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!).