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.