I have been learning Hawaiian for almost a year now, so it’s high time I showed you what I have managed to learn so far. I won’t lie, I am quite nervous. Will my sentences be correct? Will they make any sense? Will people laugh at my skills (or rather, lack thereof)? I will never know unless I try. So, let’s do it guys!

Aloha kākou! [Greetings to all of us!]

Pehea  ʻoukou? [How are you guys?]

Maikaʻi au. [I am fine.]

Unfortunately, I am still not able to tell you much about myself in Hawaiian, but I can give you two or three pieces of information.

ʻO … koʻu inoa. [My name is … ]

ʻO … koʻu inoa ʻohana. [My family name is … ]

Hana au. [ I work.]

ʻOluʻolu au. [I’m nice.] (At least I think so.)

Ke aʻo nei au i ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. [I’m learning Hawaiian.]

Manaʻo au, nani ʻo Hawaiʻi. [I think that Hawaii is pretty.]

Manaʻo au, mālama ka poʻe i ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. [I think that people take care of the Hawaiian language.]

Nani koʻu mau pōpoki. [My cats are pretty] (I don’t know how to say that I have cats. But I do have cats. And they really are pretty; or rather cute, but I don’t know the word. Yet.)

I can also tell you that:

Aia au i ka hale. [I am at home.]

Ke kākou nei au. [I am writing.]

Hauʻoli nō au. [I’m very happy.]

ʻAi au i ka kakahiaka. [I eat in the morning.] (And in the afternoon. And in the evening. And sometimes at night.)

Anuanu kēia lā. [It’s cold today.] (Not that it’s a particularly interesting fact, but I know how to say it in Hawaiian, so I’m sharing this information with you.

In addition to the above sentences, which – as you can see – are not very complicated (a preschooler’s level!), I can form some basic questions. Ok, I just learnt them by heart.

Pehea ʻoe? [How are you?]

He aha ka pilikia? [What’s the problem?]

ʻO wai kou inoa? [What’s your name?]

He aha kēia? [What’s this?]

He aha kēlā? [What’s that?]

Maopopo iā ʻoe? [Do you understand?]

Aia i hea ‘oe? [Where are you?]

Aia i hea ‘o Hawaiʻi? [Where is Hawaii?]

To some of these questions I can even give answers.

‘Ae, maopopo iaʻu. [Yes, I understand.]

‘Aʻole maopopo iaʻu. [I don’t understand.]

He pōpoki kēia. [This is a cat.]

He ‘īlio kēlā. [That is a dog.]

Are you impressed? Those of you who speak Hawaiian probably aren’t. Well, I wouldn’t be either! But, let’s continue, shall we?

So what else do I know? I know how to make commands. Now this is really simple. I will give you a few examples.

E heluhelu! [Read!]

Mai heluhelu! [Don’t read!]

E hele! [Go!]

Mai hele! [Don’t go!]

E hele mai! [Come here!]

Mai hele mai! [Don’t come here!]

Last but not least, elementary phrases that people use on a daily basis. I’m quite certain you know them too, even if you don’t speak Hawaiian.

Aloha nui mai! [Great love to you!] (Ok, this particular one is a bit “advanced”.)

Mahalo. [Thank you.]

E ‘olu‘olu. [Please.]

‘Aʻole pilikia. [No problem. / You’re welcome.]

E kala mai. [Excuse me. / I’m sorry.]

A hui hou! [See you later!]

E mālama pono. [Take care!]

This is pretty much all I am able to say at the moment. Of course, I can form a few more sentences, but they are at a very similar level to the ones I have just presented to you. I have no idea how to make negatives or complex sentences. I still know very few (in my opinion) words. There is, however, something I have succeeded in achieving – a good (or at least correct) pronunciation. Ok, a native Hawaiian would surely recognize that ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi is not my first language, but you know what I mean, right? Hawaiian pronunciation is so much easier than Marshallese. Plus, I can listen to the CD that came with the book I’m (still) using. And I can’t forget about all the language learning apps that teach you Hawaiian – both Duolingo and Drops have been a huge help in this department.

My Hawaiian adventure will continue in this upcoming year. I am positive that in twelve months I will surprise you with my broad knowledge of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Only joking! That’s unrealistic!).

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