E `ōlelo Hawai`i kakau.
Let’s speak Hawaiian.

       
 

Before the adoption of the Hawaiian alphabet and its diacritical markings, introduced by the missionaries in the early 1800s, the only form of written language in Hawai`i was the petroglyph (ki`i pōhaku).

 
         
 

The Hawaiian language utilizes five vowels:

   
       
   

A – pronounced as a short or soft a, as in ah
E – pronounced as a long a, as in hay
I – pronounced as a long e, as in see
O – pronounced as a long o, as in hope
U – pronounced oo, as in moon

   
                   
 

Seven consonants:

   
       
   

H
K (sometimes a T)
L
M
N
P
W – usually a W sound at the beginning of words, a V sound inside words and in music

 
                   
  Around a dozen dipthongs:    
       
   

AI – pronounced ah>ee
AE
– pronounced eye
AO
–
pronounced ow
AU
–
pronounced oh
EI
–
pronounced a, as in hay
EU
–
pronounced ee>yew
IA
–
pronounced yea, as in hooray
–
pronounced yah
OE
–
pronounced oh>ay
`OI
–
pronounced oy, as in toy
OU
–
pronounced oh>oo

   
                   
  And two diacritical marks essential to proper pronunciation:    
       
   

` the `okina or glottal stop, requiring a slight pause
-  the kahakō or macron, used to place emphasis on a vowel

 
                   
 

The links below provide some basic vocabulary definitions, phrases and links to additional resources, including Hawaiian typefaces:

 
                   
                   
    `Ōlelo
Basics
`Ōlelo
Body
`Olelo
Kalo
`Ōlelo
Places
`Ōlelo
`Ukulele
     
                   
    `Ōlelo
`Āina
`Ōlelo
Phrases
`Olelo
Proverbs
`Ōlelo
Constructs
`Ōlelo
Resources
     
                   
             
   
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