The Hawaiian alphabet is called Pi’apa Hawai’i. It has only 14 letters and symbols, making it one of the world's shortest alphabets. Learning to speak basic Hawaiian is not difficult if you understand the alphabet and a few rules of pronunciation. Below, is a guide that will help you.
There are 5 vowels. Here are their pronunciations, as written in English:
In addition, the Hawaiian language uses a number of vowel combinations, or diphthongs. Using the vowel sounds listed above, say the two sounds together very quickly so they sound like one syllable. Put a slight emphasis on the first vowel.
Diphthong definition... gliding vowel, a complex vowel sound in which the first vowel gradually moves toward a second vowel so that both vowels form one syllable
The diphthongs are:
ae, ai, au, ao, ei, eu, oi, ou, iu
There are 7 consonants in the Hawaiian Alphabet. Here are their names and pronunciations:
Try pronouncing the "we" letter now, in the word "Hawai'i".
In addition, there are two other symbols that are considered to be a part of the alphabet, and not just punctuation.
*Note: These last two symbols, marked with an asterix, are not used on this site because they are generally not supported by internet browsers.
Take a look on the side bar above to see more pages about the Hawaiian language.