HONOLULU (KHON2) –Spring Break is just around the corner and if it is your first time visiting the islands, there are common Hawaiian words used by tour companies, residents and local businesses to know about.
Spring Break is just the start of Hawaii’s travel season with more visitors flying in during the summer months.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has a list of Hawaiian words to help visitors get by.
- ʻĀina — Land, earth; especially Hawaiian ancestral land
- Akamai — Smart, clever, intelligent
- Aloha — Love, affection; greeting, salutation; Hello! Goodbye!
- Hale — House, building
- Haole — A non-Native Hawaiian, especially those of Caucasian ancestry
- Hapa — Part, half; a reference to those of mixed ancestry
- Hoʻolauleʻa — Celebration
- Holoholo — To travel around for enjoyment; also used as a reference for fishing
- Honu — Turtle
- Hula — The dance of Hawaii
- Imu — An underground oven, as often seen at lūʻau
- Kamaʻāina — Native-born; acquainted, familiar; commonly refers to a long-time Hawaii resident
- Kāne — Male
- Keiki — Child
- Koa — Warrior; a native tree with wood used to build canoes and other items
- Kōkua — Help, aid, assistance, relief
- Kuleana — Responsibility; privilege; a traditional land holdings of Native Hawaiians
- Kumu — Teacher
- Kūpuna — Grandparents, ancestors; elderly
- Laulima — Cooperation
- Lei — Flowers, leaves, shells or feathers that are strung and/or entwined; given as a symbol of affection
- Lūʻau — Hawaiian feast; edible young leaves of the taro plant
- Mahalo — Thanks, gratitude, respect
- Maika’i — Excellent
- Makai — Toward the sea/ocean
- Makana — A gift, present
- Mālama — To take care of, preserve, protect, maintain
- Manō — Shark
- Mauka — Toward the mountains
- Moana — Ocean
- Nalu — Wave, surf
- Nani — Beautiful, pretty
- Nui — Big, large, great, or important
- ʻOhana — Family, kin group, relative
- ‘Ono — Delicious, tasty, savory; to relish, crave
- Pali — Cliff, a steep hill or slope
- Paniolo — Hawaiian cowboy
- Pau — Finished, ended, all done
- Wahine — Female, woman, lady
- Wai — Water, usually fresh water
To see the full list, click here. You will also see common phrases and local food on the provided list.
It is very important to respect the land and people when coming to Hawaii. Hawaii Tourism Authority said every year millions and millions of people fly to the islands spending billions of dollars.
When going to the beaches, parks, museums and recreational spots you are asked to take care of the land, not touch wildlife and comply with the regulations and laws in place.
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