Alternative name(s): Hawaiiaans (nl)

Language family: Malay-Polynesian

Language group: Polynesian

Geographical use: Hawaii

Information: Hawaiian is one of the oldest living languages in the world. Despite of the renewed interest in the languagesn only 1% of the population speaks it.

The reason why so few people speak Hawaiian is that in 1898 Hawai was annexed by the United States. The language was officially forbidden in schools and daily life. The use of the language was also vetoed in the Kamehameha (school system reserved for children from native people).
Until the arrival of the colonists and missionaries, “Olelo Hawaii” was an oral language. Thanks to the missionaries a written alphabet was made in the middle of the 19th century. They taught the Hawaiians to read the written language so that they would learn the Bible in that way.

The Hawaiian alphabet consists of twelve letters: five vocals and six consonants. There is also the okina and the kahako; these are punctuation signs that can change the pronouncement of each word.

A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, W

The vocals are pronounced in another way than in English.

A is pronouced as ah
E is pronouced as eh
I is pronouced as ii
O is pronouced as oh
U is pronouced as uu

Okina is a symbol that looks like an apostrophe (‘). It is used to separate words en can only be found between vocals.

Kahako is a symbol that looks like a hyphen (-) and is placed on top of a vocal. If it is used, it means that the vocal is long and should be pronounced a bit longer than normal.



Hebrew - Old