Days and Months

The calendar system of the Hawaiian people before contact with the western world was quite different from the system we are used to. But it was not long before the western system had been adopted by the Hawaiians, and that is the system we will learn a little about today. The original system has not been forgotten, however, and it is alive and well in some parts of the Hawaiian community.

The days of the week are based in the Hawaiian concept of the 24 hour cycle we call a “day” starting in the night time. So what we would call a “day” in Sun-day, Mon-day, and so on, translates to “pō”, or “night” in today’s spoken Hawaiian. Each day of the week has a successive number, with monday being night number one, except Sunday alone, which is called “a day of prayer”, Lāpule. Remember, it was the missionaries in the early 1800s that inspired this system. Let’s practice saying the names; e hoʻomākaukau!

  • Pōʻakahi – Monday
  • Pōʻalua – Tuesday
  • Pōʻakolu – Wednesday
  • Pōʻahā – Thursday
  • Pōʻalima – Friday
  • Pōʻaono – Saturday
  • Lāpule – Sunday
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Shall we try a short exercise using the days of the week? A ʻo ʻia! To say “on Monday”, for example, you say “ma ka Poʻakahi”. E unuhi mai – translate into Hawaiian. Hoʻomākaukau!

  • I am going to leave on Saturday – E haʻalele ana au ma ka Poʻaono.
  • Work was finished on Monday – Ua pau ka hana ma ka P1
  • We are all going for a trip on Tuesday – E huakaʻi ana kākou ma ka P2
  • You should look at 1 o’clock on Wednesday – E nānā ʻoe ma ka hola 1, ma ka P3
  • You should do it before Sunday – E hana ʻoe ma mua o ka Lāpule
  • The village will be calm on Sunday at 9 o’clock – E mālie ana ke kauhale ma ka Lāpule, ma ka hola 9
  • The plane will leave on Thursday at 7 o’clock – E lele ana ka mokulele ma ka P4, ma ka hola 7
  • The visitors will speak in Maunaloa on Friday – E ʻōlelo ana nā malihini ma Maunaloa, ma ka P5
  • The children will surf on Saturday, because the waves will be big – E heʻenalu ana nā keiki ma ka P6, no ka mea, e nui ana nā nalu
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Very good, Those sentences are getting a little harder, but this will give you plenty to work on as you progress past the beginner stage of learning Hawaiian. Keep up the good work!

Now let’s turn our attention to the names of the months. These follow the English, so if you say the list to yourself a few times, or better yet, if you make a calendar for your own personal use and label it with the Hawaiian months and days, you’ll be able to practice a lot and you’ll memorize these names in no time. Hoʻomākaukau!

  • Ianuali – January
  • Pepeluali – February
  • Malaki – March
  • ʻApelila – April
  • Mei – May
  • Iune – June
  • ʻIulai – July
  • ʻAukake – August
  • Kepakemapa – September
  • Novemapa – November
  • Kekemapa – December
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Now repeat after me these practice sentences.

  • E hōʻike ana kākou ma nā P3 ma Malaki – We are all going to do shows on Wednesdays in March
  • Ua nui ka lā ma Iulai – There is a lot of sun in July
  • E huakaʻi ana ka ʻohana ma ʻAukake – The family will go for a trip in August
  • E mālie ana ʻo Lānaʻi ma Ianuali – Lānaʻi will be tranquil in January
  • Ua pau ka hana ma ʻApelila – The work was finished in April
  • E kapu ana ke ala ma Nowemapa – The pathway will be taboo (off limits) in November

Do you see how to use the months? The hardest part is not placing them in the sentence, but just memorizing their names and being able to come up with the name in your head when you need to recall it in conversation. So with that in mind, let’s practice for a few minutes using the phrases you just heard. Hoʻomākaukau!

  • E mālie ana ʻo Lānaʻi ma Ianuali – Lānaʻi will be tranquil in January
  • E hōʻike ana kākou ma nā P3 ma Malaki – We are all going to do shows on Wednesdays in March
  • Ua nui ka lā ma Iulai – There is a lot of sun in July
  • Ua pau ka hana ma ʻApelila – The work was finished in April
  • E huakaʻi ana ka ʻohana ma ʻAukake – The family will go for a trip in August
  • E kapu ana ke ala ma Nowemapa – The pathway will be taboo (off limits) in November.
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Disc 7 Track 21 and end music

I kēia manawa, ua pau ke aʻo i nā haʻawina hou ma kēia papahana. E holomua aku ʻoe i kekahi CD a lipine paha, a e hoʻomaopopo ana kākou i nā haʻawina a pau a kākou i hana ai.

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Pane mai

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