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Hawaiian Words & Expressions
Originally an oral tradition, the Hawaiian language was codified by Protestant missionaries in 1822. The alphabet consists of twelve letters made up of five vowels (a, e, i, o, u), seven consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w) and the 'okina is a glottal stop, designated by a single quote mark or apostrophe. There are also seven dipthongs
(AE, AI, AO, AU, EI, EU, OU).
Vowels are pronounced in "European" fashion (ah, eh ee, oh, oo); consonants are pronounced as in English.

Typically, each vowel is pronounced individually. For example, Humunukuapuaa (the State fish of Hawaii) is pronounced humu·humu·nuku·nuku·apu·a·a

Also see · The Hawaiian alphabet in Wikipedia
  · Count to Ten!

Ae (eh) allowed
Kapu (kah·poo) prohibited; forbidden

Aloha a'ina; aloha kai (a·loh·ha ay'nah, a·loh·ha kī)
"Love the land; love the sea"
This summarizes Hawaiian philosophy. It's an original expression of ecology. When you live on an island, you are aware of, and appreciate, the resources and limitations that nature offers.

He mea 'ole (hay may·ah 'oh·lay)
is how you say you're welcome, as in when you've been thanked for doing someone a favor.
You can also simply reply with mahalo.

Hau'oli (how·oh·lee)
is happy, glad
Hauʻoli lā hānau (how·oh·lee lah hah·now)
is how to say Happy Birthday. Now all you need is a cake!

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (how·oh·lee mah·kah·hee·kee ho)
is how you say Happy New Year. Cheers!

Honu (hoh·new) is a turtle

One of the best places for turtle watching is along the Northwestern shores of Maui, between Kaanapali and Honolua Bay. They like to hang out in coves and reef-protected waters, including the waters directly in front of Kahana Reef.

By the way, turtles are protected in Hawaii, and while swimming with them is allowed, it's illegal to touch or harass them in any way. Violations can result in a hefty fine up to $25,000!


Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (hu·mu·hu·mu·nu·ku·nu·ku·a·pu·ah'·ah)
is the State Fish of Hawaii.
Known as a "humuhumu" for short, but we think it's more fun to call it by it's full name.

A species of triggerfish, they have a variety of color schemes. They are very common in Hawaiian waters, and if you have ever snorkeled here you've seen them. In Hawaiian, the name means "fish that grunts like a pig" for the sound it makes when caught.


Kai (kī [rhymes with 'eye']) Sea, ocean.
The islands are surrounded by kai

Kapu (kah·poo) prohibited; forbidden
Ae (eh) allowed

Ka pua (kah poo·ah) flower
So many beautiful ka pua can be found in Hawaii

(lah) day
(poh)  night

Lahaina (Lah·hī·nah) Cruel sun

Mahalo (mah·ha·low) means thank you.
One of the nicest words in any language.

Maikaʻi wau (my·kah ee wow)
I am fine (as in response to "how are you?")
See Pehea 'oe

Manawa (mah·nah·wah) Time
Maui time seems very slow. When you stat to enjoy it, then it goes very quickly

Manu (mah·new) is Hawaiian for bird
We have about five species that are residents at Kahana Reef, with guest appearances by several others.

Mauka (mau·kah) adj., adv
toward the mountains; inland
You'll hear this word often in Hawaiian weather reports when they talk about "mauka showers" which means showers are forecast inland or in the mountains.

Mele Kalikimaka (may·lay kah·lee·kee·mah·kah)
is how you say Merry Christmas. If you've ever been to Hawaii for Christmas you know how much more "laid back" the celebration is than on the mainland.
The peaceful Hawaiian-style Christmas is wonderful!

Moana (moh·ah·nah) and Kai (Kī)
are the Hawaiian words for ocean. There's plenty of Moana to see from our condo at Kahana Reef.

Napoʻo ʻana o ka lā (nah·poh·oh ana oh ka la)
is a long way to say sunset.
No two are alike, but maybe we'll stick to the english word for it

Nani (nah·nee) Pretty, beautiful

Ono (oh·no) Delicious
It's also the name of a local fish that is 'ono' in it's own right.

Palaoa (pah·lah·o·wah) is Hawaiian for whale. A Humpback Whale, to be precise. That's the primary whale species seen in Hawaii mid-December thru mid-April.

Pali (pah·lee)

Pehea 'oe (peh·hay·ah o·way)
How are you?     
See Maikaʻi wau for a response

Pō (poh)  night
(lah)  day

Pono (·no)
Just; goodness; right   (i pono = good)



U'i (oo-ee) means beautiful.
U'i is the perfect description for Kahana Reef's setting. It's not just peaceful and private — it has u'i views of Lanai, Molokai, and Oahu, and the waters in-between.
And now, from the 'how to win new friends and impress people' department,
you can
Count to Ten in Hawaiian:

  0 - 'ole
1 - 'ekahi
2 - 'elua
3 - 'ekolu
4 - 'eha
5 - 'elima
6 - 'eono
7 - 'ehiku
8 - 'ewalu
9 - 'eiwa
10- 'umi
  A glottal stop (') at the beginning of a Hawaiian word simply indicates a sharp 'attack' at the very beginning of the word.


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