"Learn to Speak Proper Hawai?ian" Hawaii (State of) Local Custom Tip by BlueCollar
Hawaii (State of) Local Customs: 64 reviews and 70 photos
Every syllable ends with a vowel. Every consonant is separated by a vowel.
Only 13 letters in their alphabet:
A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, W, and ?
That last character is considered by linguists to be a consonant in the Hawai?ian language. It is the ?okina and not just a punctuation mark. View all pictures for more Hawai?ian grammar information.
The ?okina, or glottal stop, looks like a backwards apostrophe or an open quote that separates only vowels in words like Hawai?i or comes at the beginning in words like ?Ohe?o. To produce the sound represented by the ?okina, just say the expression uh-oh in American English. It is the guttural utterance in the middle of uh-oh that you also produce for the ?okina in Hawai?ian.
Where there are multiple vowels together in a word and there is no ?okina separating them, you need to remember these rising dipthongs: ei, eu, oi, ou, ai, ae, ao, and au.. And then there is the even dipthong: iu. A rising dipthong produces a single-syllable-like vowel where stress is applied on the first letter and an off-glide is applied to the second while producing a fluid pronunciation of each vowel flowing smoothly and quickly into the next. An even dipthong applies equal stress to each vowel. End result: Sounds almost like a single vowel.
Say: Hawai?i. The W is pronounced as a V. The A+I are a rising dipthong (see above) and the I after the ?okina produces the 'ee' sound (as in feet). Remember to emphasize the guttural sound of the ?okina at the beginning of the last syllable. Some purists also believe the H to be silent.
What is the importance of the ?okina? Here it is inserted correctly in two island names often mispronounced:
These pronunciations may be considerably different from what you may have become accustomed to hearing.
More Local Customs in Hawaii (State of) (2)
More Reviews (69)
- See All Have a true craft brew
- See All Hālawa Valley Hike
- See All ?Iao Needle
- See All Deadly Beaches
- See All Yes, it's right on the Bay
BlueCollar's Related Pages
Have you been to Hawaii (State of)?Share Your Travels