Aloha friends, and welcome to Audio Lesson posting 0404P, which lets you practice the “Hakalama” set of Hawaiian sounds by listening to the audio files provided.
The files you will need are listed below; I advise you to get the PDF first. Then, either download or stream the audio files and then learn the sounds as you listen to the speaker. Say them to yourself and follow along. When you are comfortable with following the examples, try to say the set out loud without the speaker’s help. Compare your pronunciation with that of the speaker in the recording. You should even record yourself and compare!
Here are some things to watch out for: (1) the length of the vowels in each word, (2) the ʻokina (glottal-stop) being clearly pronounced, and (3) being sure to keep your vowel sounds very “pure” (that is, not adding any extra vowel sounds or unintentional “glides” between parts of the words). Just try to say them exactly as you hear them in the audio provided and as you see them on the PDF accompanying this lesson.
The value of doing these exercises is that you will immediately be better at pronouncing words in mele (songs and poems), from written documents, and in oli (chant) if you can master the combinations presented in this lesson. That will extend quickly to being able to speak clearly in Hawaiian also later on.
These are by no means all the possible combinations of consonants and vowels in the Hawaiian language; but this set does offer a quick and easy way to practice those combinations which occur frequently in Hawaiian words including place names and people’s names.
The traditional Hakalama set of sounds created by the American missionaries in the early 1820s is fairly short. I have added to it a little here for you to be able to practice more combinations of sounds; I call them the “Hakalama Extended Sets”.
Hakalama Extended Set Audio Files
PDF File of all Hakalama to print
Listen to the following audio files of Kaliko’s “Extended Sets” of Hakalama. (Each may take a few seconds to load after you press play.)
Note: if you do not see any audio files above, your browser may be old and/or does not support HTML5 audio. Please try again on a newer device.
Hakalama Extended Set Sound Tables
|Hakalama Extended Set A|
|Hakalama Extended Set E|
|Hakalama Extended Set I|
|Hakalama Extended Set O|
|Hakalama Extended Set U|
Now that you have learned how to pronounce Hawaiian words and practiced the basics by going through all of the material in the 0400 Series, it’s time to move on to the 0500 Series with the first lesson, 0501V Spelling Hawaiian Words in Hawaiian.
Why Hawaiian is called an Austronesian language?
Thank you for the great question, Wilson. Hawaiian is one of the “youngest” (newest) languages in the Austronesian family. The family is over 5000 years old and contains well over a thousand (1000) languages.
The people of what is today called Taiwan left their islands and spread widely across the Pacific into Polynesia to the East and back towards Africa (Madagascar) in the West. They travelled down from Taiwan and settled in the Philippines, they travelled the coasts of New Guinea, they sailed to the myriad islands of Borneo and Indonesia, and also voyaged into the Pacific and took their language with them to every Polynesian island we know of, including Hawaiʻi of course!
For any of you that might be interested, there are many words which are either the same or almost the same between these Austronesian languages. If you are in the field of comparative liguistics, studying the Austronesian languages is great fun!
Here’s an interesting site to read more about this topic. Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database: http://language.psy.auckland.ac.nz/austronesian/research.php
Thank you again for your question!