Kahanuola also shares tips on how to learn the Hawaiian language, such as listening to Hawaiian music, reading Hawaiian literature, and taking a class or hiring a tutor.
In this episode, you will learn the following:
2. Understand the importance of the Hawaiian words Aloha and Mahalo and the lifestyle they represent.
3. Discover the concept of Kamaaina and Malihini and the different dynamics between foreigners and Hawaii natives.
1. Aloha – Hello/Goodbye/Affection
love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity; greeting, salutation, regards; sweetheart, lover, loved one; beloved, loving, kind, compassionate, charitable, lovable; to love, be fond of; to show kindness, mercy, pity, charity, affection; to venerate; to remember with affection; to greet, hail. Greetings! Hello! Good-by! Farewell! -source wehewehe.org
Aloha is a beautiful phrase synonymous with joy, respect, and love. It’s used in Hawaii for more than just saying ‘hello’ – it symbolizes a wish for peace and kindness throughout life.
2. Mahalo – Thank you
3. Malihini – Newcomer or tourist
4. Kama’āina – Native-born or a longtime resident of Hawaii
5. Haole – A non-Hawaiian person or foreigner (typically a white person)
White person, American, Englishman, Caucasian; American, English; formerly, any foreigner; foreign, introduced, of foreign origin, as plants, pigs, chickens; entirely white, of pigs. -source wehewehe.org
6. ʻĀina – land
Land, earth. Cf. ʻai, to eat; ʻaina, kamaʻāina. Kō nā ʻāina like ʻole, belonging to foreign lands, foreign, international. -source wehewehe.org
7. Wai – water
Water, liquid or liquor of any kind other than sea water -source wehewehe.org
8. Kahakai – beach
Beach, seashore, seacoast, seaside strand. -source wehewehe.org
9. Mālama – to take care for
To take care of, tend, attend, care for, preserve, protect, beware, save, maintain; to keep or observe, as a taboo; to conduct, as a service; to serve, honor, as God; care, preservation, support, fidelity, loyalty; custodian, caretaker, keeper. -source wehewehe.org
10. ‘Ono – delicious
Delicious, tasty, savory; to relish, crave; deliciousness, flavor, savor. -source wehewehe.org
11. Kapu – taboo/keep out
Taboo, prohibition; special privilege or exemption from ordinary taboo; sacredness; prohibited, forbidden; sacred, holy, consecrated; no trespassing, keep out. -source wehewehe.org
12. Kāne – male
Male, husband, male sweetheart, man; brother-in-law of a woman; male, masculine; to be a husband or brother-in-law of a woman. -source wehewehe.org
13. Wahine – female
Woman, lady, wife; sister-in-law, female cousin-in-law of a man; queen in a deck of cards; womanliness, female, femininity; feminine. -source wehewehe.org
14. ‘Ohana – family
Family, relative, kin group; related. -source wehewehe.org
Other episodes you’ll enjoy:
Kahanuola Solatorio Bio
Kahanuola Solatorio is a native of Kewalo Uka, Kona, Oʻaha. Kahanuola received his Bachelor of Arts degree in both Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies and a Masterʻs degree in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Kahanuola is currently a kumu (teacher) ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi at the Kamehameha High School Kapālama campus and is also a member of the Hawaiian musical group, Keauhou. Kumu Kahanuola began his @ehoopilimai social media journey in 2020 for Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, posting videos to his story teaching ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi to his mom, “student cousin Cappy”, and his page took off with followers from around the world.
Since then, he has built a community of learners across the pae ʻāina and around the world who participates in his free weekly classes hosted on Zoom and continues to collaborate with our businesses and organizations (like NHSS!) to platform Hawaiian Language in all places possible.
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In this episode, we explore the beautiful hawaiian language with kahanua solitorio, a hawaiian language teacher. We'll discuss the best resources to learn more about the culture of hawaii, common phrases and words to know for your next visit and tips on learning the hawaiian language. So stay tuned as we take a little journey into the beautiful language of hawaii. Aloha. Welcome to Hawaii's.
Best. Here you'll learn what to know before traveling as we discover hawaiian culture, local businesses, and the experiences that make Hawaii via aloha state. Welcome to Hawaii's. Best. It's good to be back.
My name is Bryan Murphy, and I'm the owner and host of Hawaii's best travel. I'm a traveler, just like you, and have visited Hawaii many times now over the years. It's been my passion to bring some of the stories of the islands to you to help educate all of us on how to travel to Hawaii more responsibly. And in today's episode, we're going to talk a little bit about how to do that and happens to be a replay of a previous episode, episode 63, which happens to be one of our most popular episodes with my friend kanu la salaio, our unofficial cultural practitioner. And the reason I wanted to give you this replay was because we are busy in production and producing new episodes for you for the new year.
And it's also important to know some of these hawaiian phrases ongoing and these words before visiting the islands. And in this episode, we're going to do just that. God knew he goes over 26 phrases and words to be familiar with before visiting, so I hope you enjoy this episode in my conversation with kahanua. Today, we are joined again with our unofficial cultural practitioner. Kahanuola.
What's up, man? Aloha. Aloha. Emphasis on unofficial. Unofficial.
Well, since we talked last, we did a podcast on may day, and since then it's been a little while. And how are you doing? I'm doing great. Finishing up my school year, so I have two more weeks of school. Everything is going good, ready for summer.
So any big plans? Well, I'm going to be traveling. I'm actually going to be on the continent for the month of June. Going to vegas and visiting my sister in phoenix and a couple of friends in washington. So looking forward to that.
And then maybe I'll make a detour and drag down a detour for this guy. You folks? Yeah, man. I hope we can meet up in june. We'll be back over to the islands hopefully in the next couple of months.
So we'll probably take all this part out, but people don't care.
Anyways, today we're talking about some words and phrases to know. Some of these you probably already know as you're listening to this. You probably heard some of these and even one of the phrases we're going to be talking about. We did a whole podcast episode on the word aloha, the official language of hawaii is the Hawaiian language, and it's really at the heart of the culture of Hawaii. So we wanted to get together again and do another podcast and talk about some of these phrases that you may have seen, you may have heard, and you might come in contact with as you visit the island.
So, Kahanuola, we're both looking off the same list here. We're going to just take it from the top, and as you're listening to this, we're also going to link a blog post below where you can go ahead and grab all these words and phrases, print them out. Don't feel like you have to memorize all of them. We just want you to kind of be familiar with some of the phrases and words you may come in contact with and some that you just should know as you're traveling to Hawaii. So, kanye, we're going to kick it off with number one, aloha, which means exactly.
Aloha means aloha, right? Normally, I guess the simplest terms would be hello, goodbye, and also love. Aloha is pretty well known throughout the entire world as at least hello, people can do aloha. Aloha. Right.
Referred to our last we did a. Deep dive into that and having aloha be more of a way of life. So definitely want you to go back and check that episode out. All right, number two, what do we got? Another one that's pretty common are pretty well known throughout the world, and that is mahalo.
Mahalo. Mahalo. Kind of on the other side, when you leave someone, you can say aloha, which means also means goodbye, and you can say mahalo, which means thank you or I appreciate you. And two, mahalo is bigger than just those two things. Mahalo is a whole lifestyle.
It's being appreciative of someone else's time and their efforts and their work. And these two words are probably the most frequent that people visiting would come. Pretty much when you get off the airplane, you're going to hear 30 aloha at the airport, or you're going to see so many signs that say aloha and mahalo. Thanks for coming. So, two very important words, but again, packed with so much meaning.
Hard to water it down to one specific definition, but if you were to, it would be aloha, hello, goodbye, love, mahalo is thank you for appreciation. Got you. Number three. Number three. This is maybe a new one to many of you, and that's going to be a hoopilima malihene.
Malahini. Yeah. So that's a common I don't want to say mispronunciation, but yeah, a lot of people think there's an actual a after the l, but it's I, so it's going to be malihene. Malihini. Yeah.
There you go. If you're not familiar with that word, it means like, a tourist or a visitor. So everyone who comes to Hawaii for the first time or who travels here as a tourist would be considered a malihini. I've also heard malahini could also be someone who has lived on the islands for a short time or that. Yeah.
So you probably may know that many people choose to move to hawaii to live after retiring or whatever. You would still be considered a maligni for however many years it takes you to become accustomed to how we are, our way of life and all that kinds of stuff. And that brings up our next word, which is kama ina. You want to try that with me? Kamaina.
Kamai. Yeah. So Kamalina is a native person, someone that's native to hawaii, someone that knows the culture, knows the land, the people. So, yeah, on the opposite spectrum of malihini, you have those two different words, Kamaina and malihini. So I would be considered a kamai NA.
Yeah. So Kamaina doesn't necessarily deal with culture. Is that correct? It's basically, like you said, native born. So you're born in hawaii?
Yeah, there's actually a lot of I don't know if you heard this term come out in a discount, so if you're a hawaii resident, then you get a discount at a restaurant or whatever. So, yeah, if you're born here and you have a hawaii state ID, then you get that discount. Yeah, but it's actually, if you break it up, the two words in it is comma and ina. Ina. We know it's land, and comma means to bind.
So it's pretty much saying that you're being bound to the land or even comma could also mean a child. So a child of the land. So many different ways to look at that one word. So I know we're kind of maybe splitting here a little bit. So can a malahini become aina?
Yeah, definitely. And I know a lot of examples of people in my life who immersed itself in the culture, they immersed themselves in this place. And I think one of the most the things people love about hawai'i definitely. Is the aloha spirit, and it's hard to embrace it if you weren't taught it or if you weren't born and raised here. I don't know.
I'm not the person that decides if you become a malihini or kama after a malikini. But, yeah, I think it's pretty much up to you how you embrace the hawaiian culture and the hawaii ness of being here. That's when you can become a kamai NA. It's up to you. Yeah, that makes sense.
Okay. Number five. Yeah. So number five is kind of controversial. It's a very interesting word, and it's going to be holy.
Interesting enough is that people automatically assume Holle means caucasian or white. Right. But holly in the dictionary actually comes out to foreigner someone that is not from here. So the controversy around the world, maybe you can give us a little insight on that. I guess over time, people just maybe automatically attach the word hauled to white people or to caucasian people.
But I try and just think of it as just a general foreigner term. It's hard because we talked about it a little bit in our first podcast that we did about the troubling history of hawaii with the foreigner. American businessmen coming to hawaii, stealing whatever they stole. So that's why haule that terminology gets kind of misconstrued and people are like there is some kind of racist attitudes in it with that word. You kind of have to go back and watch our first podcast to kind of understand a little bit more if you don't yet.
Right? Really at the heart of that word is kind of what you already said, and sometimes words and phrases kind of take on a different connotation as time goes. Yeah, got it. Okay, number six. We've already touched on it with comma ina, but ina.
So ina is very important to the hawaiian people, and ina just simply means land. But like, we kind of went over land means so much to our people because that's where we get our food, our resources. If you're born here, you have a connection to the land that no one can ever take away because we are a part of the land. And this kind of takes me back to another story about our first kalo plant, which is a very tarot, which is the stable food of our people back in the day. And from what I learned, we all descended from that one tarot plant as hawaiian people.
So we are definitely connected and binding to the land. No matter who you are. If you're born here and if you're hawaiian, especially, then you have that connection to the land that is secure. It's always going to be there for you. So it's a cool way to think about it.
That's probably one of the most important takeaways traveling into hawaii is the connection that hawaiian people have to the land. And that's why you probably hear us say over and over again different ways that if you are going to choose to visit hawaii, how you can malama on and take care of the land and be a part of that because the land is so important and sacred. Yeah. I think just a couple of things to remember is when you go somewhere, when you go to the beach, make sure you take your rubbish with you. Leave something better than when you got there.
Makes sense. You got number seven. Yeah. So number seven, you have VI. Vai means water.
Try that with me. Vai. Yeah. And then you see we use that v sound for that. But you can also use y with the w.
But mostly what I hear is y. In hawaii, we're surrounded by water. We're surrounded by ocean for miles and miles. So we're definitely water people. We have many chants and songs dedicated specifically to water, our source of water, where water comes from.
And if you look at the hawaiian word for valuable or for rich, it's going to be vaivai. So pretty much water. Water is the word for valuable. So you see how much we price or we hold water and how much we respect it. All right.
Number eight. Number eight very important because pretty much why many people come to Hawaii is our Kahakai. You want to try that kaha kai Kahakai. Yeah. So Kahakai means beach.
If you break it down, kai actually just means like ocean or sea. Like we were talking earlier, when you go to the Kahakai, definitely enjoy the experience, but leave the beach better than how you arrived. An example that would be to obviously take out what you bring in, and if you see something on the way out, take it out with you. Yeah. And I guess over there.
What is your favorite beach? I can't tell you. Is it a secret? White Plains cocoa. Yeah.
So mine is why manalo right after macaputus on the eastern side. Yeah, the best. Or maybe that's a secret.
Our next word, we kind of touched on it when we talked about aina, but malama. You want to try that? Malama? Yeah. So malama is to take care, just take care of not only your surroundings, but take care of yourself, take care of your family.
That's why we always say malama. Aina, malama, kanaka malama yo mama. That's another thing that I always say. Take care of your mother's day. So, yeah, so many things that we can malama and take care of.
Number ten, this is one of my. Favorite favorite, I was going to say. Our favorite, and that's going to be ono. Ono? Yeah.
So this one has an okina at the beginning of the word, and that's just like an accent. So when you say the word, you're going to have kind of stress, the o. So you're going to go, oh, no. Yeah, so ono means delicious good. When you eat something and you really like it, you can say ono.
If you're in Hawaii and you're at a restaurant and you go, oh, no, they're going to be like, oh, how do you know that word? That kind of stuff. Moving on to our next one, you have kapu. Kapu. Yeah.
So kapu means sacred, or it literally is a Hawaiianized word version of taboo. So Kapoo means sacred. So if you ever see a sign out in nature or wherever you're going and that says couple, just know that it means you cannot enter that space. And that could be for many reasons. One being it could be dangerous.
Another means meaning it could be sacred, there could be bones, evie kupuna there that you shouldn't be going around or just it's just sacred. So those are some of the reasoning behind it. Like I mentioned, we're going to have a blog that we're going to link to where you can get all these words. You can follow both of us on our Instagram accounts. We'll link that to the blog post, we'll add some more phrases and some other terms.
We really want to dive deep into the ones that we just touched. And then right now, we're going to do this like lightning round of some other common words or phrases that you might see. And probably we'll see especially when you first step off the plane, if you're coming to Hawaii for the very first time, and you look towards the restroom after that six hour flight, and you're going to see, what is cane? What is that? Yeah, what's a cane?
So that's exactly it. When you come to Hawaii and you see two signs, one saying kane and one saying wahim, just know that they're very important words. The first one, it would actually be pronounced kane. Kane? Yeah.
So kane means male or like a man. So if you are male, use that bathroom that says Kanye. And then the other one is wahina. Wahine? Yeah.
So wahhane means female or woman. Right. And then probably sandwich in between. I'm just utilizing this bathroom illustration. Kind of sandwich in between, you probably will see Kahanuola, yeah.
So Kahanuola means family, and we all watch Lilo and Stitch, hopefully. So we all should know what family means. Kahanuola means family. And then if there's a cake probably on the side, then there's going to be a child. Also, you may hear the word kanaka.
Yeah, which means kanaka means just a human or a person. Sometimes it can be translated to mankind or like a man, but it's where it gets kind of blurred lines, because kanaka, I would just consider it as a human since Kanye is a man. Okay, that makes sense. All right, moving on. Maybe you're going to be asking for directions.
The word for towards the sea would. Be so it's funny in Hawaii, like, when you ask for directions, it's a little bit different. It's not like turn left on blah blah, blah, turn right on that. We use these two very general terms, and the first one is makai. Makai which means towards the sea or seaward.
So if you wanted to say, like, where is a beach? You can say, oh, just go makai, go seaward from this location. And then the other one would be malka. Malka. Yeah.
So malka means towards, like mountain word or towards the mountain. So those are pretty much our two senses of direction. We don't have north, south, east, west. We have mountain or makai and malka. Yeah, we just get it.
You figure it out. Yeah. Next we have kokua. Try that with me. Kokua.
Kokua. So kokua means to help and cocoa. Just help whoever you can. Help the old lady who is carrying her groceries or help a friend that has to move. Kokua is a word that everyone can use.
You don't have to only be in Hawaii. You can also always cocoa. Anyone, wherever you go. And then a word that we unpacked a few weeks ago from the time of this recording. Mayday ley day.
Our next word is ley. And again, it's hard to translate ley because ley can be all sorts of things, but if you break it down, it pretty much just means garland. Something you wear on your body, around your neck would be considered a lay. I would highly recommend tuning into that podcast a couple of weeks ago because it kind of just unpacks what they are or the importance of lay. Yeah.
So our next word is hale. And hale means house. So kind of important because again, another word that you can use wherever you're from, not only when you come to Hawaii, you can malama your hale, take care of your house or that kind of thing. Right. We can go into another one and that's going to be ho kele.
You want to try that? Ho kele. So ho kele means hotel and it's kind of another Hawaiianized word version of hotel. Ho kele. Yeah.
Many people are going to be staying at a hotel, or if you're at an airbnb, then a hale. Got it. Most of your hotels or your houses come with this. And I hear this on some shows. And another word that kind of is popular, maybe adopted.
Yeah, adopted. And that's lanai. Lanai. So lanai is your patio or like a balcony. So many hotels, people like to just sit under lanai, look at the ocean, just enjoy the Hawaiian breeze.
So yeah, lanai. All right, right here we're going to do a little pivot. Kanu doesn't know this is coming. I'm scared. But.
I think it would be important to do justice to the islands and how to pronounce each island correctly. Got it. Because when you look at the spelling lanai and then you see the island that's spelled the same way but pronounced differently. So maybe starting with big island. Yeah.
Big island has also always been known to me when I was growing up as Big Island just because it's the biggest out of the eight islands. But the real name or the main name of that island is Hawaii. So hawai'i. Island, Hawaii. Yeah.
And people say it like with a V, hawaii. Or people even say Hawaii either or works. And even my mom, she was Hawaii. So there's many different pronunciations. And I'm not saying which one is right around, but the way I would say is Hawaii.
Hawaii, yeah. Good job. Moving to the next island would be Maui. Maui. And this is a weird one because people go Maui or Maui.
Maui. So kind of more biting down on the vowels. Maui. Maui. Okay.
Yeah. Good. The longest one is probably the hardest one to pronounce is CAHO olave kaho. Olave kaholave, yeah. And I hear so many weird pronunciations.
And this is one of the islands that you cannot go to unless you're doing a clean up kind of thing with them. It was probably a year or two ago now. There was a pretty big fire on the island. And I know there's been efforts in a restoration project, too, there. Yeah.
So for years and years, they've been working on restoring Kahanuola to its original way, but it was bombed earlier by America, just as it was used as bombing practice or Target. So yeah, that's why it's one of the things you got to watch where you're going, because there's still live bombs that crazy. Are in the ground. Yeah, it's crazy. I haven't been there, but hopefully one day I can go.
Yeah, okay. When you land on Maui, you're driving from the airport, you got West Maui Mountains on one side, Halekula on the other, and so you're driving, you're like, oh, this is why it's called the Valley Isles. And you're seeing these three other islands, too. Yeah. So this is one of them.
And then there's the other two are. Yeah. So the one we were talking about earlier, lanai. Lanai. Lanai.
Yeah. So Lanai actually has a Kahako over the first A, which is just a line over the vowels, and that just tells you to draw the vowel sounds. So Lanai. Lanai so different from Lanai, but Lanai And then the other one would be Molokai. Molokai.
Molokai. And this is kind of tricky because even the natives of Molokai have different ways of pronouncing it. Some say molokai without the okina. Some. Just say molokai.
I don't know. I've always known it as Molokai, so that's what I call it as. And that's my actual favorite island out of the eight because my dad was born there, I have family there, I have ties there. It's called the Friendly Isle for a reason, because the people are just so nice, so family oriented, so they become your friends quickly. So, yeah, I love the island.
That's awesome. Moving on to the island that I'm on right now. Oahu. Oahu. Yeah, and this one is interesting, too.
A lot of people pronounce it with a W. They go, Oahu, oahu. But just know that there's an Okina between the O and the A, so that shows it's Oahu, oahu. So just make sure you pronounce that Okina A very strongly. Oahu.
The last two is Kahanuola. One Kahanuola. Kahanuola. Yeah. And some people call it Kahanuola, even some of the natives.
So it depends. I call it Kahanuola. And then the last one is Nihau. Nihau. Yeah.
So Nihau is the other island that you cannot just go and visit. It's a couple. It's sacred island. Those are the eight islands. And I think one of the things to keep in mind, too, when you're saying Hawaiian words is just know where the Okinas are and the cocos, all those diagriticals, because it helps you to get the word correct.
If you keep that in mind, then you'll know what you're saying or how to say it a little bit better. Got you. All right. Any island you visit, you want to be mindful of picking this up, and that is.
Opala means trash. So every time you leave some place or make sure you pick up your opala. And you know, Hawaii has been very good in the past couple of years about making laws, banning plastic, landing plastic bags, styrofoam, all that stuff. So we're very conscious of our impact on the Earth. Probably anyone who wants to visit Hawaii is hoping to see one of these.
And that's what a honu? A honu is a turtle, hawaiian green sea turtle. So, yeah, if you're lucky, you can come across a beautiful honu, either at the beach, nesting or in the water. And I was lucky enough to see many honu throughout my life. But don't touch them.
Just don't go near them. That's the thing. They're couple. They're sacred. Just don't mess with them.
You can admire them from afar. Yeah, right. Please don't be that person. That one story on Instagram yeah, I saw it goes viral and not a good way. And it's not you get fine.
Just mind your space. 6Ft. No, actually more than six months. No, that's coronavirus, bro. Oh, sorry, I forgot.
Okay, so this is probably my favorite. Yeah. Paul hana. Paul hana. Yeah.
So Paul actually means, like, done or finished, and hana means work. When you're done with work and you just want to go home and relax and spend time with your family, open up a cold one. We call that paul Hannah. What's that called? It like juice or water.
I got to wait a little bit. It's 05:00 somewhere, right? Exactly. I like the words. It's really very random, super random.
But these are, I think, a lot of terms that you'll come in contact with as you're in Hawaii or even as you're dreaming and maybe researching about Hawaii, you'll probably come across a lot of these words. And having just an understanding of these words and phrases is so culturally important to where you're traveling. And you're going to have a great time, and you're going to do all the things that you're going to do in a responsible way. But everything that we do at Hawaii's best, we want to make sure that we draw back to the Hawaiian culture the best as we can. Thank you so much.
It's very important, sometimes overlooked on part of traveling, but try your best to immerse yourself in the language, the culture, everything. Good intentions, maybe? Yeah, that's a good way to put it. Yeah, absolutely. We actually have a very convenient website, and that is going to be vehicle.
So wehewehe.com and that's our Hawaiian language dictionary. So everything from our book dictionary is online as well. So if you ever want to look up a word or you, like, come across a word that you think is very beautiful, just go to Vehehe.com and you can look them up right there. And maybe just kind of on that same topic, if there's anybody who is interested in maybe taking steps further towards learning about Hawaiian language. What would you recommend?
So there's many resources for you to use. One thing that I really enjoy are the apps Duolingo. There's a Hawaiian language version of Duolingo and also Drops, which helps you with your vocabulary, hawaiian vocabulary. So that's a good one. Also you can follow my channel, PD Bunny.
We do daily Hawaiian language lessons and we have an online Google Classroom resource that you can tap into so many resources that are convenient and accessible online. Yeah, absolutely. From following your page and utilizing personally, Duolingo has been good for me. It's not sponsored by the podcast or anything like that, so that's just what I personally use. But there's a lot of great resources out there, so be sure to check that out and we'll link all that and all that good stuff.
So Kahanuola, our unofficial cultural practitioner, thank you so much again. No worries. Thank you for your time and looking forward to hanging out again. And thank you so much for listening to this podcast. And if you found it valuable, go ahead and leave a rating review below.
That helps out both myself and Kahanuola and being able to spread this message. So thank you so much and until next time, be well. Aloha.
Mahalo for listening to this episode of Hawaii's. Best to stay up to date on future episodes. Episodes, please subscribe and visit us at Hawaii's best travel.
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