Nā mea nui o ke aʻo ʻana i ka ʻōlelo
Main Focus Points for Learning Hawaiian Language
If you are a Hawaiian and want to learn your language, you have come to the right place. If you are a non-Hawaiian and want to learn our language, you are also in the right place. A little bit about us, my wife and I began learning ʻōlelo in October of 2017. We became fluent within 2 years of that time. Our first year having no one to help us. Our 2nd and 3rd year I sought after speakers that I could walaʻau with. I found Keoki Faria, Kahea Faria, Tuti Kanahele and Ipo Wong. 3 of them were Native speakers born on Niʻihau. I attribute our success to these people and there are many more. 3 years later our first bornʻs first language is Hawaiian and our second born is picking it up even faster! After three generations of no Hawaiian in my family, it has now returned.
If you donʻt have access to speakers now, thatʻs okay. There are tons of resources which are Native Speaker driven that are available to you for FREE! For learning, these are things to focus on: Vocabulary building, Listening, Reading, Writing, and finally Speaking. The following resources are broken up accordingly. Using these resources along with the Kūkulu Kauhale method can help you get off to a great and affordable start with learning Hawaiian. There are many more resources out there but again these are FREE and more than enough for beginners, intermediate and even current students/speakers of the language.
Native Speaker Resources
We cannot stress how important it is to learn from Native Speakers. Hawaiian Language speakers today have very little relation to Native Speakers. Huge differences in thought process, words, accent and pronunciation to name a few. We work hard to speak like them and encourage you to do the same.
Listening - Native Speakers
- Ka Leo Hawaiʻi (1970ʻs): Recorded interviews, mostly with Native Speakers
- Clinton Kanahele Collection: Recorded interviews
- Na Hulu Kupuna: Videos interviews
- Lolena Nicholas: Interview of Niʻihau woman
- Ma ka halepule i Kalapana: Interview of Kalapana residents
- Ma ka paina i Kalapana: Interview of Kalapana residents
- Emma Kauhi: Recording
- Ka makani kaʻili aloha (Kawika Kaʻalakea): Video interview/story
- Tutu Maluʻihi: Video interview
- Tutu Maluʻihi #2: Video
- Tutu Maluʻihi #3: Video
- Ka Moʻolelo o Kaohele: Recoded story
- Ke kula Niihau o Kekaha: Video interview
- Mileka Kanahele (olelo Niihau me ka olelo Hawaii): Recoding
- Isaiah Kealoha: Video (presentation)
Listening - Second Language Speakers
- Ka Leo Hawaiʻi Radio Program (1991-2000): Recordings of Second Language Speakers mostly with some Native Speakers
- Kulāiwi Lessons on Youtube: Hawaiian Language Basics.
- A Playlist of story books that are read in Hawaiian with pictures
- Lono Ikuwa: Video (cooking)
- Keiki TV: Videos for kids
- ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi Education: Video (panel discussion)
- Kamehameha Publishing: Videos (educational)
- The Hawaiian Dictionary - The “Hawaiian Dictionary” was put together by a Native Speaker (Mary Kawena Pukui), the others were not
- Nānā i ke Kumu Vol. I and Nānā i ke Kumu Vol. II - These are amazing books that teach you about cultural practices along with the words associated with them. They were written by Mary Kawena Pukui
Reading Tip: Find something (like scriptures) that you can have the Hawaiian and English versions side by side. As you read you can go back and forth between the two.
- Ka Buke a Moramona (.pdf) - Free online
- Ka Baibala - Free online
- Papakilo Database - You can look up words and phrases here to see how they were used in context
- Nā Nūpepa - Thereʻs a option you can click (top right corner of page) to translate the page into English if youʻre confused how to navigate the site
- Spoken Hawaiian (.pdf): Comprehensive lesson buke by Sam. Elbert who worked with Mary Kawena Pukui
- Hawaiian Grammar Book: By Mary Kawena Pukui
- Get a journal and journal in Hawaiian
- Get a small notebook or planner or use your phone and jot down words or phrases youʻre curious about throughout the day
- While listening to videos or audio recordings write down what you think you hear and use it as material to study when you can
- Social Media - Comment and message in Hawaiian! Our handles @kaulumaika & @ka_alala
- Family and Friends
- Yourself - while youʻre showering or driving, you can practice. Yes we did and still do this
- Social Media
- RECORDING YOUR VOICE: seriously the most helpful thing you can do to work on pronunciation and accent (two equally important things). Record yourself, play it back then correct it
- E Kamaʻilio Kākou - Comprehensive lesson book by Dorothy Kahananui a native speaker.