ʻO ka ʻŌlelo ke Kaʻā o ka Mauli
Language is the fiber that binds us to our cultural identity
On Feburay 19th, we hosted a Green Room event on Maui called Hawai‘i: Language Matters, which sold out to an extremely enthusiastic and passionate audience celebrating the mana of a living Hawaiian language. Many are still vibrating with the wonderful remnants of a deeply reverent evening in the presence of much knowledge, talent and history.
We wanted to continue to fuel that fire by providing a list of useful resources that may help people learn to speak Hawaiian and use it in their daily lives. Many of these resources were recommended by our esteemed panelists who participated in the evening. Please enjoy, and we encourage you to share with us – in the comments section below – any resources that we may have missed.
Online Learning Tools:
- Kamehameha Schools’ Distance Learning Program, A‘o Makua: Aʻo Makua is an online enrichment program offered by Kamehameha Schools for adults interested in Hawaiian language and culture. With Aʻo Makua, you can learn about or rediscover Hawaiian values, beliefs, and traditions in the comfort of your own home, and at your own pace.
- ʻŌlelo Online is a website where you can learn Hawaiian language – also at your own pace. Video lessons are given in plain English language in a “pen and blackboard” format, with accompanying documentation. There are also audio samples for you to listen to to test your comprehension and practice your pronunciation. There’s an annual fee to participate.
- ʻAha Pūnana Leo offers self-directed online Hawaiian Language lessons via a program called Niuolahiki Distance Learning (NDL). This class is $30 per chapter, pay-as-you-go. You can enroll online at http://niuolahiki.
- Ka Leo ʻŌiwi: a 13-episode Hawaiian language learning series that provides a strong basic and fun foundation of the ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) through engagement and interaction with the characters. The episodes can be streamed online or downloaded. Many of the lessons covered in Ka Leo ʻŌiwi are included in “Nā Kai ʻEwalu”, by Kauanoe Kamanā and Pila Wilson, as a part of Univeristy of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Hale Kuamoʻo program (listed below).
- Nā Puke Wehewehe ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Online Hawaiian Dictionary): look up words in English or Hawaiian for definitions and meanings.
Apps for Smart Phones and Tablets
- Pocket Hawaiian Dictionary: Chosen as “Best Locally Made App” in 2012 by Honolulu Magazine, this is a great resource for the serious learner. Packed with encyclopedic references, this Hawaiian Dictionary features live searching in English or Hawaiian. Tip: If you are going to search in Hawaiian you need to know how to spell in Hawaiian. More of a browsing encyclopedia rich in content; if you are looking for a simple single word look-up you’ll find way more than that here.
- Speak Hawaiian Place Names: Touch a place name and hear native speaker Ka‘upena Wong pronounce it on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Ka‘upena is a National Endowment for the Arts national heritage fellowship winner celebrating artistic excellence and cultural authenticity and diversity. Over one hundred-sixty carefully chosen place and street names are presented along with definitions, proper Hawaiian diacritics and the correct audio pronunciation when touched. Most place names are found on all islands, in addition to O‘ahu. Emphasis is on quality and heritage.
- Speak Hawaiian Phrases: Tap a Hawaiian Phrase and hear native speaker Ka‘upena Wong pronounce it on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Hawaiian phrases are presented along with definitions, proper Hawaiian diacritics and the correct audio pronunciation when touched.
In person, in Hawai‘i:
Pūnana Leo o Maui
On the second and third Wednesdays during the school year (August-May) the Pūnana Leo o Maui holds free Hawaiian language classes from 6-7:30pm at UH Maui College. There are two levels, beginner and advance beginner. These classes are required for Pūnana Leo parents but are open to community members. Pūnana Leo o Mauiʻs Hawaiian Language classes will likely begin again on August 10th, 2016. It would be best to call the school in late July to confirm: (808) 244-5676.
University of Hawai‘i Offerings
UH Maui College – Students may select from a variety of courses that present Hawaiian perspectives in Hawaiian culture, language, history, and philosophy. A Hawaiian Language certificate is available via the Hawaiian Studies program.
UH Mānoa: Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge (HSHK) has a mission is to pursue, perpetuate, research, and revitalize all areas and forms of Hawaiian knowledge, including its language, origins, history, arts, sciences, literature, religion, education, law, and society, its political, medicinal, and cultural practices, as well as all other forms of knowledge. For those not wanting to pursue a full degree program, this school offers a Certificate in Hawaiian Language.
- The Academic Division of Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language emphasizes language acquisition, linguistics, traditional culture and education in a Hawaiian medium environment. This program offers a Hawaiian Language Certificate.
- Hale Kuamoʻo at UH Hilo: The Hale Kuamoʻo supports and encourages expansion of Hawaiian language as the medium of education, business, government, and other contexts of social life in Hawaiʻi. Through this program, you can order a book called Nā Kai ʻEwalu, n excellent book for learning the Hawaiian language as it explains the rules of the langauge in the style of Hawaiian language structure and using Hawaiian words.
Did we miss something? Feel free to share your favorite Hawaiian language resources in the comments section below, so that others may benefit.