Hawaiian Phrases to Know

A question that we often receive is “what language is spoken in Hawaii?” The answer is that there are many languages that are spoken in Hawaii, though English is the most used. In addition to Vietnamese, Japanese, Tagalog, and others, Hawaiian language is still in widely used throughout the islands and there are many words that are commonly used in everyday conversation, seamlessly weaving in Hawaiian with English. Hawaiian history and culture is as important today as it ever has been, and keeping the language alive is important to the islands. While you’re visiting, there are many words and phrases that you can use to help you acclimate to the islands, and mastering these will help to make your trip very easy.

Aloha – use this for a greeting, farewell, or to describe the spirit of Hawaii – the Aloha Spirit
Mahalo – use this to say thank you, and use it often.
Da Kine – when you can’t quite think of a word, this is the go to throughout Hawaii. It can mean just about anything.  
Imu – front and center at the start of your Oahu luau, the Imu is the underground oven where the pig is cooked.
Luau – the Hawaiian version of a party, there is nothing quite like the experience of an Oahu luau.
Ohana – you’re likely traveling with this group of people. Family in Hawaiian is Ohana, and nothing is more important than Ohana.
Lanai – you probably know this as a balcony or patio, and the views from you lanai are sure to be amazing.
Keiki – this is the word for children. Your keiki will have so much fun during your trip.
Pau – meaning done or finished, when your vacation is pau, we hope that it was the best vacation imaginable.
Honu – everyone wants to see a Hawaiian green sea turtle, or honu, and if you are lucky enough to see one, remember to give them space and never touch them. That will result in a fine, just FYI.
Lei – the lei traces back to the earliest arrivals to the isalnds, and the fresh flower lei that you receive upon arrival or at your Oahu luau smells so good. Hang it in your room and enjoy the aroma for the entirety of your trip.
Ono – when you have a delicious meal or snack, you say that it is delicious or tasty, and Ono means the same.

Due to the high volume of visitors traveling to Hawaii year round, our Hawaii tours and activities sell out quickly. In many cases, tours sell out weeks or months in advance. To ensure your spots on tour, we recommend reserving your tours today. Call our office or book online to take advantage of our low price guarantee today.