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How to Speak Hawaiian


When visiting Hawaii it is useful, and polite, to learn a few basic Hawaiian words and expressions.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How:

  1. aloha - hello, goodbye, welcome, farewell, love
  2. haole - a foreigner, often referring to a Caucasian
  3. heiau - Hawaiian temple, place of worship
  4. hula - native dance of Hawaii
  5. kamaʻaina - native born citizen or local resident of Hawaii
  6. lanai - a porch, balcony or veranda
  7. lūʻau - a Hawaiian feast
  8. mahalo - thank you
  9. makai - a direction "towards the sea"
  10. mauka - a direction "towards the mountains"
  11. mele - a song or chant
  12. ʻohana - family
  13. ono - delicious
  14. pau - finished
  15. poi - crushed taro root, made into a sticky paste


  1. The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters - the five regular vowels (a, e, i, o, and u) and seven consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w).
  2. The vowels are pronounced ah, ey, ee, oh and oo, not ay, ee, eye, oh and you like in English.
  3. Most of the time each vowel in a word is pronounced separately.

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