Modern Hawaiian Orthography Using Kahakō
Welcome to the second video in the Pronunciation series. This is where you should be if you are just starting out with Hawaiian and want to understand the meaning of the bar line on top of certain vowels in written Hawaiian (for example, "manō"). The line is technically known as a diacritic or diacritical marker in English:
- di·a·crit·i·cal marker
- a mark or a sign serving to indicate a different pronunciation of a letter above or below which it is written.
Click on the speaker icons to listen to both words for comparison.
- lolo (brain)
- lōlō (paralyzed, numb; Fig., "stupid" or "crazy")
You can see that there are two diacritical bars over each letter "o" in "lōlō". We call this type of diacritical marker a "macron" in English; in Hawaiian, we call it a "kahakō" (kaha, a mark or line + kō, to draw out or lengthen).
In the video below, you will learn how kahakō change the pronunciation of those words in which they appear, as well as some other facts about modern Hawaiian orthography. You will be able to practice your pronunciation by comparing pairs of words with and without kahakō. The links for the video are at the bottom of this page.
Vocabulary From Video
The following section has been included in case you wish to learn the meaning of some of the words in included in the video (below). I don't expect that you go and try to memorize all of these words; the most important thing at this point is that you practice actually saying the variations with and without kahakō. Therefore, the words are included in a box with a "disclosure triangle" which you can use to either show or hide the list. (I think the disclosure triangle defaults to being open in Firefox, however.)
Words from 0402V in the order presented
|kahakō||macron (literally, a lengthened sound)|
|lanai||stiff-backed (same as nanai)|
|lānai||a veranda, porch, or deck|
|hālau||a place of learning or working (as in a hālau hula, hula school)|
|mala||sore, as after working out or exercising too much|
|māla||a patch of ground for planting food|
|kala||to forgive; a type of fish with a rough skin|
|kālā||money (from the American "dollar"; sometimes written dālā)|
|mākaukau||to be ready or prepared; to be capable of doing something|
|ahe||a light breeze|
|āhē||the sound you make when you breathe a sigh of relief|
|akēkē||possibly a type of puffer fish|
|aue||tall or far apart (essentially unused today)|
|auē1||the sound you make when you say "gosh", "oh my", "alas", etc.|
|hanapepe||a common mispronunciation of the place name|
|Hanapēpē||a place on Kauaʻi (lit, hana+pēpē, crushing bay)|
|auī2||the sound you make when hurt, like "ouch!"|
|hakalī||a spot high up in the air|
|hihi||to entwine, as a vine; to be infatuated with someone|
|nōkī||deep inside something|
|lō||an earwig (insect)|
|lupo||a wolf (from Latin lupus or Greek lukos)|
|lūpō||possibly same as ulupō, dark color of dense forest growth|
|mano||many (about 4000)|
|pōhānō||wheezing (from hānō, asthma or similar problem)|
|pupu||smallness, either actual or imputed to convey affection, scorn, etc. (cf. "wee" in Scottish)|
|pūpū||a shell; something small to eat (like an appetizer)|
|malu||shade or protection|
|malū||underhanded or secretive (as in doing something bad)|
|kūhulukū||"goosepimples" or "chicken skin"|
|kupu||to sprout out of the ground, as a plant|
|kūpū||to gel or thicken, as a sauce or gravy (cf. mākū)|
- 1. the word "auē" is often written "auwe" or "auwē", but we should not continue this practice, because it is not possible to ever say "auvē" (with the V sound). The word contains a "w-glide" which American missionaries wrote using a "w" because that's how they were used to writing such things. There are several words of this type in Hawaiian.
- 2. as with "auē" above, you may see this written with a "w-glide" as "auwi" or "auwī". It is never possible, however, to say "auvī", so we must drop this artifact of English-American spelling.
Following this video is 0402P Pronunciation Practice for Kahakō which will allow you to practice distinguishing similar pairs of words both with and without kahakō. Then, you should move on to the next video in this Series, 0403V Pronunciation #3: The Glottal Stop all about what we call the ʻokina.
If you wish to see a listing of all the content in the 0400 Series on Pronunciation, please find it here.
This video was recorded in my original 480 by 360 pixel size using a “slideshow” presentation style when ʻŌlelo Online first started. I am hoping to re-record it in the newer "blackboard" format as soon as possible. Please be patient while the video begins to load; this may take up to 30 seconds or so depending on your internet connection.
- Markings over letters
- The Macron
Video links for 0402V: Macrons (Kahakō)
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