these rules can you accurately predict where stress falls, even after you look a word up in the dictionary to find its stress groups.

nai‘a (dolphin) } naí‘a
nái‘a

While rules 1 and 2 apply to every Hawaiian word, rules 3 and 4 only apply to words under four syllables. This is why stress on words longer than three syllbles is not fully predictable; long words like pelikana (pelican) and kanakalū (kangaroo) have additional stress not predicted by these guidelines.

However, in these cases stress will usually fall on the first and second-to-last vowels of the word.

pelikana (pelican) = pèli.kána
kanakalū (kangaroo) = kàna.kalúu

The guidelines you have learned do not apply to compound words, rather, they apply to each word within a compound. The word ‘īlioholoikauaua (monk seal) seems to contain two instances of the diphthong au, but Rule 2 does not apply. This is because ‘īlioholoikauaua is a compound word and there are no diphthongs in the individual words that make it up.

‘ī.lio (dog) + holo (to sail) + i (in) + ka (the) + ua.ua (rough) = "dog that sails in the rough [seas]"

‘īlioholoikauaua (monk seal) } ‘ìilìohòloikàuáua
‘ìilìohòloikaùaúa

Exercise: Predicting Stress

FAST SPEECH
Following a fluent Hawaiian conversation might prove more difficult than you'd expect, even once you've mastered everything in this lesson. You see, the Hawaiian language undergoes a number of subtle changes when uttered rapidly.11

Some of these changes affect a large number of words, like the fact that certain vowels may change into other vowels; for instance ‘īlio (dog) can turn into ‘īliu. Other changes affect only a handful words, such as the following: a can be deleted before ‘a; for instance a word like pua‘a (pig/boar) can become pu‘a.12

Unfortunately, changes like these have not been adequately studied so there is not enough data to identify solid principles. So while it is good to be aware of their existence, you don't have to pay them much mind.

COMMON WORDS & PHRASES
Now that you know how to read Hawaiian words correctly, why don't you try sounding out these commonly used words and phrases. Memorizing them would be a good idea, since they are used so frequently.

To hear each word/phrase pronounced aloud simply click on the icon to the left. Or, you can download the actual (.wav) sound file by clicking on the word/phrase itself. These phrases were pronounced by ‘Ōiwi Parker Jones, a Hawaiian native speaker linguist.

In English, certain greetings have informal versions. For instance, one says "good bye" in seeing a person off, but just plain "bye" is common as well. Hawaiian shares this feature in that certain parts of words/phrases can be dropped in colloquial speech. Any part of a word/phrase enclosed inside parenthesis, ( ), is optional.

Common Words & Phrases
   Aloha! Hello/Goodbye
Aloha really means love, and as far as Hawaiian society is concerned both arrivals and departures are perfect times to remind one another of this pleasant emotion.

An older greeting is welina (salutations).

   Aloha wau iā ‘oe. I love you.
   (e komo) mai welcome
E komo mai really means welcome, means welcome as in "welcome to my home" and cannot be used in response to someone thanking you. Use ‘ae (yes) for that.

Literally, e komo mai means enter this way!

   Pehea ‘oe? How are you?
   Maika‘i au. I am well.
Maika‘i (good) can be replaced by a number of other states of being such as kaumaha (sad/depressed), hau‘oli (happy) māluhiluhi (tired), ma‘i (ill), etc.
   oia mau [I feel] same as always
   (e) kala mai excuse me/sorry
 • also: kala mai ia‘u
   Auē! Gosh!
Ano ‘ē! (Weird!/How strange!) is a similar interjection.
   (e) ‘olu‘olu (‘oe) please
Literally, this phrase means: be nice, you!
Whenever e ‘olu‘olu ‘oe does not begin a sentence it is pronounced with a k in front of it: ...ke ‘olu‘olu ‘oe
 • also: ‘olu‘olu mai
   mahalo thanks
   ‘a‘ole pilikia not a problem
Notice that ‘a‘ole (not), is pronounced like ‘a‘ale even though it is not written that way.

‘A‘ole pilikia is often used to express you're welcome in response to mahalo. Older speakers might say ‘a‘ohe pilikia (no problem) instead.

   ā hui hou until we meet again

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Quiz on Lesson 1

CONTENTS

1.1 Lesson 1

1.2 Sounds

1.3 Vowels

1.4 Long Vowels

1.5 Consonants

1.6 Alphabet & Spelling

1.7 Reading

1.8 Syllabification & Diphthongs

1.9 Stress Groups

1.10 Predicting Stress Groups

1.11 Fast Speech

1.12 Common Words & Phrases

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Last Updated: 06/10/2010