Blue Polynesia

1. 2. 2018 - 22.00

How to Understand Hawaiian Pidgin

Pidgin or "creole" is an "official" language of Hawaii. While many residents use English or Hawaiian, many locals speak Pidgin. Hearing it in person for the first time may sound funny or strange. Here is an article of how to understand it.


Know that articles and verbs gets replaced with slang. Da replaces "The", Fo'replaces "To", and Wen replaces "When". Other verbs can be replaced, for example, "Braddah, you lik' go beach?" is pidgin for "You want to go to the beach?"

Understand the common adjectives and names towards people. Lolo means idiot and Kolohe means troublemaker. In the islands, there is an "ohana" (family) slang towards others. Auntie and Uncle are used towards females and males that are older than you in a respectable way, for example your friend's parents, a supermarket cashier, or a bus driver. Brah or Braddah are used for laid-back conversations or to get someone's attention.

Don't forget the differences between similar words. Hapai means pregnant while Hapa means half. Talk story means chatting or casual conversation and Talk stinkmeans talking bad about someone else.

Learn some Hawaiian phrases that are brought into Pidgin. Puka means hole, usually found in shirts or other items. Hana Hoe means "one more time" and mostly said at concerts or gigs when the crowd wants to hear one more song. Another is "Kannakattack", which means "eat till you sleep".

"Th" is not typically pronounced like "th" as in "the" in standard English when at the start of a word. The "h" is silent meaning "throw" is pronounced "trow" and "three" is pronounced "tree". If the "th" is in the middle of the word, it is pronounced as a "d" (but usually spelled as "dd". "Rather" is pronounced "raddah", "gather" is "gaddah", "father" is "faddah".

If someone tells you there is "no moa" of something, they are saying that there is "no more", but that does not imply that there EVER WAS ANY in the first place (as would be implied in standard english). "No moa" means that there is none and there may have never been ANY.

i.e.(at a Home Depot): "You guys carry leopard skinned panties?"
(Home Depot employee): "No moa ANY kine panties...dis is Home Depot not Backseat Betty's"

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