Hawaiian Words and Phrases
Hawaiian Language Translation

Hawaiian words

People who live in the Islands know and use many Hawaiian words and phrases.  Below is a list of some of the terms most commonly used. You will hear these at all kinds of gatherings and special events. You will see them in print. They will pop up in everyday conversation.  This beautiful language is one of the things that makes Hawaii so special.

To learn more about the pronunciation of these terms, go to the Hawaiian Alphabet  page.

To help you with your own Hawaiian language translation, look on the side bar for an excellent on-line dictionary.

Hawaiian Words

  • ‘Ae                     yes
  • Aina                   land
  • Akamai              smart, wise or shrewd
  • Ala                     road, or path
  • Ali’i                    Hawaiian chief, king
  • Aloha                 hello, goodbye, love
  • Hale                   house or building
  • Hana                  work
  • Hana Hou          to do again; repeat
  • Haole                 Caucasian, foreigner
  • Heiau                 Hawaiian temple, shrine
  • Hui                     club, accociation
  • Hula                   The story-telling dance of Hawaii
  • Imu                     underground cooker
  • ‘Iniki                    sharp and piercing wind
  • Kahuna               a priest, or expert in a profession
  • Kai                      the sea
  • Kala mai ia’u       excuse me
  • Kalua                   cooking food underground
  • Kama’aina           long-time Hawaii resident
  • Kanekah-neh       boy or man
  • Kapu                    forbidden, taboo; keep out
  • Keiki                     child or children
  • Kokohe                rascal
  • Kokua                  help
  • Komo Mai            come in, welcome
  • Kona                    leeward side of the island
  • Kuleana               concern, responsibility
  • Kumu                   teacher
  • Kupuna                grandparent
  • Lanai                   porch, balcony                           



more Hawaiian terms...



  • Lani               sky or heaven
  • Lei                 necklace of flowers, shells, or feathers
  • Liliko’i            passion fruit
  • Limu              edible seaweed
  • Lomi              to rub or massage
  • Lu’au             Hawaiian feast
  • Mahalo          Thank you
  • Makai            toward the sea
  • Malihini          newcomer, visitor or guest
  • Mauka           toward the mountain
  • Moana           ocean
  • Mo’o              lizard
  • Nani              beautiful, pretty
  • Nui                big, important, great‘
  • Ohana          family
  • ‘Ono              delicious, the best
  • Pakalolo        hemp herb
  • Pali                cliff, mountain side
  • Paniolo          Hawaiian cowboy
  • Pau               finish, end, done
  • poi                 pounded kalo (taro) root
  • Pono             excellence, correct, proper
  • Pua               flower
  • Pupu             appetizer, or snacks
  • Puka             hole
  • Wahine         woman
  • Wai               fresh water
  • Wikiwiki         hurry up; to be very quick

Now that you've learned a few words, how about learning some more complex phrases for everyday, or special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, welcoming to parties, anniversaries, showers, and how to say a formal Thank you.

Check out the links below  and on the side bar to learn baby names, pet names, Christmas songs, and more.




Hawaiian Aphabet and Pronunciation

Commonly Used Hawaiian Phrases

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Hawaiian Alphabet and Pronunciation

Hawaiian Phrases

Commonly Used Hawaiian Words

Hawaiian Language Overview

 Hawaiian Luau  Menus

Hawaiian Baby Names

Hawaiian Pet names

Hawaiian State Song


Learn Hawaiian On-line!

Here is the best on-line Hawaiian Dictionary we have found.

Recommended reading:

  • All About Hawaiian, by Albert J. Shultz
  • Handy Hawaiian Dictionary, by Henry Judd
Hawaiian words
Hawaiian language translation
Hawaiian Language Translation
Hawaiian words
hawaiian words translation
Hawaiian words
Hawaiian words translation