In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

‘Ōlelo Hawai’i Month: Try using these conversational Hawaiian phrases

February is 'Ōlelo Hawai'i Month

ʻO Pepeluali ka mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi! Translated, that means “February is ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i Month!” During this time, may celebrate by encouraging others to learn and speak the Hawaiian language. To commemorate the month, HI Now hosts Kanoe Gibson and Kainoa Carlson are sharing some simple phrases you can incorporate into your every day conversations.

One phrase you can use in conversation with friends or family is, “Aihea ʻana ʻoe?” or “Where are you going?” This is also a good one to ask your kolohe, or rascal, little ones who might be up to no good at home!

Another question you can ask a friend, family member, or co-worker is, “He aha ʻoe e makemake au e hana?” Translated, that means, “What would you like to do?” Now to respond to that question, you would begin by saying, “Makemake au e…” which means, “I want to…” and then you would just fill in the blank with an activity.

A common phrase you probably hear often is, “mahalo,” which means, “thanks!” However, if you’re in a more formal setting, you can also say, “mahalo iā ʻoe!” or “thank you.” And you if you’re feeling extra thankful for something, you can even say, “mahalo nui loa,” which means, “thank you very much.”

And finally, many people know that goodbye in Hawaiian is, “A hui ho,” or until we meet again.

Other commonly used phrases you can add to your daily conversations include:
You’re welcome / The pleasure is all mine: Ka hauʻoli naʻu
You’re welcome / No problem: ʻAʻole pilikia
You’re welcome / A trifle: He mea iki

Next time you’re with friends, family, or co-workers, see if you can use any of these phrases! To learn how to say the phrases “My name is…” and “How are you?” be sure to check out another short Hawaiian lesson here.