HONOLULU (KHON2) — Travel to Hawaii is expected to get busier this summer after the state dropped its two major restrictions last week. March 25 marked the last day for the statewide indoor mask mandate and the Safe Travels Hawaii program for domestic Trans-Pacific travelers.
If it’s your first time visiting the islands, there are common Hawaiian words used by residents, local businesses and even tour companies to know about.
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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. The glossary also offers common Hawaiian phrases.
Being a tourist also means being mindful of the place you’re visiting and to the people who call it home. Rules and common courtesy still apply during your vacation in Hawaii, a place that carries a painful history that should be treated with respect.
Here are 10 things you shouldn’t do when visiting the islands.
Check out more news from around Hawaii
Littering, removing rocks from sacred grounds and failing to learn etiquette are all the ways you can easily disrespect culture.
With simple care and attention, you can do your part to be a good visitor.