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“Rescuing Hi’ilani” – The Language of the Islands – Part 1

Aloha, all!

One of the things about this book is that it will include a bunch (in Pidgin English – “choke”) of local and Hawaiian language speech and words.

And I know that it might seem a little daunting to some and others will take this as a chance to learn about a different culture that’s within the United States of America –

First things first (and I do include this in the story) –

The Hawaiian Language was a verbal language until the ABCM sent Missionaries to the Islands –

Arriving in 1820 – the Missionaries learned the Hawaiian language on board ship during their voyage, taught by sailors who were Hawaiian by birth and ancestry. The missionaries wrote down the language, starting with an original 17 letters but soon found that some of the letters seemed to duplicate each other.

You might see old maps calling Honolulu – Honoruru

This is NOT a mistake. It was another pronunciation of the word, likely from another Polynesian language variation.
So the 17 went down to 12

When you pronounce a Hawaiian word – there is NOTHING SILENT.
Everything you see is a phonetic part of the word.

Vowels are pronounced –

A = AH
E = EH
I = EE
O = OH
U = OO

Before we try out a sample word. There is a diacritical mark you need to know. It’s called the ‘okina.


Okay, now we can move on to a ‘practice’ word. And I’m not one for just sticking my toes into the water. I’m going to throw you into the deep end.

the trigger fish is the STATE FISH of the State of Hawaii

Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (see that ‘okina?)

So let’s give it a shot, shall we?


<– See that?




Got it?

Now you want to know WHY I’m doing this?

The heroine in my story is named Hi’ilani – for those who are unfamiliar with the Hawaiian language it might be a little difficult to pronounce, so I’m giving you a leg up in the situation –








Questions? Let me know –




  1. Reply


    February 9, 2019

    Very cool! Next time I’m in Hawaii I’ll try to remember this so I can pronounce everything properly 🙂

    • Reply


      February 26, 2019

      You can always ask me later. I hope I’ll still be around *wink*


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