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The Language of Hawaii

The 5 vowels a,e,i,o and u as well as the 7 consonants h,k,l,m,n,p, and w make up the entire Hawaiian alphabet. In the Hawaiian language a consonant is always followed by a vowel which also means all Hawaiian words end in a vowel.

Names and words are more easily pronounced when they are broken down into single syllable chunks. Take the name of Hawaii’s state fish, humuhumunukunukuapua’a, and pronounce it hu-mu-hu-mu-nu-ku-nu-ku-a-pu-a-a. Phonetically pronounced who-moo-who-moo-new-coo-new-coo-ah-poo-ah-ah. Sometimes the letter W is pronounced the same as V as in the traditional pronunciation of Hawai'i which is phonetically pronounced huh-vi-ee rather than huh-why-ee.

Stressed vowels
a - ah, as in car: aloha
e - a, as in may: nene
i - ee
, as in bee: honi
o - oh
, as in so: mahalo
u - oo
, as in spoon: kapu

Unstressed vowels
a - a, as in about: ali`i
e - eh, as in met: kane

In the Hawaiian language a symbol directly over a vowel called a kahakô indicates that the vowel sound is to be elongated. A apostrophe like symbol called an `okina indicates a quick pause in the word, as in "ah-ah" for the word a`a. Note: These Hawaiian vocabulary words have not been written with the use of the correct kahakô markings due to the absence of a Hawaiian Font.

Below is a sample of popular Hawaiian phrases and words. Keep in mind we can not list every word translation. Tip: A trick if you are looking for a specific word translation is to depress the control key and the letter "f" key at the same time. It will bring up a find box. Type in the English word you would like a translation for and click the find next button. If the word is translated on this page it will bring you to it.

Hawaiian Days/Months

Sunday - Lapule (lay-poo-lay )
Monday - Po’akahi (poh ah-kah-hee)
Tuesday - Po’alua (poh ah-loo-ah)
Wednesday - Po’akolu (poh ah-ko-loo)
Thursday - Po’aha (poh ah-ha)
Friday - Po’alima (poh ah-lee-mah)
Saturday - Po ‘aono (poh ah-o-no)

January - ‘Iaunuali (ee-ya-oo new-ahlee)
February - Pepeluali (pay-pay loo-ahlee )
March - Malaki (ma-la-key)
April - ‘Apelila (ah-pe-lee-la)
May - Mei (may-ee)
June - Iune (ee-oo-ney)
July - Iulai (ee-oo-la-ee)
August - ‘Aukake (ah-oo-ka-key)
September - Kepakemapa (key-pa-key-ma-pa)
October - 'Okakopa (oh-ka-ko-pa)
November - Nowemapa (No-vay-ma-pa)
December - Kekemapa (key-key-ma-pa)

Hawaiian Phrases For Hawaii Theme Party
& Luau Invitations

Invited:Kono
Invitation: Palapala kono
Date/Time: Manawa
Place: Kauwahi
Directions: 'Ao'ao
Bring: Lawe mai
Attendance: Ma’ane’i
Reply/answer: Hua loa’a
I am coming/I will come: E hele mai ana au
I am busy: Pa`ahana nõ au
Don’t forget: Mai poina!

Anniversary: La ho'omana'o
Baby: Keiki or pepe
Birthday: La hanau
Come and eat: Mai e `ai
Celebration: Ho`olaule`a
Congratulate: Ho'omaika'i
Congratulations: Ho'omaika'i 'ana
Our Wedding Day: Ko maua la male 'ana
Promotion/promote: Ho’opi’i
Retirement/retire: Ho’omaha loa
Shower: Kuaua
Wedding: Male 'ana
Wedding feast: 'Aha'aina male
Sweet Sixteen: Momona 'Umi Kumaono

Please join us: Ho'olu komo la kaua
Come celebrate: Hele mei hoohiwahiwa
Come celebrate Taylor's first birthday: Hele me hoohiwahiwa Taylor’s mua loa la hanau
Come celebrate Joe’s 30th birthday: Hele me hoohiwahiwa Joe’s 30th la hanau
Come celebrate the wedding of Bob & Sue : Hele mei hoohiwahiwa Bob a me Sue’s la male’ana
Come celebrate our wedding day: Hele mei hoohiwahiwa ko maua la male 'ana
Come celebrate Jack & Jill's 25th Anniversary: Hele me hoohiwahiwa Jack & Jill's 25th la ho'omana'o
Come celebrate George's retirement: Hele me hoohiwahiwa George's ho'omaha loa
Come celebrate Sharilyn's promotion: Hele me hoohiwahiwa Sharilyn's ho'opi'i
Come to Tiffany's baby shower luau: Hale mai Tiffany's pepe kuaua luau
Thank you for celebrating with us: Mahalo nui loa na ho'olaule'a me la kaua


Holidays Hawaiian Style

Happy Thanksgiving ~ Hau’oli La Ho’omakika’i (pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-key-kah-ee)
Happy Holidays ~ Hau’oli Lanui (pronounced how-oh-lay la-new-ee)
Merry Christmas ~ Mele Kalikimaka (pronounced may-lay ka-lee-key-ma-ka)
Happy Hanukkah ~ Hau’oli Hanukaha (pronounced how-oh-lay ha-new-ka-ha)
Happy Kwanzaa ~ Hau’oli Kawanaka (pronounced how-oh-lay ka-wa-na-ka)
Happy New Year ~ Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (pronounced how-oh-lay ma-ka-hee-key ho)
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ~ Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou
Happy Hanukkah and New Year ~ Hau'oli Hanukaha me ka Makahiki Hou
Happy Birthday ~ Hau`oli la Hanau (pronounced how-oh-lay la ha-now)
Happy Anniversary ~ Hau`oli la Ho'omana'o (pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-na-o)
Happy Retirement ~ Hau`oli la Ho’omaha loa (pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-ha low-a)
Happy Sweet 16 ~ Hau`oli Momona 'Umi Kumaono (pronounced how-oh-lay mo-mo-na oo-me ku-ma-o-no)


Popular Hawaiian Phrases

A hui hou kakou Until we meet again
Aloha kakahiaka Good morning
Aloha `auinala Good afternooon
Aloha ahiahi Good evening
Aloha `oe Farewell to you
A`ole pilikia No problem
Hana Hou! One more time!
Kipa hou mai Come visit again

Mahalo Thank you
Mahalo nui loa Thank you very much
Malu No Reserved For(This is ideal for place card settings)
Me ka `oia`i`o With sincerity
Mau Loa Forever
Nau wale no Just for you
`O wai kou inoa? What is your name?
Pomaika`i Good Luck

Hawaiian Words & Phrases to Express Love

These Hawaiian words andpPhrases are ideal for Valentines, love notes, wedding invitations, wedding announcements, wedding gift thank you notes, and to add a Hawaiian flare to any wedding ceremony. If you choose to use Hawaiian phrases be sure to also provide the English translation so the phrase and your sentiment can be understood.

'Aha'aina Male~ Wedding Feast
Aloha Au Ia 'Oe ~ I Love You
Aloha Aku No, Aloha Mai No~ I give my love to you, you give your love to me
Aloha Kaua~ may there be love between us (said to one person)
Aloha Kakou~ may there be love between us (said to more than one person)
Aloha No Au Ia 'Oe ~ I Truly Love You
Aloha Nui Loa ~ All my love
Aloha Pumehana~ warm love, affection
E Hoomau Maua Kealoha ~ May our love last forever
E Kipa Mai~ Come to me
E Ku'u Aloha~ My Love
Eia Au, Eia 'Oe ~ Here I am, here you are
Hele Mai 'Oe I Ko Maua Male 'Ana ~ Come to our wedding
Ho'i Hou Ke Aloha~ Let us fall in love all over again
Hokeo - to secretly love
Ia Iho Ke Aloha ~ To my love
Ka Honi Mai Me Ke Aloha ~ And with love is a kiss
Ke Aloha ~ Beloved
Kipona Aloha ~ Deep love

Ko Aloha Makamae E Ipo~ Sweetheart you are so precious
Ko`u Aloha ~ My Love
Ku`u Lei ~ My beloved
Ma'ane'i No Ke Aloha~ For love is here and now
Mahalo E Ke Akua No Keia La~ Thanks be to God for this day
Male 'ana ~ Wedding
Male Ana E Pili Mai Aloha Kaua~ We two will cling to love in marriage
Mau Loa~ Forever
Mea Aloha ~ loved one
Me Ke Aloha ~ With love
Me Ke Aloha Pumehana ~ With the warmth of my love
Nau ko`u aloha ~ My love is yours
Na'u `oe ~ You're mine
No Kau a Kau~ For Eternity
No Keia La, No Keia Po, A Mau Loa~ From this day, from this night, forever more
Nou No Ka `I`ini ~ I desire you
'O Ku'u Aloha No 'Oe ~ You are indeed my love
Pa'ipunahele~ An expression of love for a favorite
Pilialoha ~ To be in a bond of love

People Titles in Hawaiian

alaka’ileader
ali`i Hawaiian royalty
`anakala uncle
`anake aunt
haumana student
hoahanau cousin
hoa kula classmate
hoaloha beloved friend
hoapili close friend
kahu lio groom
kahuna priest
kahuna pule pastor
kaikamahine daughter
kaikua'ana older brother of a male
kaikaina younger brother or sister of the same sex
kaiko'eke brother in law
kaikua'ana older sister of a female
kaikunane older brother of a male
kaikuahine sister of a male
kahuna priest, skilled person, expert in a field
kamali`i children
kanaka human
kane man
kane male married man

kupunakanegrandfather, grandpa, granpa, grampy, gramps, papa, pops
kupunawahine grandmother, grandma, granma, granny, grammy, grams, nana
keiki child, children, kid, kids, offspring
keikikane son
koa soldier
kumu teacher
kupuna grandparent
ku`uipo sweetheart
lawai`a fisherman
makamaka intimate friend
makua parent
makuahine mother, mom, mama, mommy
makuakane father, dad, pa, daddy
mo`i royalty, King or Queen
mo`opuna grandchild
ohana family
paniolo cowboy
wahine woman
wahine makua sister in law
wahine male married woman
wahine male hou bride

Additional Hawaiian
Vocabulary Words

A

a`a sharp jagged lava rock
`a`ala smell good
ae yes
ahe breeze
ahi fire
ahi`ahi evening
'ahui mai'a banana bunch
`aina land, earth
'Aina Kakahiaka breakfast
alanui street
`aka`aka laugh

akahele be careful of
akamai smart, intellegent
aloha is a greeting used to say hello or goodby. Aloha can also mean love.
anuanu cold
anuenue rainbow
a'ole - no
`auinala afternoon
`aumakua family guardian spirits
apolima bracelet
awakea noontime
'awe backpack

H

hahaifollow
hakaka fight
hala kahiki pineapple
halau hula troupe
hale house, building
hana work, bay
hanau give birth
haole foreigner, Caucasian
hapa mix
hapai pregnant
hapalua half
hau`oli happy
heiau ancient Hawaiian religious temple
hohono smell bad
ho`i mai come back
hoku star
holoholo to walk or travel for fun

honikiss
honu turtle
ho`okipa hospitality
ho'okomo enter, come in
ho`oku`i to join together
ho`olauna introduce
ho`olohe listen
ho`omo`a cook
ho`opono faithful
hu hu angry, agitated
hui group organization
hu'i hu'i cool
hula Hawaiian form of communication using dance
huli turn
Humuhumunukunukuapua'a Picasso triggerfish (State Fish)

I

ihunose
ikaika strong
`ilio dog

inudrink
imu underground pit oven used in luau

K

ka'aautomobile
kahakai beach
kahiko traditional, old, ancient
Kohala humpback whale
kai ocean, ocean water
kala dollar, money
kalo taro
kama`aina native-Hawaiian or long-time resident
kama'a 'ole barefoot

kapa moe blanket
kapu forbidden, sacred
kaukau food
kini aluminum can
koa strong, soldier, native acacia tree
kui to string as a lei
kokoke close, near, almost
kokua help, cooperation
kono invite

L

lama pa'ipa'i cocktail
lanai porch, veranda
lanakila to have victory
lani heavenly
laulima cooperate
lei garland of flowers, leaves, nuts, or shells

lewa air
lima arm (body part)
limu seaweed
lole 'au'au bathing suit
lolo crazy
lua bathroom, toilet
lu`au feast
luakini temple for human sacrifice

M

mahalothank you
mahimahi dolfin fish
mahina moon
maika`i good
makaainana commoner
makahiki Ancient Hawaiian celebration held annually with sports and religious festivities
maka`ika`i tour, sight see
makai towards the ocean
makana gift
malihini newcomer, visitor
mana spiritual power
mana`o think
mauka inland, towards the mountains

maunamountain
maunu bait
mele song, sing
menehune mythical elf like people who are rumored to have inhabited the Hawaiian islands before Polynesians
moe'uhane dream
moku island
mokulele airplane
moana ocean, sea
mo`o lizard, reptile water spirit
mu’umu’u long and loose fitting dress

N & O

na`au pretty
nai'a dolphin
nani beautiful, enjoyable
napo'o 'ana o ka la sunset
nene endangered Hawaii native goose
niu coconut
nohea handsome, loveliness

olahealthy, alive
`olu`olu nice, pleasant
`oma`ima`i not feeling well
`ono delicious
`opala trash

P

pa`akikistubborn
pahoehoe smooth lava
palama palm tree
pa'i palaoa cake
pali cliff
pau done, completed
pinao dragonfly
pipi cow
pohaku stone, rock
poi pounded taro root

pololihungry
pomaika'i good fortune/good luck
pu`iwa surprise
puka hole
pulehu cook over hot coals
pulelehua butterfly
punahele favorite
pupu appetizer, snack
pupule crazy
pu`u hill, cinder cone

U & W

ua rain
ue cry
u`i youthful looking, beautiful
uku pay
ukulele stringed instrument, small guitar

wa`acanoe
wai water (not salt water)
wikiwiki quickly, fast
wiwi skinny