Combining Kikino and ʻAʻano to Describe Objects

Let’s practice putting some simple phrases together. We’ll only try to change one word at a time to make it easy. Repeat each word or phrase after me. Are you ready? Hoʻomākaukau!

  • He mokupuni = an island;
  • nui = large. He mokupuni nui = a large island
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Notice that in Hawaiian, the item we are going to describe comes first, since it is the most important thing, and then the describing word comes after. In English we say “a large island” but in Hawaiian we say “an island large”. Let’s try that first one again.

  • He mokupuni = an island;
  • nui = large. He mokupuni nui = a large island
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OK. Now remember that the mokupuni is our main word. You will hear ʻaʻano words from now on.

nui = large; he mokupuni nui = a large island
kaulana = famous; he mokupuni kaulana = a famous island
kahiko = ancient; he mokupuni kahiko = an ancient island
nani = beautiful; he mokupuni nani = a beautiful island
uluwehiwehi = verdant; he mokupuni uluwehiwehi = a verdant island mālie = calm, tranquil; he mokupuni mālie = a tranquil island

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Now it’s your turn to translate into Hawaiian! One way to help yourself is to think like the Hawaiian. For example, when I say “a large island”, you think quickly “an island large”. Then you can just put the Hawaiian words right in! Let’s give it a try!

  • large (nui); a large island (he mokupuni nui)
  • famous (kaulana); a famous island (he mokupuni kaulana)
  • ancient (kahiko); an ancient island (he mokupuni kahiko)
  • beautiful (nani); a beautiful island (he mokupuni nani)
  • verdant (uluwehiwehi); a verdant island (he mokupuni uluwehiwehi)
  • tranquil (mālie); a tranquil island (he mokupuni mālie)
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Now let’s try with another kikino main noun and add our ʻaʻano descriptive words again. The kikino will be “he hale”, a house. Say it once, “he hale”.

  • large (nui). a large house (he hale nui)
  • famous (kaulana); a famous house (he hale kaulana)
  • ancient (kahiko); an ancient house (he hale kahiko)
  • beautiful (nani); a beautiful house (he hale nani)
  • verdant (uluwehiwehi); a house adorned with plants (he hale uluwehiwehi)
  • tranquil (mālie); a tranquil house (he hale mālie)
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Now it’s your turn again to translate into Hawaiian! Hoʻomākaukau, get ready!

  • large (nui). a large house (he hale nui)
  • famous (kaulana); a famous house (he hale kaulana)
  • ancient (kahiko); an ancient house (he hale kahiko)
  • beautiful (nani); a beautiful house (he hale nani)
  • verdant (uluwehiwehi); a house adorned with plants (he hale uluwehiwehi)
  • tranquil (mālie); a tranquil house (he hale mālie)
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It is possible to add ʻaʻano one after the other to add further description to the kikino noun. Let’s try with “loa”. The kikino will be “he malihini”, a visitor. Say it once, “he malihini”.

  • kaulana = famous; he malihini kaulana = a famous visitor
  • kaulana loa = very famous; he malihini kaulana loa = a very famous visitor
  • nani = beautiful; he malihini nani = a beautiful visitor
  • nani loa = very beautiful; he malihini nani loa = a very beautiful visitor
  • huikau = confused; he malihini huikau = a confused visitor
  • huikau loa = confused; he malihini huikau loa = a very confused visitor
  • mālie = calm; he malihini mālie = a calm visitor
  • mālie loa = very calm; he malihini mālie loa = a very calm visitor
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Right! Now it’s your turn again to translate into Hawaiian! Hoʻomākaukau, get ready!

  • famous (kaulana); a famous visitor (he malihini kaulana)
  • very famous (kaulana loa); a very famous visitor (he malihini kaulana loa)
  • beautiful (nani); a beautiful visitor (he malihini nani)
  • very beautiful (nani loa); a very beautiful visitor (he malihini nani loa)
  • confused (huikau); a confused visitor (he malihini huikau)
  • very confused (huikau loa); a very confused visitor (he malihini huikau loa)
  • calm (mālie); a calm visitor (he malihini mālie)
  • very calm (mālie loa); a very calm visitor (he malihini mālie loa)
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