AskBiography Logo   Latest News  Follow Us on Twitter  Follow Us on Google Buzz  Became Fan - Facebook  Subscribe to RSSRSS   Bookmark and Share

Hawaiian language

Nativename Ōlelo Hawai i
RegionHawai i: concentrated on Ni ihau and Hawai i, but speakers throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the U.S. mainland
Speakers~2000 native
EthnicityNative Hawaiians
Fam5Eastern Polynesian
ScriptLatin plus Hawaiian symbols
NationHawaii Hawai i (with English)
recognized as minority language in parts of:
US U.S. Mainland

     Home | Language | Hawaiian language

The Hawaiian language (Hawaiian: Ōlelo Hawai i) is a Polynesian language that takes its name from Hawai i, the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. Hawaiian, along with English, is an official language of the state of Hawaii. King Kamehameha III established the first Hawaiian-language constitution in 1839 and 1840.

For various reasons, including Territorial legislation banning the language in schools, the number of native speakers of Hawaiian gradually decreased during the period from the 1830s to the 1950s. Hawaiian was essentially displaced by English on six of the seven inhabited islands. As of 2001, native speakers of Hawaiian amount to under 0.1% of the statewide population. Linguists are worried about the fate of this and other endangered languages.

Nevertheless, from about 1949 to the present, there has been a gradual increase in attention to, and promotion of, the language. Public Hawaiian-language immersion pre-schools called Pūnana Leo were started in 1984; other immersion schools followed soon after. The first students to start in immersion pre-school have now graduated from college and many are fluent Hawaiian speakers. The federal government acknowledged this development. For example the Hawaiian National Park Language Correction Act of 2000 changed the names of several national parks in Hawai i observing the Hawaiian spelling.

A creole language spoken in Hawai i is technically called "Hawaii Creole English", abbreviated "HCE". It developed from pidgin English and is often called simply "Pidgin". It should not be mistaken for the Hawaiian language nor for a dialect of English.

The Hawaiian alphabet has 23 letters, ten vowels and eight consonants, including the okina for glottal stop which is not found in the Latin alphabet.

Warning: simplexml_load_file( [function.simplexml-load-file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Fatal error: Call to a member function children() on a non-object in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 260