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Common Hawaiian Words to Know

During your visit to Hawaii, you may not have enough time to learn the entire Hawaiian language, but you are definitely going to need to know a few words to get by. Lucky for you, these words are easy to learn, and can go a long way during your trip.

Aloha – used as a greeting, or sign of appreciation. You’ll hear this when you enter a store or restaurant, and will also see this word everywhere. Its meaning is universal and runs deep. Always show ‘Aloha’ during your trip.

Mahalo – ‘thank you’ in Hawaiian, it is always appropriate to say ‘mahalo’ to anyone and everyone, for any reason. This word means a lot.

Pupu – you’ll see this word printed on the menu of any restaurant that you go to. Its meaning is ‘bite sized appetizer’ or a rough translation, and heading out for pupus and drinks is a popular late afternoon activity.

Kalakaua – you’ll see reference to King Kalakaua during your visit as he is one of the legendary kings of the Hawaiian Islands, and his likeness is seen all over the islands. If you are visiting Oahu and staying in Waikiki, Kalakaua Ave., is the main road through Waikiki and where most of the hotels are located.

Wiki – when you need to get somewhere in a hurry, you’ll need to go quickly. Wiki translates to quick, and when you are in a big rush, wiki wiki is the only way to travel.

Ohana – you’ll probably recognize this word from Lilo and Stitch, the Disney movie set in Hawaii, and the famous quote “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind.” Aside from Aloha, Ohana is the most important thing in Hawaii, and traveling with your ohana to Hawaii is sure to be an incredible experience.

The Hawaiian language is incredible, complex, and beautiful Consisting of only 13 letters, the Hawaiian language was written in the early 19th century. You will see so many Hawaiian words during your visit, so take the time to learn how to pronounce them, understand their meaning, and marvel at the ease with which locals speak the language.

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.

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