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Marlon muebeitoa yu ajue beisie.
Let's learn a foreign language!

segunda-feira, 25 de maio de 2009

The Hawaiian Language - 'Ölelo Hawai'i

Why is the Hawaiian Alphabet called "Pï'äpä"?

You might be wondering, hey, how the heck did they get "pï'äpä" out of "alphabet"? The clearest explanation I've heard is from Albert Schutz, in The Voices of Eden:

"In the edition [of Webster's (english) speller, excedingly popular at the time Hawaiians were being taught to read & write] just quoted, Lesson 1 begins with a table of syllables..to be spelled aloud and then pronounced as units: ba be bi bo bu by. Thus, students began to learn to read by reciting the names of the letters and the pronouncing the syllable the letters spelled: bï, ä: bä....This practice of spelling aloud, especially using the "syllabarium," gave the Hawaiian alphabet its name. Just as American schoolchildren taught with Webster's speller began their recitation by naming the letters that formed the first syllable, and then pronouncing the result: "B, A--BA," so did Hawaiian learners. However, they pronounced these sounds "pï, ä--pä," which is now the word for "alphabet".

Vocabulary/Common Social Phrases...
'Ae - Yes
'A'ole - No
Au - I
'oe - You {singular}
Aloha kakahiaka - Good morning
Aloha 'awakea - Good afternoon
Aloha auinala - Good afternoon (late)
Aloha ahiahi - Good evening
Pehea 'oe? - How are you? (when talking to one person)
Maika'i au. - I'm good.
Maika'i nö au. - I'm very good.
Maluhiluhi au. - I'm tired.
Mahalo. - Thanks, thank you.
A 'o 'oe? - And you?
A hui hou. - Goodbye, until we meet again
A hui hou aku nö. - {in reply to the above}
E mälama pono 'oe (i kou kino.) - Take care (of your body.) {A common parting phrase}

E ku'u hoaaloha...
"E" is a little grammatical word that is placed in front when addressing someone directly, as used in the example dialogue below.
Example Dialogue:
Keola: Aloha kakahika, e Pua.
Pua: Aloha, e Keola. Pehea 'oe?
Keola: Maika'i au, mahalo. 'A 'o 'oe?
Pua: Mäluhiluhi au. Mahalo. A hui hou, e Keola.
Keola: 'Ae, e mälama pono 'oe.
Okay, now we know letters, pronunciations, social phrases... we can get to the interesting part. Words, and words strung together into...sentences!
Vocabulary...
Nä 'A'ano:
akamai - smart
kolohe - rascal
maika'i - good
nani - pretty, beautiful
nui - big
'ono - delicious

Nä Kikino
'ïlio -- dog
inoa -- name
hale -- house, Building
ka'a -- car
kai -- sea
kane -- man
keiki -- child
kumu -- teacher
lä -- day, sun
lani -- sky
mea -- thing
mele -- song, poem
pilikia -- trouble
pöpoki -- cat
pua -- flower
wahine -- woman

he -- a, an
ke, ka -- the
këia -- this
kënä -- that (near)
këlä -- that (far)

Articles, k-words

"He" is somewhat equivalent to the english "a" or "an" (indefinite articles). You'll see it used in the examples below. This is one of a few patterns where it is used, more often "ke" and "ka" are used instead, even where in english we would say "a/an" or have nothing at all.

Ke and ka are both similar to the english "the" (they are definite articles). The difference between them is 'cosmetic', similar to the difference between a and an in english. Ke is used before words beginning with the letters a, e, o and k. (An easy way to remember those letters is the name "Kekoa" (which means "the warrior")) Ka is used everywhere else. Remember that the 'okina is considered a letter, so ka should be used before words beginning with the 'okina.
Hawaiian nouns almost never go about without "ke", "ka" or other "k-words" in front of them. Keia, kena and kela are also k-words, and may replace "ke/ka" in front of nouns.
Kënä & Këlä
Kënä and këlä both translate as "that" in english. The difference between them is, kënä is used when discussing something near the person being spoken to, and këlä is used when discussing something that's not near either the listener or the speaker. (Japanese and some other languages draw the same distinction)

Nani këia pua: Nä 'a'ano (the stative verbs)
Hawaiian has nothing like the english verb "to be". Different patterns and word orderings are used instead. One of the most basic of these is for describing things. In english, you say that something is pretty or blue or silly or delicious or inspiring. Here's how to do it in Hawaiian:
Nani këia pua. - This flower is pretty. (lit.Pretty this flower.)
Nui kënä pöpoki! - That (near listener) cat is big!
Kolohe ka 'ïlio. - The dog is mischevious.
Akamai loa au. - I am very smart.

As you've certainly noticed, the describing word goes first, and then whatever it's describing. In english, most of these describing words are "adjectives", but because of how they function, in Hawaiian, they're called "stative verbs".
If you just want to tack a descriptive word onto a noun, it goes after it (kind of like in Spanish).. for example:
këia pua nani - This pretty flower
kënä pöpoki nui - This big cat
ka 'ïlio kolohe - The rascal dog
Stative verbs are all well and good--we can say how blue or sexy or amazing or ugly something is--but what about verbs as English speakers usually think of verbs? In other words, let's get some action going!

Vocabulary...

Nä Hamani (transitive verbs)
Ha'awi -- to give
Hele aku -- to go
Hele mai -- to come
Nänä -- to look
Ki'i -- to get
'Ai -- to eat
Aloha -- to love
Hana -- to work
Nä Kikino
Mea 'ai -- food (lit. thing (to) eat)
Puke -- book

Verb Sentences

In Hawai'i, the verb usually goes right near the beginning of the sentence. Next is the subject, that is, what/whoever is performing the action, and after that is the direct object, or what/whoever the action is being performed on (in "Lehua eats the chocolate", Lehua is the subject, eats is the verb, and chocolate is the direct object). We could say that Hawaiian is a VSO language, that is, verb-subject-object. As in any language, this is not a rigid order, but it's right for simple sentences.
Examples:
Nänä ke keiki -- The child looks.
Nänä ke keiki i ke kai. -- The child looks at the sea.
'Ai ke kane. -- The man eats.
'Ai ke kane i ka mea 'ai. -- The man eats the food.
Ha'awi au i ka pua i ke keiki. -- I give the flower to the child.

Alia!, you're saying, wait a minute! What are those little "i" things there for? Ah, I say, those are little grammatical particles. You put them in front of the objects. Thusly, in this case, they are "object markers" (amazing, huh?). They go in front of direct objects and indirect objects. (in "I give the flower to the child", the flower is the direct object, the thing I'm giving. The child is the indirect object, the one getting the flower). "i" also functions as a place/time marker, it is placed in front of a place or time, for example:

Hele au i Hawai'i. -- I go to Hawai'i.
Nänä ke keiki i ka puke i ka hale. -- The child looks at the book in the house.
'Ai au i ka mea 'ai i ka 'awakea. -- I eat food in the afternoon.
I ke kakahiaka, ha'awi au i ka mea 'ai i ka pöpoki i ka hale. -- In the morning, I give food to the cat in the house.

Imperatives
If you're directing someone to do something, "e" is place in front of the verb.
Examples:
E Lilinoe, e ki'i 'oe i ka pöpoki! -- Lilinoe, get the cat!
E 'ai iho 'oe i ka mea 'ai! -- Eat the food!
E hele mai 'oe i Hawai'i! -- Come to Hawai'i!
E hele aku 'oe! -- Go! Go away!
E ha'awi 'oe i këlä pua nani i ka wahine. -- Give that pretty flower to the lady.

The subject (in this case "'oe") is often left out if it is obvious. In informal situations, the "e" at the beginning is sometimes dropped as well.
There is a list of common, simple imperative commands here (Leilani's page)
Negative Imperatives
For telling someone not to do something. These are just as straightforward as the positive ones, you simply use "mai" instead of "e".
Examples:

Mai hele aku! -- Don't go!
Mai 'ai 'oe i kënä! -- Don't eat that!
Mai nänä i ka lä. -- Don't look at the sun.
kika olelo

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