Intro 1 Edit

Aloha! Edit

Welcome to the Hawaiian course!

Hawaiian spelling Edit


The ʻ you will see in words like ʻae and ʻaʻole (yes and no), is called the ʻokina. The ʻokina is a glottal stop, which can be compared to the stopping of your voice between uh and oh in uh-oh. (The name of this letter literally translates to "cutting off, separation".)


The ¯ you will see in words like ʻōlelo (language, speak) and kāne (man) is called the kahakō. The kahakō prolongs a vowel.

It is important not to forget an ʻokina or a kahakō, because the word could have a very different meaning without them.

E Edit

Imperative E

E is used before an action to signify a command or a suggestion. When you say, "E hele!", you're telling someone to "Go!"

Vocative E

E is used before a noun (usually a person) to indicate that the person is being addressed.

Ex. Mahalo, e Kawika. (Thanks, Kawika.) ➜ You are saying thanks to Kawika.


Mahalo is taught in this skill to express gratitude, to say "thank you", but it can also mean "to admire".


You may be familiar with the word lei as a noun but you'll notice that the word "lei" in this skill can also be used as a verb. This is quite common in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.

Determiners Edit

Determiners Edit

Ke vs. Ka

"Ka", "Ke" and "Nā" are determiners that can sometimes be translated as "the". Use ke when the noun that follows begins with the letters K, E, A, or O. Use ka with almost all others! This is commonly referred to as the KEAO rule. Warning: there will be exceptions (don't worry, we'll let you know which ones they are!).

Plurals: nā

Nā is only used to say "the" when the noun is plural. Certain words like "wahine" are pronounced with a longer "ā" when plural and hence spelled with a kahakō (macron), "wāhine".

Kēlā & Kēnā

"Kēlā" and "Kēnā" both mean "that". The difference is kēlā refers to "that" which is away from the listener and kēnā refers to "that" which is near the listener. Cultural note of interest: Hawaiians are keenly aware of space and time.

So in terms of distance from the speaker, remember this order: kēia - kēnā - kēlā. (this - that (near the listener) - that over there)

Greetings and Goodbyes Edit

Aloha Edit

Aloha is used to express the feeling one feels when greeting someone or departing (it may be love, sorrow, joy, etc.). Therefore, this greeting of "aloha" always includes the speaker because "aloha" begins with the one who says it.

Personal Pronouns Edit


ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi has a few extra pronouns, in this skill you are introduced to two pronouns used for "we" which includes the listener. Think about it like, kāua = "you and I" = "WE 2" and kākou= "all of you and me" = "WE ALL". Eventually, you will learn that we also have two more pronouns for we that exclude the listener (māua and mākou).

ʻo ia

The subject pronouns "he" and "she" are always marked with the subject marker ʻo.

Polite Expressions Edit

"Mai" directs the action toward the speaker and follows the action. "Mai" can also follow a few of the verbs in the Intro skill; hele, ʻōlelo and lei.

Personal Detail Edit

ʻO wai

"ʻO" marks the proper noun subject but is also part of this particular grammatical structure.

ʻO wai kou inoa. literally means "Who is your name?".

'Ohana Edit

No tips and notes for 'Ohana

Weather Edit


This "O" without the ʻokina (glottal stop) means "of".


The "i" used in this skill is used to mark a time phrase.


Polalauahi translates to "vog, haze" or the adjectives "voggy, hazy". Vog (don't confuse it with fog) is a contraction of volcano smog; it refers to the air pollution caused by a volcano.

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