In Hawaii, English speakers can get by with no problem; nearly everyone on the island speaks English. However, Olelo Hawaii is the state language, and there are some Hawaiian words and phrases you will likely hear over the course of your vacation that you might not understand. That is where the team at Parrish Kauai comes in; we have put together a guide on common Hawaiian words to learn before your dream getaway.
Common Hawaiian Words for Your Travels
While you are not expected to speak Olelo Hawaii or Hawaiian when visiting Hawaii, having a basic understanding of common words can go a long way. Here is a look at some common Hawaiian words, how to pronounce them, and what they mean.
Aloha (Ah-LOH-hah): This versatile word is perhaps the language’s most famous and is the one you will likely hear most. “Aloha” can mean hello, goodbye, love, compassion, and much more. Aloha is a warm and friendly greeting that embodies the spirit of the islands.
Mahalo (Mah-HAH-loh): Express your gratitude by saying “mahalo” when someone is helpful or kind. It is the Hawaiian way of saying “thank you,” so do not be afraid to use it when someone is kind to you.
Ohana (Oh-HAH-nah): Many visitors recognize “ohana” from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, where the main characters say, “Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” Ohana extends beyond blood relatives and encompasses close friends and the community.
Ono (OH-no): Get ready to indulge in some delicious Hawaiian cuisine. “Ono” means tasty or delicious, and you will often hear it when locals describe their favorite dishes. From fresh seafood to tropical fruits, your taste buds are in for a treat when you visit Hawaii.
Pau Hana (Paw HAH-nah): As you unwind on the beautiful beaches of Kauai, you might hear locals talking about “pau hana.” This term refers to the end of the workday or the time to relax and enjoy the evening. Embrace it as you embrace paradise!
Aina (AH-ee-nah): Respect for the land and its resources is deeply ingrained in Hawaiian culture. “Aina” means land or earth, and it serves as a reminder to tread lightly and care for the environment while enjoying the beauty of Kauai.
Mauka (MOW-kah) and Makai (Mah-KAI): To navigate Kauai, it is essential to understand directions. “Mauka” means towards the mountains, while “makai” indicates the direction toward the ocean. These terms will come in handy when you are exploring Kauai’s diverse landscapes.
By familiarizing yourself with these common Hawaiian words, you will not only enhance your travel experience but also show your respect for the local culture. Hawaiians are known for their warmth and hospitality, and taking the time to learn their language is a meaningful way to connect with the people and the place.
Find Your Kauai Vacation Hale
Your friends at Parrish Kauai have one more common Hawaiian word to teach you. “Hale” means home or house. At Parrish Kauai, we offer you a chance to find your perfect vacation hale; we offer a premium selection of vacation rentals on Kauai, ensuring we have the ideal accommodations for every getaway. Whether you are searching for a beachside oasis or a secluded home with mountain views, we have you covered. You can call us at 1-800-325-5701 or chat with us online to make a reservation.