Add to Book Shelf
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Book

Spoken Hawaiian

By Samuel H. Elbert

Click here to view

Book Id: WPLBN0002096988
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 33.50 MB
Reproduction Date: 5/9/2011

Title: Spoken Hawaiian  
Author: Samuel H. Elbert
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Education, Hawaiian Language Education
Collections: Education, Sociolinguistics, Authors Community, Language, Sociology, Literature, Law, Social Sciences
Publication Date:
Publisher: University of Hawai'I Press
Member Page: Hale Kuamoʻo Hawaiian Language Center


APA MLA Chicago

H. Elber, B. S. (1977). Spoken Hawaiian. Retrieved from

This volume is a result of two decades' efforts in teaching Hawaiian. The objects of the book are to present the principal conversational and grammatical patterns and the most common idioms, and to prepare the student for a final reward: the capacity to read and enjoy the rich heritage of Hawaiian traditional legends and poetry. Over the years, the reasons cited for studying Hawaiian have been diverse. Some students are merely curious or hopeful for easy credit; some have an emotional dedication to Hawaii's past. Some have practical aims. They want to teach the language or culture of Hawaii. Some want to become translators of the vast storehouse of as-yet-untranslated materials. Some wish to prepare literary materials for primary or secondary education levels, or to write novels. Some want to do anthropological fieldwork or any other work that will take them to the South Seas where mastery of closely related languages is so essential. Students majoring in linguistics want to probe deeper into the structure of the Hawaiian language. Some students wish to speak Hawaiian to grandparents and other native speakers still found on Niihau and in scattered communities on other islands and even in Honolulu. The Hawaiian language is not dead, and, to judge by the number of persons under twenty fluent in the language, it will be around for a long time. A justification for the rather drastic limitation of vocabulary in this text to about eight hundred items is that new words are of little value until the student knows how to fit them into the patterns of the language; ability to speak is seriously retarded if the student dissipates his energy in memorizing words before he knows what to do with them. The words have been chosen on the basis of frequency of use in classroom situations, in general conversation, and in legends and songs—samples of which are generously supplied throughout the text. No attempt is made to provide Hawaiian names for everything in a supermarket, as few, if any, students today will make their purchases in Hawaiian.

The Hawaiian phonemes are listed below. English examples are approximate. The Hawaiian vowels are "pure," i.e., without glides. They are of either short or long duration. The consonants p and k have less aspiration (i.e., they are "harder") than similar English sounds in initial position. (Pairs distinguished by single phonemes follow descriptions in parentheses.) Long a (a) is longer than the other long vowels.


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.