English and Hawaiian are Hawai'is two official languages. Until the arrival of American
missionaries in the early 1800s the Hawaiian language was an oral tradition. These
missionaries helped create a written form of the language. It consists of five vowels and
seven consonants: a, e, i, o, u, h, k, l, m, n, p and w.
'A ina (eye-nah) Land.
Alii (ah-LEE-ee) A Hawaiian chief; a member of the chiefly class.
Aloha (ah-LOW-ha) Hello, goodbye, or a feeling or the spirit of love, affection, or kindness.
Hale (hah-leh) House or building.
Hana (ha-nah) Work.
Hana hou (ha-nah-HO) To do again.
Haole (how-leh) foreigner; Caucasion.
He`iau (hey-ee-ow) Hawaiian temple.
Hula (hoo-lah) The story-telling dance of Hawai`i.
Imu (ee-moo) An underground oven.
Kahuna (kah-HOO-na) A priest or minister; someone who is an expert in a profession.
Kai (kigh) The sea.
Kalua (KAH-loo-ah) Cooking food underground.
Kama`aina (kah-ma-EYE-nah) Long-time Hawaiian resident.
Kane (kah-neh) Boy or man.
Kapu (kah-poo) Forbidden, taboo; keep out.
Keiki (kay-key) Child or children.
Kokua (koh-koo-ah) Help.
Kona (koh-NAH) Leeward side of the island; wind blowing from the south, southwest direction.
Lanai (lah-NIGH) Porch, veranda, patio.
Lei (lay) Necklace of flowers, shells, or feathers.
Limu (lee-moo) Edible seaweed
Lomi (loh-mee) To rub or massage; lomi salmon is raw salmon rubbed with salt.
Lu`au (loo-ow) Hawaiian feast; literally means taro leaves.
Mahalo (mah-hah-low) Thank you.
Makai (mah-kigh) Toward the sea.
Malihini (mah-lee-hee-nee) A newcomer, visitor, or guest.
Mauka (mow-kah) Toward the mountain.
'Ohana (oh-hah-na) Family.
'Ono (oh-no) Delicious, the best tasting.
Pali (pah-lee) A cliff.
Paniolo (pah-nee-oh-low) Hawaiian cowboy.
Pau (pow) Finish, end, etc., Pau hana means quitting time from work.
Poi (poy) Pounded kalo (taro) root that forms a starchy paste.
Pono (poh-no) Goodness, excellence, correct, proper.
Pua (poo-ah) Flower, blossom.
Pupu (poo-poo) Appetizer, snacks, or finger foods.
Wahine (wah-hee-nay) Woman.
Wai (why) Fresh water.
Wikiwiki ( wee-kee-wee-kee) To hurry up, very quick.
Video Courtesy of the Kauai Visitors Bureau