Hawaiian (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi), along with English, is an official language of the U.S. State of Hawaii. Hawaiian is a Polynesian language, and has many cognates with other Polynesian languages such as Māori, Tongan, and Samoan.
The Hawaiian alphabet has just 13 letters: the vowels are A, E, I, O, and U, and the consonants are H, K, L, M, N, P, and W. The remaining letter (also a consonant) is ʻ which is called the ʻokina, and represents a glottal stop, a short pause like before each syllable of English "uh-oh". You will find these at the beginnings of words or in between vowels. When you see a glottal stop, don't let the syllables run into each other; instead, pause for a very brief moment and continue with the word.
In addition, a macron (straight line over vowel, called a kahakō) indicates a long vowel. When you see a macron, draw out the vowel for a little longer than you would a normal vowel.
The ʻokina and kahakō are sometimes omitted; this is very common on street signs. While this can make some words ambiguous, if you're not a professional linguist studying Hawaiian it's unlikely to cause any problems.
a is pronounced "ah" - like the "a" in "father".
e is pronounced "eh" - like the "e" in "hello".
i is pronounced "ee" - like the name of the English letter "e".
o is pronounced "oh" - just like the English "o".
u is pronounced "oo" - like the "oo" in "food".
All consonants in Hawaiian are pronounced like their English counterparts, with the exception of w, which is pronounced both like the English "w" and like the English "v", changing the "wuh" sound to a "vuh" sound.
Diphthongs in Hawaiian can be tricky. You must make sure that there is not a glottal stop between the vowels - if there is, you do not blend the vowels, but instead insert a pause between them. If there is no glottal stop, however, just blend the vowels together in most cases.
aa, ee, ii, oo, and uu are not pronounced differently than their single forms. "aa" is pronounced the same as "a".
ae is pronounced like the English "I".
ai is pronounced by saying "Eye-ee".
ao is pronounced "Ah-oh".
au is pronounced like the English "ow" - like what you say when you're hurt.
ea is pronounced "Ey-ah". (like a long "a" followed by ahhh)
ei is pronounced "Ey-ee".
eo is pronounced "Ey-oh".
ia is pronounced "Ee-ah", but you can get away with saying "Ya".
ie is pronounced "Ee-ey", but you can get away with saying "Yay".
io is pronounced "Ee-oh", but you can get away with saying "Yo".
oa is pronounced "Oh-ah".
oe is pronounced "Oh-ey".
oi is pronounced "Oh-ee".
ou is pronounced "Oh-oo".
ua is pronounced "Oo-ah".
ue is pronounced "Oo-ey", but you can also say the word "way" and you'll be pretty close.
ui is pronounced "Oo-ee".
uo is pronounced "Oo-oh", but you can also say the word "whoa" and you'll be pretty close.
- Aloha. (ah-LO-ha)
- Hello. (informal)
- Aloha. (ah-LO-ha)
- How are you?
- Pehea ʻoe? (pey-HEY-ah OH-ey)
- Fine, thank you.
- Maikaʻi, mahalo. (my-KAI-ee, ma-HA-lo)
- What is your name?
- ʻO wai kou inoa? (oh vy KO EE-no-ah)
- My name is ______.
- ʻO _____ ko'u inoa.(oh _____ KO-oo EE-no-ah)
- Nice to meet you.
- Ua maika'i ko kaua hui 'ana (OO-ah my-KAI-ee ko COW-ah HOO-ee AH-na)
- ʻOluʻolu. (OH-loo-OH-loo)
- Thank you.
- Mahalo. (ma-HA-lo)
- You're welcome.
- He me iki ia/Me pu oe. (HAY may EE-kee EE-ah/MAY poo OH-ey)
- ʻAe. (eye)
- ʻAʻole. (AH-oh-lay)
- Excuse me. (getting attention)
- E ia nei. (EY EE-ah NAY-ee)
- Excuse me. (begging pardon)
- Noi kou kala. (NO-ee KO-oo KA-la)
- I'm sorry.
- E kala mai iaʻu. (ey KA-la my YA-oo)
- A hui hou. (AH HOO-ee HO-oo)
- Goodbye. (informal)
- Aloha. (ah-LO-ha)
- I can't speak Hawai'ian [well].
- . ( )
- Do you speak Hawai'ian?
- ʻOlelo Hawaiʻi ʻoe? (OH-leh-lo ha-VY-ee OH-ey)
- Is there someone here who speaks English?
- ʻOlelo Pelekania kekahi? (OH-leh-lo peh-leh-ka-NEE-ah kay-KA-hee)
- Kōkua! (KO-koo-ah)
- Look out!
- E akahele! (EY ah-ka-HAY-lay)
- Good morning.
- Aloha kakahiaka. (ah-LO-ha ka-ka-hee-AH-ka)
- Good evening.
- Aloha ahiahi. (ah-LO-ha AH-hi-AH-hi)
- Good night.
- Aloha pō. (ah-LO-ha PO)
- Good night. (to sleep)
- Pō maikaʻi. (PO my-KAI-ee)
- I don't understand.
- ʻAʻole maopopo. (AH-oh-lay MA-oh-po-po)
- Where is the toilet?
- Ma hea ka lua? (ma HAY-ah ka LOO-ah)
- Leave me alone.
- Haʻalele koʻu hoʻokahi. (HA-ah-lay-lay KO-oo ho-oh-KA-hee)
- Don't touch me!
- ʻAʻole pā koʻu! (ah-OH-lay PA KO-oo)
- I'll call the police.
- E hea mākaʻi ana au! (EY HAY-ah MA-ka-ee ah-na ow)
- Mākaʻi! (MA-ka-ee)
- Stop! Thief!
- Hoʻopau! ʻAihue! (HO-oh-pow! AY-hoo-ey)
- I need help.
- Kōkua pono au. (KO-koo-ah PO-no ow)
- It's an emergency.
- Ulia pōpilikia. (oo-LEE-ah PO-pee-lee-kee-ah)
- I'm lost.
- O lilo au. (oh LEE-lo ow)
- I lost my bag.
- ʻEke koʻu lilo au. (EY-kay KO-oo LEE-lo ow)
- I lost my wallet.
- ʻEke kālā koʻu lilo au. (EY-kay KA-LA KO-oo LEE-lo ow)
- I'm sick.
- O maʻi au. (oh MA-ee ow)
- I'm injured.
- O ʻālina au. (oh AH-lee-na ow)
- I need a doctor.
- Kauka pono au. (KOW-ka PO-no ow)
- Can I use your phone?
- Kou kelepona hoʻohana au? (KOU kay-lay-PO-na HO-oh-HA-na ow)
- ʻOle (OH-lay)
- ʻEkahi (ey-KA-hee)
- ʻElua (ey-LOO-ah)
- ʻEkolu (ey-KOH-loo)
- ʻEhā (ey-HAH)
- ʻElima (ey-LEE-ma)
- ʻEono (ey-OH-no)
- ʻEhiku (ey-HEE-koo)
- ʻEwalu (ey-VAH-loo)
- ʻEiwa (ey-EE-vah)
- ʻUmi (OO-mee)
- ʻUmi kūmākahi (OO-mee KOO-ma-KA-hee)
- ʻUmi kūmālua (OO-mee KOO-ma-LOO-ah)
- ʻUmi kūmākolu (OO-mee KOO-ma-KOH-loo)
- ʻUmi kūmāhā (OO-mee KOO-ma-HAH)
- ʻUmi kūmālima (OO-mee KOO-ma-LEE-ma)
- ʻUmi kūmāono (OO-mee KOO-ma-OH-no)
- ʻUmi kūmāhiku (OO-mee KOO-ma-HEE-koo)
- ʻUmi kūmāwalu (OO-mee KOO-ma-VAH-loo)
- ʻUmi kūmāiwa (OO-mee KOO-ma-EE-vah)
- Iwakālua (ee-vah-KA-loo-ah)
- Iwakālua kūmākahi (ee-vah-KA-loo-ah KOO-ma-KA-hee)
- Iwakālua kūmālua (ee-vah-KA-loo-ah KOO-ma-LOO-ah)
- Iwakālua kūmākolu (ee-vah-KA-loo-ah KOO-ma-KOH-loo)
- Iwakālua kūmāhā (ee-vah-KA-loo-ah KOO-ma-HA)
- Iwakālua kūmālima (ee-vah-KA-loo-ah KOO-ma-LEE-ma)
- Kanakolu (ka-na-KOH-loo)
- Kanahā (ka-na-HA)
- Kanalima (ka-na-LEE-ma)
- Kanaono (ka-na-OH-no)
- Kanahiku (ka-na-HEE-koo)
- Kanawalu (ka-na-VAH-loo)
- Kanaiwa (ka-na-EE-vah)
- Hanele (ha-NAY-lay)
- ʻElua haneli (ey-LOO-ah ha-NAY-lee)
- ʻEkolu haneli (ey-KOH-loo ha-NAY-lee)
- ʻElima haneli (ey-LEE-ma ha-NAY-lee)
- Kaukani (kow-KAH-nee)
- ʻElua kaukani (ey-LOO-ah kow-KAH-nee)
- Miliona (mee-lee-OH-na)
- Piliona (pee-lee-OH-na)
- Hapalua (ha-pa-LOO-ah)
- Hapa iki (ha-pa EE-kee)
- Hou (HO-oo)
- i kēia manawa (ee KAY-ee-ah ma-na-VAH)
- mahope aku (ma-HO-pay AH-koo)
- mua (MOO-ah)
- kakahiaka (ka-ka-hee-AH-ka)
- ʻauinalā (ow-EE-na-LA)
- pō (PO)
- one o'clock AM
- hola ʻekahi AM (HO-la ey-KA-hee AH-moo)
- two o'clock AM
- hola ʻelua AM (HO-la ey-LOO-ah AH-moo)
- ten o'clock AM
- hola 'umi AM (HO-la OO-mee AH-moo)
- awakea (ah-vah-KAY-ah)
- one o'clock PM
- hola 'ekahi PM (HO-la ey-KA-hee PEE-moo)
- two o'clock PM
- hola 'elua PM (HO-la ey-LOO-ah PEE-moo)
- ten o'clock PM
- hola 'umi PM (HO-la OO-mee PEE-moo)
- aumoe (OW-mo-ey)
- ____ minute(s)
- ____ minuke (mee-NOO-kay)
- ____ hour(s)
- ____ hola (HO-la)
- ____ day(s)
- ____ lā (LA)
- ____ week(s)
- ____ pule (POO-lay)
- ____ month(s)
- ____ mahina (ma-HEE-na)
- ____ year(s)
- ____ makahiki (ma-ka-HEE-kee)
- i kēia lā (ee KAY-ee-ah LA)
- nehinei (nay-HEE-nay-ee)
- ʻapōpō (ah-PO-po)
- this week
- kēia pule (KAY-ee-ah POO-lay)
- last week
- mua pule (MOO-ah POO-lay)
- next week
- aʻe pule (AH-ey POO-lay)
- Poʻakahi (po-ah-KA-hee)
- Poʻalua (po-ah-LOO-ah)
- Poʻakolu (po-ah-KOH-loo)
- Poʻahā (po-ah-HA)
- Po'alima (po-ah-LEE-ma)
- Po'aono (po-ah-OH-no)
- Lāpule (LA-poo-lay)
Note: Days of the week begin on Monday.
- Ianuali (ee-AH-noo-ah-lee)
- Pepeluali (pay-pay-loo-AH-lee)
- Malaki (ma-LA-kee)
- Apelila (ah-pay-LEE-la)
- Mei (may-EE)
- Iune (ee-OO-nay)
- Iulai (ee-OO-ly)
- ʻAukake (ow-KA-kay)
- Kepakemapa (kay-pah-kay-MA-pa)
- ʻOkakopa (oh-ka-KOH-pa)
- Nowemapa (no-vay-MA-pa)
- Kekemapa (kay-kay-MA-pa)
Dates are written like so: O ka lā (day) kēia o (month) o (year)
This translates in English to "On the (day) day of this (month) of (year)".
Example: To write "June 19, 2007", you would write O ka lā 19 kēia o Iune o 2007.
- ʻeleʻEle (EH-lay-EH-lay)
- keʻokeʻo (KAY-oh-KAY-oh)
- ʻāhinahina (AH-hee-na-hee-na)
- ʻulaʻula (OO-la-OO-la)
- polū (po-LOO)
- melemele (MAY-lay-MAY-lay)
- ʻōmaʻomaʻo (OH-ma-oh-ma-oh)
- ʻalani (ah-LA-nee)
- poni (PO-nee)
- makuʻe/palaunu (ma-KOO-ey/pa-LA-oo-noo)
- ʻākala (AH-ka-la)
- kaʻa (KA-ah)
- kaʻa ʻōhua (KA-ah OH-hoo-ah)
- kaʻaahi (ka-AH-hee)
- mokulele (MO-koo-lay-lay)
- paikikala (PY-kee-ka-la)
- mokokaikala (mo-ko-KY-ka-la)
Bus and train
- How much is a ticket to ________?
- Kumu kūʻai o kikiki i ________? (KOO-moo KOO-eye o kee-KEE-kee i ________?)
- One ticket to ________, please.
- ʻEkahi kikiki i ________, ʻoluʻolu. (ey-KA-hee kee-KEE-kee ee ________, OH-loo-OH-loo)
- Where does this train/bus go?
- ʻAuhea kaʻa ʻōhua/kaʻaahi nō hele ai? (ow-HAY-ah KA-ah OH-hoo-ah/ka-AH-hee NO HAY-lay eye)
- Where is ________?
- ʻAuhea ________? (ow-HAY-ah)
- Show me on the map.
- Hōʻike koʻu i palapalaʻāina. (HO-ee-kay KO-oo ee pa-la-pa-la-EYE-na)
- alanui (ah-la-NOO-ee)
- Turn left.
- Huli hema (HOO-lee HAY-ma)
- Turn right.
- Huli ʻākau (HOO-lee AH-kow)
- straight ahead
- i mua pololei (ee MOO-ah po-lo-LAY)
- Towards the mountain.
- Mauka (MOW-kuh)
- Towards the sea.
- Makai (mah-k-EYE)
- Akau (ah-KOW)
- Hema (HAY-ma)
- Komohana (KO-mo-HA-na)
- Hikina (hee-KEE-na)
- i luna (ee LOO-na)
- i lalo (ee LA-lo)
- huina (hoo-EE-na)
- Kaʻa ʻōhua! (KA-ah OH-hoo-ah)
- Take me to _________ please.
- Lawe aʻu i _________ ʻoluʻolu. (LA-vay ah-oo ee _________ OH-loo-OH-loo)
- How much does it cost to go _________?
- Kumu kūʻai i hele i _________? (KOO-moo KOO-eye ee HAY-lay ee _________?)
- Leave me there, please.
- Hoʻi aʻu laila, ʻoluʻolu. (HO-ee AH-oo LY-la, OH-loo-OH-loo)
- Are there any rooms available?
- Kekahi lumi hāmama? (kay-KA-hee LOO-mee HA-ma-ma)
- How much is the room?
- Kumu kūʻai o lumi? (KOO-moo KOO-eye oh LOO-mee)
- Does the room come with...
- Lumi aia maloko... (LOO-mee EYE-ah MA-lo-ko)
- ... bedsheets?
- hāliʻi moe? (HA-lee-ee MO-ey)
- ... a bathroom?
- he lua? (he LOO-ah)
- ... a telephone?
- he kelepona? (he kay-lay-PO-na)
- ... a TV?
- he kelewikiona? (he KAY-lay-vee-kee-OH-na)
- I will stay for ____ nights.
- Au noho no ____ pō. (AH-oo NO-ho no ____ PO)
- Wake me at ________.
- Hoʻāla aʻu ________. (ho-AH-la AH-oo ________)
- I am checking out.
- Au kaha waho. (ow KA-ha VA-ho)
- Do you accept American/Canadian/Australian money?
- ʻĀpono ʻAmelika/Kanaka/ʻAukekulelia kālā? (AH-po-no ah-may-LEE-ka/ka-NA-ka/ow-kay-koo-lay-LEE-lee-a KA-la)
- Do you accept British pounds?
- ʻĀpono Pelekane paona? (AH-po-no pay-lay-KA-nay pa-OH-na)
- Do you accept euros?
- ʻĀpono ʻEulopa kālā? (AH-po-no EH-oo-LO-pa KA-la)
- Do you accept credit cards?
- ʻĀpono hōʻaiʻē kāleka? (AH-po-no HO-eye-EY KA-lay-ka)
- Can you change money?
- ʻOe loli kālā? (OH-ey LO-lee KA-la)
- Where is an ATM (Automated Teller Machine)?
- ʻAuhea mīkini panakō? (ow-HAY-ah MEE-kee-nee pa-na-KOH)
- Table, please.
- Pākaukau, ʻoluʻolu. (PA-kow-kow, OH-loo-OH-loo)
- Menu, please.
- Papa kuhikuhi mea ʻai, ʻoluʻolu. (PA-pa KOO-hee-KOO-hee MAY-ah EYE, OH-loo-OH-loo)
- I'm vegetarian.
- O mea ulu ʻai wale nō au. (oh MAY-ah OO-loo eye VA-lay NO ow)
- ʻaina kakahiaka. (EYE-na ka-ka-hee-AH-ka)
- ʻaina awakea. (EYE-na ah-vah-KAY-ah)
- ʻaina ahiahi (EYE-na AH-hee-AH-hee)
- moa (MO-ah)
- pipi (PEE-pee)
- iʻa (EE-ah)
- puaʻa hame (poo-AH-ah HA-may)
- naʻaukake (NA-ow-KA-kay)
- waiūpaʻa (vy-OO-pa-ah)
- hua (HOO-ah)
- lau ʻai (LA-oo eye)
- mea ulu (MAY-ah OO-loo)
- he mea ulu i mea ai (hay MAY-ah OO-loo ee MAY-ah eye)
- palaoa (pa-la-OH-ah)
- palaoa hoʻopāpaʻa (pa-la-OH-ah HO-oh-PA-pa-ah)
- nulu (NOO-loo)
- laiki (LY-kee)
- pāpapa (PA-pa-pa)
- kope (KO-pay)
- kī (KEE)
- wai (VY)
- ka wai mai ka mea ulu mai (ka VY MY ka MAY-ah OO-loo MY)
- pia (PEE-ah)
- waina (VY-nah)
- paʻakai (pa-ah-KY)
- black pepper
- pepa (PAY-pah)
- waiūpaka (vy-OO-pa-ka)
- Kuene! (koo-AY-nay)
- Check, please.
- Pila kīkoʻo, ʻoluʻolu. (PEE-la KEE-ko-oh, OH-loo-OH-loo)