The Hawaiian Language

Napali Coast

Napali Coast- pronounced NAH PAH LEE

I’ve you’re visiting the Hawaiian Islands, please realize that while English is the primary language  spoken, there are many words and phrases that will be mixed in with English.

The Hawaiian language has the same 5 vowels as the English language but only 7 consonants— h, k, l, m, n, p and w.  Since every consonant is followed by a vowel, every word ends in a vowel.

Just to help with the pronunciation of the vowels:

a “ah”  as in father
e “eh”  as in neighbor
i “ee”  as in free
o “oh”  as in low
u “oo”  as in coon

Some words that you should know if you are traveling to Hawaii:

Aloha  pronounced AH  LOW  HA which means hello, goodbye, and is a word of affection

Mahalo pronounced MAH  HA  LOW which means thank you


These 2 words might help you with some directions:

Mauka  pronounced MOW KAH  which means on the mountain side of the road

Makai  pronounced MAH KIGH which means on the ocean side of the road

Click here for some common words and their pronunciations



By |August 16th, 2013|Categories: All|Tags: , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.