"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."            



Hawaiian Words and Phrases

  

   

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 Hawai'i’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. An 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 an Hawaiian font.

 

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 (good for placemats)
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



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

hahai follow
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
honi kiss
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

ihu nose
ikaika strong
`ilio dog
inu drink
imu underground pit oven used in luau


K

ka'a automobile
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

mahalo thank 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
mauna mountain
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
ola healthy, alive
`olu`olu nice, pleasant
`oma`ima`i not feeling well
`ono delicious
`opala trash


P

pa`akiki stubborn
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
pololi hungry
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`a canoe
wai water (not salt water)
wikiwiki quickly, fast
wiwi skinny




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-lo-a)

 Happy Sweet 16 ~ Hau`oli Momona 'Umi Kumaono (pronounced how-oh-lay mo-mo-na oo-me ku-ma-o-no) 

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