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The Language of Hawaii

The words and phrases of the Hawaiian language are all around us in the islands, in our place names, street names, many popular songs, on TV and radio, and also on TheBus, at the beach and wherever local folks gather.  

Most visitors have learned a small vocabulary before they leave and newcomers soon find themselves mixing some Hawaiian words into their everyday speech.  

Some of the language we hear is not really the Hawaiian language, which is called Ka 'Ôlelo Hawai'i, but a Creole language, locally called Pidgin.   It is not the same Pidgin that one may hear in Asia or the South Pacific, as it developed uniquely in Hawai'i and results from many races needing to learn how to communicate with each other to conduct the business of their daily lives.  

There are many online resources for learning about both, so we've separated them on these pages:

Ka 'Ôlelo Hawai'i     Hawaiian Pidgin


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