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Hawaiian Pidgin

It is a mistake to consider Pidgin "broken English".  If anything was "broken", it was Hawaiian, since it is the Hawaiian language that forms the structure of Pidgin, as well as providing many of the colorful and descriptive words.  It is also a mistake to assume that anyone speaking Pidgin is uneducated.  Hawaii's Governor speaks Pidgin sometimes, as do most people who grew up in the islands.  It's more appropriate to consider anyone speaking Pidgin as bilingual, for it is increasingly recognized as a language in its own right, one with a very rich and interesting history.  

As with other Creole languages, Hawaiian Pidgin originally developed as a means for people who spoke different languages to learn to communicate with each other in order to do business.   The first were European and American merchants who traded iron tools, cloth and other items for supplies of fresh food and water.  Subsequently, contract workers were brought to the islands from China, Japan, the Philippines and other places, to work on the sugar plantations.  Words and phrases from each of these languages worked their way into the language that all understood, the pidgin that has evolved into Hawaii's unofficial language.   (Note: English and Hawaiian are each official languages.)


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