Kou means what does maho in Hawaiian

Hawaiian with a small phrase book

Native Hawaiian people on Molokai 1899

Probably everyone knows the Hawaiian greeting "Aloha", but beyond that, this language is likely to be a book with seven seals for most. There is at least one more word that has been part of our everyday language for some time. We'll tell you which one it is later. First, a few facts about the Hawaiian language that should not only be of interest to travelers.

Hawaiian or Hawaiian is the language of the native Polynesian people of the Hawaiian archipelago, as well as Samoan, Tahitian, Maori and Tonga. If you look at the numbers from one to ten in all five languages, you can immediately see the same origin. But while in Samoa more than 400,000 people still speak their own language Hawaiian Critically Endangered. There are only about 1,000 native speakers left on the islands; in 1900 there were still 37,000.

Hawaiian was replaced by the official language English. In 1896, English had been made the main language in schools by law. It was not until the 1950s that people began to slowly grapple with the impending loss of their very own language. As a result, Hawaiian became the second official language in 1978. Today there are even schools that teach Hawaiian. Cultural workers and the media also endeavor to keep the Hawaiian tradition and language alive.

Makahiki Festival: ceremony for the Hawaiian god Lono

Hawaiian is a relatively simple language. The words are spoken as they are written. There are only five vowels, 7 consonants and a slash that changes the meaning of the word when placed above the vowel. An example: "kane" means skin disease, but "kāne" means man. There are also no verbs like “have” and “to be”. But the Hawaiian knows 130 terms for the word rain. Simple is not always simple ...

To this day, many Hawaiian words have again been included in everyday English usage and it is certainly useful for a visitor to have heard or read a few of them before. We almost all know one thing: "wiki" like Wikipedia. It's called "fast". "Kanaka" is also known, but in a deformed sense as "Kanake". Actually it just means “human” or “indigenous people”.

Here is a list of the most important words you may come across in everyday life in Hawaii:

alaRoad, way
alohaHello !, Welcome !, Goodbye !, Take care!
haleHouse, building, hall
haoleStranger, white man
heiauTemple complex, religious site
hele mayRequest: Come here!
hulaCollective term for all Hawaiian dances accompanied by singing
kahikoold, traditional
kaiSea, sea water, salt water
kamaʻāinaPerson born in Hawai'i or living here for a long time
kanakaMan, member of the simple class
canmale, man (also the god "Kāne")
kapuTaboo, prohibition
keikiChild, descendant
koholāHumpback whale
konathe side of the coast facing away from the wind
ko'olauthe side of the coast facing the wind direction
lānaiVeranda, balcony
leiWreath of flowers, leaves, feathers, shells
luaBathroom, toilet
lūʻauHawaiian feast
makaiseaward, towards the sea, used as a route designation
makaniWind, breeze
malihiniNewcomer, visitor
manuahifree, free
maunaMountain, mountainous
nuimuch, long, significant
ʻOnodelicious, tasty, tasty
paudone, finished
among othersrain
ukuleleliterally: bouncing flea, mini guitar
wahineWoman, female
wikiwikiquick, eager


And here are a few more useful expressions that you can certainly use:

A hui hou (aku)Goodbye
Aloha Au la OeI love you
A’ole PilikiaMy pleasure
E’ai kauaGood Appetite
'Ehia?How much does it cost?
Hau’oli La HanauHappy Birthday
Hea?Where is…?
Holaʻehia kēia?What time is it?
Kala mai ia’usorry
Maika'iI'm good.
Mahalo nui loaMany Thanks
Mele KalikimakaMerry Christmas
ʻOno loa!It was very delicious
‘O wai kou inoa?What's your name?
‘O ... kou inoa?My name is…
Pehea ʻoe?How are you?
Pomaika’iGood luck

Have fun practicing and, above all, using it on your Hawaii vacation!

This entry was posted in the special trip, Hawaii, did you know ...? And tagged Hawaii, Hawaiian, language, phrasebook by Viv. Permanent link to the entry.