Getting ready to go to Hawaii for your vacation? Even though English is the primary language in Hawaii, as you travel around the islands you will see and hear many Hawaiian words that are still very much part of the local culture, so I thought it would be fun to share a few:
ALOHA -( ah-low-ha) meaning love,respect,hello or goodbye – usually a greeting can either mean hello or goodbye
Especially common when you visit the restrooms you will see Hawaiian Names for Kane -male (Mens) and Wahine– Female (Womens)
Keiki – (kay-kee) meaning child or children ( you might see at restaurants or the luau referring to the children’s menu)
‘Ohana (oh-ha-na) family – the whole family- such as ohana-style at a restaurant would be family style.
If you ask a local for directions they might direct you to go makai or mauka
Makai (ma-ky)(ky as in sky) meaning toward the sea
Mauka (mow-ka) (ow as in cow) meaning toward the mountains
‘ono (oh-no) meaning delicious or tasty , also the name of a local fish
poi (p-oy) (oy as in toy) meaning – Poi- made from cooked taro and water- the main starch used by Hawaiians, such as potatoes or rice in other cultures
lei (lay) meaning- lei or a garland, a necklace of flowers, shells,feathers and other things depending upon the occasion, usually a symbol of affection – most visitors receive a fresh orchid or other flower lei upon arrival at the airport.
lu’au (lou-aw) (ow as in cow) meaning young taro tops or a Hawaiian Feast- most common for visitors to use as in lu’au the Hawaiian Feast they will be attending at some point during their vacation, if talking about taro with someone you would refer to the lu’au leaf.
Mahalo (ma-ha-low) meaning Thank you Mahalo nui loa (ma-ha-low new-we low-ah) Thank you very much
a hui hou (ah who-ee ho) meaning until meeting again or see you later
Enjoy your vacation in Hawaii and practice the Hawaiian language when you have the opportunity.