Published: May 29th 2006May 28th 2006
The Pink Lady.
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki.
Visitors to Hawaii may be comforted to know that English is spoken and understood by almost everyone, so ordering things, asking for directions or reading signs should be no problem as opposed to travelling to places where a foreign language is mainly spoken.
The Hawaiian language 100 years ago, was spoken widely mostly by native Hawaiians, but after the overthrow of the Monarchy in the 1890's, teachers would punish students for speaking Hawaiian, even in a Hawaiian only private school. Hence the language almost languished except in Hawaiian music and in Street names or geographic locations. In the 1980's though, there was a resurgence to try and revive the Hawaiian language so immersion schools and schools and college started to encourage learning of Hawaiian again.
As many tourists may want to drive themselves around or catch buses on their own, the fact that many Street and locations have Hawaiian names may pose a slight difficulty, one would not experience in any other state.
Many of the main Highways or Boulevard may be named after former Hawaiian Royalties. Kamehameha Hwy. which circles most of the island is named after Kamehameha I, who united the Hawaiian Islands under one rule,
View of Eastern Oahu Coast from Pali Lookout.
lived when the first Westerners discovered the Islands. Kalanianaole Hwy. which runs through most of Eastern Honolulu and part of Windward Oahu is named after Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. Before it was common to refer it to as Kam Hwy and Kal Hwy. but no more. You may get chided or a dirty look if you don't refer to it by it's full name. Kapiolani Blvd. which runs a long length east to west of the city is named for Queen Kapiolani wife of King Kalakaua. Kalakaua Ave. which is the main thoroughfare though Waikiki was named for King Kalakaua. Liliuokalani Ave. in Waikiki named for Queen Liliuokalani, the last of the Hawaiian Monarchy. Kaiulani Ave. also in Waikiki named for Princess Kaiulani, who died at a young age. Lunalilo Fwy. which runs though much of the length of Honolulu named after King Lunalilo.'Piikoi and Kinau Sts. for Princes and Princesses.
Other main thorouhfares have geographic meanings such as Kai and Moana meaning Ocean or sea, Ala meaning Way or Road, Wai meaning Water, Mauna=Mountain, Pali=Cliff, Uka=Uplands. Hence you have Ala Wai Blvd. in Waikiki running along the Ala Wai Canal. Ala Moana Blvd. runs along the Ocean from
Museum, located in Kalihi, older section in West Honolulu.
Waikiki to Downtown. Maunalani Hts. is a Subdivision in East Honolulu. Waipahu (Water Drum) is a city in West Oahu.
When speaking of directions especially in Honolulu, Mauka means towards the mountains (North), Makai=towards the ocean (South), Ewa=a town in West Oahu (west) and Diamond Head or East. If already east of Diamond Head, than they'll say Koko Head which is about 5 miles east of DH.
Common everyday words which locals may often mix with English are Mahalo=thank-you, Kane=male, Wahine=female, Malama Pono=take care, Nani=pretty, Pilau=dirty, Pupule=crazy, Malihini=tourist, newcomer, Kamaaina=local, Pau=finish, done, Auwe=alas, Kaukau=Food, or to eat, Luau=Hawaiian Feast, not to be confused with Lua=restroom. Ahui Ho=Good-bye, Aloha=Hello, Goodbye, love, Menehune=leprachuan, little people, Mele=song, Maikai=good, Pono=righteous, Aina=land, Keiki=children, Kupuna=grandparents, Pilikia=trouble (No pilikia=no problem), Huhu=angry, Tutu=grandma, Pupu=H'ordevous, Kolohe=naughty, rascal, Maka=eye, Ka=the (singular) Na=the (plural).
Popular Hawaiian names. Female-Lani=Heavenly, Pua=flower, Nani=beautiful, Loke=Rose, Lokelani=Heavenly Rose, Leilani=heavenly flower garland, Hoku=star, Puanani=pretty flower, Noe=mist, Noelani=heavenly mist, Ipo=sweetheart, Kuuipo=my sweetheart.
Male names. Ikaika=brave, Kimo=Jim, Keoni=John, Kawika=David, Pono=righteous, Manu=bird.
There are more photos below