HONOLULU (KHON2) — Tourism in Hawaiʻi continues to be the driving economic force in the State.

In 2022, there were 9.2 million visitors who came to the shores of Hawaiʻi. This is lower than pre-pandemic numbers when in 2019, Hawaiʻi saw nearly 10.5 million visitors.

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KHON2 decided to go out and meet some of the visitors who are coming to Honolulu.

We wanted to know how much of the local language they have picked up since they began their journey here.

ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and English are both official languages of the State. But, not everyone who lives here knows how to fluently speak ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.

And visitors really only know ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi if they’ve made a point to learn it or have the keen ear to pick up what locals and Native Hawaiians are saying when it’s used.

We chose six commonly used words that typically are mingled amongst English and Pidgen.

  • Wahine is a woman, lady, wife, sister-in-law, female, womanliness.
  • Kāne is a man, male, husband, brother-in-law, masculine.
  • Keiki is a little one, child, offspring, descendant, boy, girl, youngster, son, daughter.
  • Aloha has diverse meanings. It means hello, good-bye and certain type of love.
  • Puka is a hole in anything from a hole in a shell to a doorway and everything in between.
  • Pupu are small plate foods or appetizers.

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Now that you have been briefed, check out the video above. Cheyenne Sibley goes out on the streets of Waikiki and searches for the visitors who know.