Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Learning Hawaiian

I have slowly but surely been learning little bits of the Hawaiian language.  I don't know very much (believe me), but I am proud to say that I can finally say the Lord's Prayer in Hawaiian (without too many mistakes).  It took me long enough, considering we say it three times each morning as a whole school.  If you have ever listened to someone speak a language that you don't know, you will understand how it sounds like they are talking really fast.  It can be hard to hear the separation of words.  I definitely still get mixed up at times during the prayer, but I can follow along if I listen closely and when I don't stumble over words. 

I also tell my students good morning in Hawaiian and a few other common phrases.  In order to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom they have to ask me in Hawaiian.  I'm becoming a little more comfortable trying out new words that I learn with my class.  It feels strange saying things in a different language, even though it is only a few words and phrases here and there.  I can't formulate sentences but I can recognize some words.  I'm writing checks in Hawaiian now, it is allowed here since Hawaiian is a legal language.  My friend taught me how to write the numbers.

Here are some words for you!

Aloha Kakahiaka - Good Morning
 
E kala mai - Excuse me

Mahalo - Thank you

Pehea 'oe? - How are you?

Maika'i - Good

'A'ole - No

'Ae - Yes
 
- Emilie