Hawaiian Pidgin

Hawaiian Pidgin English (alternately Hawaiian Creole English or HCE, known locally as Pidgin) is an English-based creole language spoken in Hawaiʻi (L1: 600,000; L2: 400,000)[3]. Although English and Hawaiian are the co-official languages of the state of Hawaiʻi,[4] Hawaiian Pidgin is spoken by many Hawaiʻi residents in everyday conversation and is often used in advertising targeted toward locals in Hawaiʻi. In the Hawaiian language, it is called ʻōlelo paʻi ʻai - "pounding-taro language".[5]

Despite its name, Hawaiian Pidgin is not a pidgin, but rather a full-fledged, nativized, and demographically stable creole language.[6] It did, however, evolve from various real pidgins spoken as common languages between ethnic groups in Hawaiʻi.

Although it is not completely mutually intelligible with Standard American English, Hawaiian Pidgin retains the highest degree of mutual intelligibility with it when compared with other English-based creoles, such as Jamaican Patois, in part due to its relatively recent emergence.

Hawaiian Creole English
Native toHawai‘i, United States
Native speakers
600,000 (2012)[1]
English Creole
  • Pacific
    • Hawaiian Creole English
Language codes
ISO 639-3hwc


Hawaiian Pidgin originated on sugarcane plantations as a form of communication used between English speaking residents and non-English speaking Native Hawaiians and foreign immigrants.[7] It supplanted, and was influenced by, the existing pidgin that Native Hawaiians already used on plantations and elsewhere in Hawaiʻi. Because such sugarcane plantations often hired workers from many different countries, a common language was needed in order for the plantation workers to communicate effectively with each other and their supervisors.[8] Hawaiian Pidgin has been influenced by many different languages, including Portuguese, Hawaiian, American English, and Cantonese. As people of other language backgrounds were brought in to work on the plantations, such as Japanese, Filipinos, and Koreans, Hawaiian Pidgin acquired words from these languages. The article Japanese loanwords in Hawaiʻi lists some of those words originally from Japanese. It has also been influenced to a lesser degree by Spanish spoken by Puerto Rican settlers in Hawaiʻi. Hawaiian Pidgin also takes loanwords from the Hawaiian Language.[9] Hawaiian Pidgin was created mainly as a means of communication or to facilitate cooperation between the immigrants and the Americans to get business done.[10] Even today, Hawaiian Pidgin retains some influences from these languages. For example, the word "stay" in Hawaiian Pidgin has a form and use similar to the Hawaiian verb "noho", Portuguese verb "ficar" or Spanish "estar", which mean "to be" but are used only when referring to a temporary state or location.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Hawaiian Pidgin started to be used outside the plantation between ethnic groups. In the 1980s two educational programs started that were led in Hawaiian Pidgin to help students learn Standard English.[11] Public school children learned Hawaiian Pidgin from their classmates and parents. Living in a community mixed with various cultures led to the daily usage of Hawaiian Pidgin, also causing the language to expand. It was easier for school children of different ethnic backgrounds to speak Hawaiian Pidgin than to learn another language.[12] Children growing up with this language expanded Hawaiian Pidgin as their first language, or mother tongue.[13] For this reason, linguists generally consider Hawaiian Pidgin to be a creole language.[14] A five-year survey that the U.S. Census Bureau conducted in Hawaiʻi and released in November 2015 revealed that many people spoke Pidgin as an additional language. Because of this, in 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau added Pidgin to its list of official languages in the state of Hawaiʻi.[15]


Hawaiian Pidgin has distinct pronunciation differences from standard American English (SAE). Long vowels are not pronounced in Hawaiian Pidgin if the speaker is using Hawaiian loanwords. [9] Some key differences include the following:

  • Th-stopping: /θ/ and /ð/ are pronounced as [t] or [d] respectively—that is, changed from a fricative to a plosive (stop). For instance, think /θiŋk/ becomes [tiŋk], and that /ðæt/ becomes [dæt]. An example is “Broke da mout” (tasted good).
  • L-vocalization: Word-final l [l~ɫ] is often pronounced [o] or [ol]. For instance, mental /mɛntəl/ is often pronounced [mɛntoː]; people is pronounced [pipo].
  • Hawaiian Pidgin is non-rhotic. That is, r after a vowel is often omitted, similar to many dialects, such as Eastern New England, Australian English, and British English variants. For instance, car is often pronounced cah, and letter is pronounced letta. Intrusive r is also used. The number of Hawaiian Pidgin speakers with rhotic English has also been increasing.
  • Hawaiian Pidgin has falling intonation in questions. In yes/no questions, falling intonation is striking and appears to be a lasting imprint of Hawaiian (this pattern is not found in yes/no question intonation in American English). This particular falling intonation pattern is shared with some other Oceanic languages, including Fijian and Samoan (Murphy, K. 2013).
Front Central Back
i y






ʌ ɝ o




ɑ Low

Others include:[16] /ü/  /ʉu̠/ /aɔ̠/ /aɪ/ /öɪ̠/ /ɑu/ /ɔi/ and /ju/.

Pulmonic consonants[17][18][19]
Place Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
Manner Bilabial Labiodental Linguolabial Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Velar Glottal
Stop p b t d k g ʔ
Nasal m n
Sibilant fricative s z t̠ʃ d̠ʒ
Non-sibilant fricative f v h
Approximant w ɹ
Lateral approximant l

Grammatical Features

Hawaii Pidgin inscription
Inscription in Hawaiian Pidgin (Gospel of Mark 1:9–11)

Hawaiian Pidgin has distinct grammatical forms not found in SAE, although some of them are shared with other dialectal forms of English or may derive from other linguistic influences.

Forms used for SAE "to be":

  • Generally, forms of English "to be" (i.e. the copula) are omitted when referring to inherent qualities of an object or person, forming in essence a stative verb form. Additionally, inverted sentence order may be used for emphasis. (Many East Asian languages use stative verbs instead of the copula-adjective construction of English and other Western languages.)
Da behbeh cute. (or) Cute, da behbeh.
The baby is cute.

Note that these constructions also mimic the grammar of the Hawaiian language. In Hawaiian, "nani ka pēpē" or "kiuke ka pēpē" is literally "cute the baby" and is perfectly correct Hawaiian grammar meaning in English, "The baby is cute."

  • When the verb "to be" refers to a temporary state or location, the word stay is used (see above). This may be influenced by other Pacific creoles, which use the word stap, from stop, to denote a temporary state or location. In fact, stop was used in Hawaiian Pidgin earlier in its history, and may have been dropped in favor of stay due to influence from Portuguese estar or ficar (ficar is literally translated to English as 'to stay', but often used in place of "to be" e.g. "ele fica feliz" he is happy).
Da book stay on top da table.
The book is on the table.
Da watah stay cold.
The water is cold.

For tense-marking of verb, auxiliary verbs are employed:

  • To express past tense, Hawaiian Pidgin uses wen (went) in front of the verb.
Jesus wen cry. ("Da Jesus Book", John 11:35)
Jesus cried.
  • To express future tense, Hawaiian Pidgin uses goin (going), derived from the going-to future common in informal varieties of American English.
God goin do plenny good kine stuff fo him. ("Da Jesus Book", Mark 11:9)
God is going to do a lot of good things for him.
  • To express past tense negative, Hawaiian Pidgin uses neva (never). Neva can also mean "never" as in Standard English usage; context sometimes, but not always, makes the meaning clear.
He neva like dat.
He didn't want that. (or) He never wanted that. (or) He didn't like that.
  • Use of fo (for) in place of the infinitive particle "to". Cf. dialectal form "Going for carry me home."
I tryin fo tink. (or) I try fo tink.
I'm trying to think.


The language is highly stigmatized in formal settings, for which American English or the Hawaiian language are preferred. Therefore, its usage is typically reserved for everyday casual conversations.[20] Studies have proved that children in kindergarten preferred Hawaiian Pidgin, but once they were in grade one and more socially conditioned they preferred Standard English.[21] Hawaiian Pidgin is often criticized in business, educational, family, social, and community situations as it might be construed as rude, crude, or broken English among some Standard English speakers.[22] However, many tourists find Hawaiian Pidgin appealing - and local travel companies favor those who speak Hawaiian Pidgin and hire them as speakers or customer service agents.[23]

Most linguists categorize Hawaiian Pidgin as a creole, as a creole refers to the linguistic form “spoken by the native-born children of pidgin-speaking parents."[24] However, many locals view Hawaiian Pidgin as a dialect.[25] Other linguists argue that this “standard” form of the language is also a dialect.  Based on this definition, a language is primarily the “standard” form of the language, but also an umbrella term used to encapsulate the “inferior” dialects of that language.[26]  

The Pidgin Coup, a group of Hawaiian Pidgin advocates, claims that Hawaiian Pidgin should be classified as a language. The group believes that the only reason it is not considered a language is due to the hegemony of English. "Due to the hegemony of English, a lack of equal status between these two languages can only mean a scenario in which the non-dominant language is relatively marginalized.  Marginalization occurs when people hold the commonplace view that HCE and English differ in being appropriate for different purposes and different situations.  It is this concept of ‘appropriateness’ which is a form of prescriptivism; a newer, more subtle form."[27] These Hawaiian Pidgin advocates believe that by claiming there are only certain, less public contexts in which Hawaiian Pidgin is only appropriate, rather than explicitly stating that Hawaiian Pidgin is lesser than Standard English, masks the issue of refusing to recognize Hawaiian Pidgin as a legitimate language. In contrast, other researchers have found that many believe that, since Hawaiian Pidgin does not have a standardized writing form, it cannot be classified as a language.[28]

Literature and performing arts

In recent years, writers from Hawaiʻi such as Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Joe Balaz, and Lee Tonouchi have written poems, short stories, and other works in Hawaiian Pidgin. A Hawaiian Pidgin translation of the New Testament (called Da Jesus Book) has also been created, as has an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, or What You Will, titled in Hawaiian Pidgin "twelf nite o' WATEVA!"[29]

Several theater companies in Hawaiʻi produce plays written and performed in Hawaiian Pidgin. The most notable of these companies is Kumu Kahua Theater.

Hawaiian Pidgin has occasionally been featured on Hawaii Five-0 as the protagonists frequently interact with locals. A recurring character, Kamekona Tupuola (portrayed by Taylor Wiley), speaks Hawaiian Pidgin. The show frequently displays Hawaiian culture and is filmed at Hawaiʻi locations.

Milton Murayama's novel All I asking for is my body uses Hawaiʻi Pidgin in the title of the novel.

Two books, Pidgin to Da Max humorously portray pidgin through prose and illustrations.

As of March 2008, Hawaiian Pidgin has started to become more popular in local television advertisements as well as other media.[30] When Hawaiian Pidgin is used in advertisements, it is often changed to better fit the targeted audience of the kama‘aina.[30]

See also


  1. ^ Hawaiian Creole English at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Hawai'i Creole English". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ "Hawai'i Pidgin". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  4. ^ "Hawaii State Constitution". Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  5. ^ "paʻi ʻai". Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  6. ^ "Hawai'i Pidgin". Archived from the original on March 9, 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  7. ^ Collins, Kathy (January–February 2008). "Da Muddah Tongue". www.mauinokaoimag.com – Maui nō ka ʻoi Magazine. Wailuku, HI, USA. OCLC 226379163. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  8. ^ "Hawai'i Creole English". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  9. ^ a b Hiramoto, Mie (2011). "Consuming the consumers: Semiotics of Hawai'i Creole in advertisements". Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages. 26 (2): 247–275. doi:10.1075/jpcl.26.2.02hir. ISSN 0920-9034.
  10. ^ "Eye of Hawaii – Pidgin, The Unofficial Language of Hawaii". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  11. ^ Ohama, Mary Lynn Fiore; Gotay, Carolyn C.; Pagano, Ian S.; Boles, Larry; Craven, Dorothy D. (2000). "Evaluations of Hawaii Creole English and Standard English". Journal of Language and Social Psychology. 19 (3): 357–377. doi:10.1177/0261927x00019003005. ISSN 0261-927X.
  12. ^ SIEGEL, JEFF (2000). "Substrate influence in Hawai'i Creole English". Language in Society. 29 (2): 197–236. doi:10.1017/s0047404500002025. ISSN 0047-4045.
  13. ^ Department of Second Language Studies (2010). "Talking Story about Pidgin : What is Pidgin?". www.sls.hawaii.edu. University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  14. ^ Hargrove, Sakoda & Siegel 2017.
  15. ^ Laddaran, Kerry Chan (2015-11-12). "Pidgin English is now an official language of Hawaii". CNN. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  16. ^ a b Grama, James M., (2015). Variation and chang in Hawai'i Creole Vowels. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations Publishing (3717176)
  17. ^ Murphy, Kelley Erin. (2013). Melodies of Hawai'i: The Relationship Between Hawai'i Creole English and 'Olelo Hawai'i Prosody Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations Publishing (NR96756)
  18. ^ Odo, Carol. (1971). Variation in Hawaiian English: Underlying R. Retrieved from Eric.ed.gov
  19. ^ Drager, Katie (2012). Pidgin and Hawai'i English: An Overview Retrieved from E. Journals Publishing
  20. ^ Drager, Katie (2012-01-01). "Pidgin and Hawai'i English: An overview". International Journal of Language, Translation and Intercultural Communication. 1: 61–73. doi:10.12681/ijltic.10. ISSN 2241-7214.
  21. ^ Ohama, Mary Lynn Fiore; Gotay, Carolyn C.; Pagano, Ian S.; Boles, Larry; Craven, Dorothy D. (2000). "Evaluations of Hawaii Creole English and Standard English". Journal of Language and Social Psychology. 19 (3): 357–377. doi:10.1177/0261927x00019003005. ISSN 0261-927X.
  22. ^ Marlow, Mikaela L.; Giles, Howard (2010). "'We won't get ahead speaking like that!' Expressing and managing language criticism in Hawai'i". Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 31 (3): 237–251. doi:10.1080/01434630903582714. ISSN 0143-4632.
  23. ^ "Hawaiian pidgin – Hawaiʻi's third language". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  24. ^ Sato, Charlene J. (1985), "Linguistic Inequality in Hawaii: The Post-Creole Dilemma", Language of Inequality, DE GRUYTER, doi:10.1515/9783110857320.255, ISBN 9783110857320
  25. ^ Fishman, Joshua A. (1977). ""Standard" versus "Dialect" in Bilingual Education: An Old Problem in a New Context". The Modern Language Journal. 61 (7): 315–325. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4781.1977.tb05146.x. ISSN 0026-7902.
  26. ^ "Internasjonal engelsk - Languages, Dialects, Pidgins and Creoles - NDLA". ndla.no. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  27. ^ Hargrove, Ermile; Sakoda, Kent (1999). "The Hegemony of English". Journal of Hawai'i Literature and Arts. 75: 48–68.
  28. ^ Romaine, Suzanne (1999), "Changing Attitudes to Hawai'i Creole English", Creole Genesis, Attitudes and Discourse, Creole Language Library, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 20, p. 287, doi:10.1075/cll.20.20rom, ISBN 9789027252425
  29. ^ F. Kathleen Foley (May 31, 1995). "THEATER REVIEW : 'Twelf Nite' a New Twist on Shakespeare". LA Times. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  30. ^ a b Hiramoto, Mie (2011). "Consuming the consumers: Semiotics of Hawai'i Creole in advertisements". Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages. 26 (2): 247–275. doi:10.1075/jpcl.26.2.02hir. ISSN 0920-9034.


  • Da Jesus Book (2000). Orlando: Wycliffe Bible Translators. ISBN 0-938978-21-7.
  • Murphy, Kelly (2013). Melodies of Hawai‘i: The relationship between Hawai‘i Creole English and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi prosody. University of Calgary PhD dissertation.
  • Sakoda, Kent & Jeff Siegel (2003). Pidgin Grammar: An Introduction to the Creole Language of Hawaiʻi. Honolulu: Bess Press. ISBN 1-57306-169-7.
  • Simonson, Douglas et al. (1981). Pidgin to da Max. Honolulu: Bess Press. ISBN 0-935848-41-X.
  • Tonouchi, Lee (2001). Da Word. Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press. ISBN 0-910043-61-2.
  • "Pidgin: The Voice of Hawai'i." (2009) Documentary film. Directed by Marlene Booth, produced by Kanalu Young and Marlene Booth. New Day Films.
  • Suein Hwang "Long Dismissed, Hawaii Pidgin Finds A Place in Classroom" (Cover story) Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition, August 2005, retrieved on November 18, 2014.
  • Digital History, Digital History, http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtid=2&psid=3159 2014, retrieved on November 18, 2014.
  • Eye of Hawaii, Pidgin, The Unofficial Language, http://www.eyeofhawaii.com/Pidgin/pidgin.htm retrieved on November 18, 2014.
  • Hargrove, Ermile; Sakoda, Kent; Siegel, Jeff. "Hawai'i Creole English". Language Varieties Web Site. University of Hawai`i. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  • Jeff Siegel, Emergence of Pidgin and Creole Languages (Oxford University Press, 2008), 3.
  • Hawaiian Pidgin, Hawaii Travel Guide http://www.to-hawaii.com/hawaiian-pidgin.php retrieved on November 18, 2014.

Further reading

  • Murphy, Kelly (2013). Melodies of Hawai‘i: The relationship between Hawai‘i Creole English and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi prosody. University of Calgary PhD dissertation.
  • Sally Stewart (2001). "Hawaiian English". Lonely Planet USA Phrasebook. Lonely Planet Publications. pp. 262–266. ISBN 978-1-86450-182-7.
  • Speidel, Gisela E. (1981). "Language and reading: bridging the language difference for children who speak Hawaiian English". Educational Perspectives. 20: 23–30.
  • Speidel, G. E., Tharp, R. G., and Kobayashi, L. (1985). "Is there a comprehension problem for children who speak nonstandard English? A study of children with Hawaiian English backgrounds". Applied Psycholinguistics. 6 (1): 83–96. doi:10.1017/S0142716400006020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

Bible translations into Hawaiian

There are both Hawaiian and Hawaii Pidgin Biblical translations for Hawaii.


Bradajo ("Brother Joe") is the pen name of Jozuf Hadley, an American poet and art teacher who writes in Hawaiian Pidgin.

Chaloookyu Eensai, his 1972 recording with printed translation, is believed to be the first publication in Hawaiian Pidgin. He was born on Kauaʻi.

Bu Laia

Bu Laʻia (born as Shawn Kaui Hill in Waimanalo, Hawaii) is a Hawaiian comedian known for his use of Hawaiian pidgin and for wearing a large "afro style" wig and blacking out one of his front teeth while performing. He starred in a cable television show in the early 1990s and released two comic musical albums entitled False Crack??? and Hawaii's Most Wanted. He also attained fame—or notoriety—when he ran for governor of Hawaiʻi in 1994 (when he was too young to legally do so) and again as a member of the Natural Law Party in 2002. He also attracted attention when he was arrested for riding a skateboard at Honolulu International Airport. Bu is pidgin for "Bull". The name "Bu Laʻia" is a homophone of "Bull Liar", a phrase meaning "an outrageous liar". His name is reminiscent of the character created by Hawaiian comedian Kent Bowman, “K.K. Kaumanua” (K.K. Cow–Manure) famous for his "Pidgin English Children's Stories," although Bowman's character uses the pidgin English of an earlier generation.

Da kine

Da kine is an expression in Hawaiian Pidgin (Hawaii Creole English), probably derived from "the kind", that usually functions grammatically as a placeholder name (compare to English "whatsit" and "whatchamacallit"), but can also take the role of a verb, adjective, or adverb. Unlike other placeholder names in English, however, which usually refer specifically to a device ("gizmo" or "widget"), person ("so-and-so"), or place ("Anytown, USA"), "da kine" is general in usage and could refer to anything from a person to an abstract concept. It can be used to refer to something nonspecific, or given enough context (especially when used in conversation between native speakers of the dialect) to something very specific. As such, it appears to be unique among English dialects, at least in its centrality to everyday speech.

"Da kine" is probably the most identifying characteristic of spoken Hawaiian Pidgin, and certainly the most versatile.

The humorous illustrated dictionary Pidgin to Da Max defines "da kine" as:

"the keystone of pidgin. You can use it anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Very convenient."

A surfing dictionary lists da kine as "the word you use when you don't use the word.""Da kine" is used as shorthand when it is likely the listener will understand what is meant from context or a combination of context and body language. One definition (in mixed Pidgin) is: "Can have any kine connotation depends on how you say um and who you say um wit.""Da kine" may be related to the word "kine", which is used variously as an intensifier, short for "kind of" in the sense of "type of", and for many other purposes (perhaps almost as much variety as "da kine"). However, it may not be entirely accurate to analyze it as a phrase consisting of "da" (the Pidgin definite article) and "kine", as "kine" by itself does not have the same meaning. One possible analysis is that "da" in "da kine" is a clitic, as phrases such as "da odda kine" (other kind) or "all kine" (all kinds) are commonly used.The simplest explanation of its origin comes from the simple context of its use. "Da Kine" comes from "the kind" or "the thing" and is used as an extremely vague, yet simple explanation of an action or object when something's specific name is unknown or cannot come to mind. (I talked on my 'da kine' = I talked on 'the thing you use to talk to people' = I talked on my 'phone') (I wen fo one da kine las night = I went for a 'the thing you do when you move your legs' last night = I went for a 'run' last night) A pidgin speaker who uses "da kine" for its true purpose (not local slang) will often repeat "da kine" several times and attempt to explain what it is to fully get the idea across.


Dakine is an American outdoor clothing company specializing in sportswear and sports equipment for alternative sports based in Hood River Oregon. Founded in Hawaii, the name comes from the Hawaiian Pidgin word "da kine" (derived from "the kind"). Now based in Hood River Oregon (products are manufactured overseas), the company also sponsors athletes from the lifestyle and sporting fields of skiing, biking, windsurfing, kiting, snowboarding, surfing, and skateboarding.

Frank De Lima

Frank Wilcox Napuakekaulike De Lima (born July 8, 1949), an American comedian from Hawaii. With a Portuguese, Hawaiian, Irish, Chinese, English, Spanish, and Scottish heritage, he is known for light-hearted "Portagee" (Hawaiian Pidgin English for "Portuguese") slurs in his routine. In Honolulu, he attended the Cathedral Elementary School, Damien Memorial High School, and Saint Stephen Minor Seminary, later graduating with Bishop Clarence Silva of Honolulu at St. Patrick Archdiocesan Seminary in Menlo Park, California. He was subsequently ordained a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, serving at Holy Trinity Church, Kuliouou, Honolulu.

As a service to the community, De Lima also administers the Frank De Lima Student Enrichment Program. Through the Enrichment Program, Frank travels around Hawaii to various schools to perform motivational speeches. Stick your arm out, curve, put your hand on your waist and swing. those. hips.

Hawai'i Sign Language

Hawaiʻi Sign Language (HSL), also known as Old Hawaiʻi Sign Language and Pidgin Sign Language (PSL), is an indigenous sign language used in Hawaiʻi. Although historical records document its presence on the islands as early as the 1820s, it was not formally recognized until 2013 by linguists at the University of Hawai'i. It is the first new language to be uncovered within the United States since the 1930s. Linguistic experts believe HSL may be the last undiscovered language in the country.Although previously believed to be related to American Sign Language (ASL), the two languages are in fact unrelated. The initial research team interviewed 19 Deaf people and two children of Deaf parents on four islands. It was found that eighty percent of HSL vocabulary is different from American Sign Language, proving that HSL is an independent language. Additionally, there is a HSL-ASL creole, Creole Hawai'i Sign Language (CHSL) which is used by approximately 40 individuals in the generations between those who signed HSL exclusively and those who sign ASL exclusively. However, since the 1940s ASL has almost fully replaced the use of HSL on the islands of Hawai'i and CHSL is likely to also be lost in the next 50 years.Prior to the recognition of HSL as a distinct language in 2013, it was an undocumented language. HSL is at risk of extinction due to its low number of signers and the adoption of ASL. With fewer than 30 signers remaining worldwide, HSL is considered critically endangered. Without documentation and revitalization efforts, such as the ongoing efforts initiated by Dr. James Woodward, Dr. Barbara Earth, and Linda Lambrecht, this language may become dormant or extinct.

Hawaiian language

The Hawaiian language (Hawaiian: ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, pronounced [ʔoːˈlɛlo həˈvɐjʔi]) is a Polynesian language that takes its name from Hawaiʻi, the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. Hawaiian, along with English, is an official language of the State of Hawaii. King Kamehameha III established the first Hawaiian-language constitution in 1839 and 1840.

For various reasons, including territorial legislation establishing English as the official language in schools, the number of native speakers of Hawaiian gradually decreased during the period from the 1830s to the 1950s. Hawaiian was essentially displaced by English on six of seven inhabited islands. In 2001, native speakers of Hawaiian amounted to less than 0.1% of the statewide population. Linguists were unsure if Hawaiian and other endangered languages would survive.Nevertheless, from around 1949 to the present day, there has been a gradual increase in attention to and promotion of the language. Public Hawaiian-language immersion preschools called Pūnana Leo were established in 1984; other immersion schools followed soon after that. The first students to start in immersion preschool have now graduated from college and many are fluent Hawaiian speakers. The federal government has acknowledged this development. For example, the Hawaiian National Park Language Correction Act of 2000 changed the names of several national parks in Hawaiʻi, observing the Hawaiian spelling. However, the language is still classified as critically endangered by UNESCO.A creole language spoken in Hawaiʻi is Hawaiian Pidgin (or Hawaii Creole English, HCE). It should not be mistaken for the Hawaiian language nor for a dialect of English.

The Hawaiian alphabet has 13 letters: five vowels: a e i o u (each with a long pronunciation and a short one) and eight consonants: he ke la mu nu pi we, including a glottal stop called ʻokina.

Japanese Pidgin English

Japanese Pidgin English is any of several English-based pidgins spoken or influenced by the Japanese.

Cape York Japanese Pidgin English, spoken in the pearling area at Thursday Island

Hawaiian Japanese Pidgin English, a pidgin jargon spoken by immigrant plantation workers in Hawaii

Japanese Bamboo English, a pidgin jargon used in US military installations

Japanese loanwords in Hawaii

Loanwords from the Japanese language in Hawaiʻi appear in various parts of the culture. Many loanwords in Hawaiian Pidgin (or Hawaiian Creole English) derive from the Japanese language. The linguistic influences of the Japanese in Hawaii began with the first immigrants from Japan in 1868 and continues with the large Japanese American population in Hawaiʻi today.


Kine may refer to:

An archaic plural for cow

Kine or kino, Greek-English prefix referring to motion

A pestle used with the Japanese usu

A helper character from the Kirby video game series

A vampire's term for "human" in World of Darkness and The Dresden Files

Da kine, Hawaiian Pidgin for "excellent" or "whatcha' call it"

KINE-FM, a Hawaiian contemporary hits radio station

Kine, the first book of The Kine Saga trilogy, later republished as Marshworld

Abbreviation of Kinescope, the recording of a television program by filming the picture from a video monitor

Kine Beate Bjørnås (born 1980), Norwegian cross-country skier

Languages of Oceania

Native languages of Oceania fall into three major geographic groups:

The large Austronesian language family, with such languages as Malay (Indonesian), Tagalog (Filipino), and Polynesian languages such as Maori and Hawaiian

The Aboriginal Australian languages, including the large Pama–Nyungan family

The Papuan languages of New Guinea and neighbouring islands, including the large Trans–New Guinea familyContact between Austronesian and Papuan resulted in several instances in mixed languages such as Maisin.

Colonial languages include English in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and many other territories; French in New Caledonia and French Polynesia, Japanese in the Bonin Islands; Spanish on Easter Island and Galápagos Islands; and Portuguese in East Timor.

There are also creoles formed from the interaction of Malay or the colonial languages with indigenous languages, such as Tok Pisin, Bislama, Pijin, various Malay trade and creole languages, Hawaiian Pidgin, Norfuk, and Pitkern.

Finally, immigrants brought their own languages, such as Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek and others in Australia, or Fiji Hindi in Fiji.

Lee Tonouchi

Lee A. Tonouchi (born circa 1972) is a Hawaii born writer and editor, who calls himself "Da Pidgin Guerilla" because of his strong advocacy of the Hawaiian Pidgin language.

Tonouchi graduated from Aiea High School in 1990.

He promotes the idea that Hawaiian Pidgin is an appropriate language for both creative and academic writing.

He was inspired by the works of Eric Chock in the journal Bamboo Ridge.

All of his writing, including his Master's Thesis, is in Pidgin. He was an instructor of English at Kapiolani Community College in 2007.

He also taught at Hawaii Pacific University during 2005,

and later.

His works often address family relationship in a humorous way.His principal works:

Hybolics (1999), literary magazine in Hawaiian Pidgin (co-editor)

Da Word (2001), a collection of short stories

Living Pidgin: Contemplations on Pidgin Culture (2002), a collection of poems and essays

Gone Feeshing (2004), a play first produced at Kumu Kahua Theatre

Da Kine Dictionary:Da Hawai'i Community Pidgin Dictionary Projeck (2005), a dictionary of Hawaiian Pidgin

Lisa Matsumoto

Lisa Matsumoto (August 26, 1964 - December 14, 2007) was a playwright and children's author in Hawaii. Her use of Hawaiian Pidgin in her works propelled her to her status as one of the state's most popular resident playwrights.

List of English-based pidgins

Pidgin English is a non-specific name used to refer to any of the many pidgin languages derived from English. Pidgins that are spoken as first languages become creoles.

English-based pidgins that became stable contact languages, and which have some documentation, include the following:

Aboriginal Pidgin English

American Indian Pidgin English

Cameroonian Pidgin English

Chinese Pidgin English

Butler English (India)

Hawaiian Pidgin English

Japanese Bamboo English

Japanese Pidgin English

Korean Bamboo English

Kru Pidgin English

Liberian Interior Pidgin English

Micronesian Pidgin English

Nauru Pidgin English

Nigerian Pidgin

Papua New Guinea Pidgin

Papuan Pidgin English (distinct from Tok Pisin)

Port Jackson Pidgin English (ancestral to Australian Kriol)

Queensland Kanaka English

Samoan Plantation Pidgin

Solomon Islands Pijin


Thai Pidgin English

Tok Pisin

West African Pidgin English (multiple varieties)

Vanuatu Bislama

Lois-Ann Yamanaka

Lois-Ann Yamanaka (born September 7, 1961) is an American poet and novelist from Hawaiʻi. Many of her literary works are written in Hawaiian Pidgin, and some of her writing has dealt with controversial ethnic issues. In particular, her works confront themes of Asian American families and the local culture of Hawaiʻi.

Pidgin Hawaiian

Not to be confused with Hawaiian 'Pidgin', a creole language.Pidgin Hawaiian was a pidgin spoken in Hawaii, which drew most of its vocabulary from the Hawaiian language and could have been influenced by other pidgins of the Pacific region, such as Maritime Polynesian Pidgin. Emerging in the mid-nineteenth century, it was spoken mainly by immigrants to Hawaii, and mostly died out in the early twentieth century, but is still spoken in some Hawaiian communities, especially on the Big Island. Like all pidgins, Pidgin Hawaiian was a fairly rudimentary language, used for immediate communicative purposes by people of diverse language backgrounds, but who were mainly from East and Southeast Asia. As Hawaiian was the main language of the islands in the nineteenth century, most words came from this Polynesian language, though many others contributed to its formation. In the 1890s and afterwards, the increased spread of English favoured the use of an English-based pidgin instead, which, once nativized as the first language of children, developed into a creole which today is misleadingly called Hawaiian 'Pidgin'. This variety has also been influenced by Pidgin Hawaiian; for example in its use of the grammatical marker pau.

Henry kokoe pau paina, wau hele on (Pidgin Hawaiian)'After Henry had eaten dinner, I went.'

Jesus pau teach all dis kine story. (Hawaiian Creole)'Jesus finished teaching all these kinds of stories.'

Pidgin to Da Max

Pidgin to Da Max (full title: Peppo's Pidgin to Da Max) is a humorous illustrated dictionary of Hawaiian Pidgin words and phrases by Douglas Simonson, Pat Sasaki, and Ken Sakata. With the definitions of most of the words and phrases also given in Pidgin, the book is not clearly intended to be used as a Pidgin-English dictionary, although a reader unfamiliar with the dialect would likely understand most of the entries from context and the illustrations. Rather, the book is intended to be a humorous introspective for Hawaiians about the language they speak on a day-to-day basis. As such, it is a relatively popular book in Hawaii, and sold 25,000 copies in its first month in print.

There is an additional volume, titled Pidgin to Da Max: Hana Hou, which follows the first book.

As an example of an entry for which the dictionary may be of little help to outsiders, consider the definition of the word da kine:

DA KINE (da KINE) Da kine is the keystone of pidgin. You can use it anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Very convenient. What would we do without DA KINE? "Ey, I no can da kine if you no like da kine, too!"The dictionary then turns around and uses "da kine" (often a notoriously difficult word for non-Hawaiians to understand) in some of the definitions of other words.

The authors of Pidgin to Da Max are not originally from Hawaii, and Simonson admits to not speaking Pidgin all that well.

Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers

Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers is a Japanese American-Hawaiian adult fiction novel by Lois-Ann Yamanaka. Its tonality is distinctive to that of a local Hawaiian culture in that all the main characters speak in Hawaiian Pidgin. Although it is an adult fiction novel, the plot follows a young Japanese girl throughout her years in middle school. The major themes of the novel include comparing a mother-daughter relationship with a father-daughter one, finding one's identity, and the politics of Japanese Hawaiian culture in a white America.

Sections of the novel were adapted for the award-winning film, Fishbowl [1](2005), by Hawaii filmmaker Kayo Hatta, that aired nationally on PBS in 2006.

Languages of Hawaiʻi
Official languages
Sign languages
Immigrant languages


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