Archive for the Category: Hawaiian


One Hawaiian word that is used in English is a’a, which is defined as “a kind of rough-surface volcanic rock” [source]. However in Hawaiian it is written ʻaʻā, pronounced [ʔəˈʔaː] and means: 1. to burn, blaze, glow; fire; staring (eyes) 2. lava; stony, abounding with ʻaʻā lava 3. Sirius (the star) 4. young stage of […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Ukuleles and machetes

Yesterday I bought myself a ukulele, something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. I already play the guitar and mandolin, and had been thinking about trying other stringed instruments, such as the ukulele, banjo and bouzouki. A while ago I saw a poster about the Bangor Uke Club / Clwb Uke Bangor and […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Language 2 Comments

Word of the day – kai

kai /kai̭/ [Māori] (verb) to eat, consume, feed (oneself), partake, devour. (noun) food, meal. Related expressions include: kai moana = seafood, shellfish wāhi kai = café, restaurant (wāhi = place) hari kai = a song to entertain visitors as food is set out (hari = joy, happiness) The Māori word kai is mentioned quite a […]

Also posted in Japanese, Language, Maori, Words and phrases 12 Comments

Maori language in Hawaii

According to a news item I found today, it’s possible to study the Maori language at the University of Hawaii. The Maori courses, which are taught at the Manoa campus, are popular with Hawaiian students, who are interesting in Maori because it has many similarities with the Hawaiian language and they are curious to find […]

Also posted in Language, Maori 3 Comments

Word of the day – puke wehewehe ʻōlelo

Today’s word, puke wehewehe ‘ōlelo, is the Hawai‘ian for dictionary. It means literally ‘book [that] explains words’. I found a good Hawai‘ian-English dictionary today, and also some online Hawai‘ian lessons. According to this article, the Hawai‘an language is in a slightly more secure position today than it was 20 years, when the most of those […]

Also posted in Language, Language revival, Words and phrases 2 Comments

‘Ōlelo Hawai’i ‘oe?

According to a couple of articles (here and here) I found today, a new PhD program focusing on the Hawaiian language and culture has recently been set up at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. This is apparently the first doctorate in the United States in a Native language. Five students are undertaking research into […]

Also posted in Endangered languages, Language, Language learning 15 Comments
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