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DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

I understand, respect and appreciate the DEs asking posters and planners to use the actual hawaiian place names instead of nicknames or english translations. Its a respectful practice and a common courtesy. BUT, I was wondering has anyone ever thought to add a pronunciation guide for these names? One reason people might keep using some of the incorrect place names is the lack of familiarity of how to pronounce them or the fear of mispronouncing them and sounding like an idiot. I'm certainly not the first think that

Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau or Anaehoʻomalu

are a mouthful the first couple of times you try to say it.

It might be helpful. Thanks for all the expert advice you guys give out on a daily basis.

Edited: 11:58 pm, June 05, 2014
Waimea, Hawaii
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1. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

There's a great site with pronunciations that has been mentioned before, somewhere, here on the forum. Here's the link for Hawaii Island place names:

hawaiian-words.com/home/…

Island of Hawaii...
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2. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

I totally relate to your concerns about pronunciation on the long names.

I have tried many times to explain that I am not telling anyone that excellent or even good pronunciation is a must for the trip. These things are learned over time. What you do on the island on your vacation is not any of my concern.

All that I (speaking only for myself) am encouraging on the forum is that we use the real, legal place names rather than nicknames, so that we can expose ourselves and other travelers to the right names, and stop perpetuating the Anglicized nicknames. No pronunciation is involved. I don't care if people copy and paste.

This will serve you all well when you get to the island, where all places are signed with the same Hawaiian names you are using on the forum. You won't be the guys seeing a road sign for Anaeho'omalu and wondering where the heck A-bay is. You won't be looking for non-existent signs for the City of Refuge, but will see Pu'uhonua 0 Honaunau and you'll know you found it.

Island of Hawaii...
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3. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

If anyone wants to put links to good guides in this topic, the DE's can then link this topic under the existing Top Question.

I personally don't use a guide, and don't have any links to offer (or desire to go research them). I am not putting down guides. I have the advantage of living around people using the names and I listen to them. My favorite guide to pronunciation would be listening to either the news (in Hawai'i) -- or watching video excerpts -- or watching other programming produced by Hawaiians and/or locals that talks about places and uses other Hawaiian words. I find it is more "teaching" to hear a name in a sentence than to hear a recording of just the one word.

There is really quite a lot of material to be found on the web in terms of video, for anyone who wants to get the sound of the language into his head.

Note: saying the place names should not be confused with learning Hawaiian, of course. I do not speak Hawaiian myself. When we learn to say Albuquerque and Saskatchewan, we are in no way learning the original languages that gave us those names.

Hawaiian language experts and teachers have their expert opinion on the purest pronunciation, but that is not you on vacation. It is just fine to say the place sort of like what you hear from a local. Just ask, how do say the name of this place, and they will tell you, and that will work.

Don't make it hard on yourself. No one wants that. There is a whole lot of middle ground between having it down like a local and being too lazy, uninterested, or scared to give it a try. Never be embarrassed to say, I don't know how to say the name. Honestly, most would be surprised if you can say it right.

If anything is a bit offensive, it is when people butcher the names without at all acknowledging they are saying them wrong, um, in an arrogant way ... I can't find the right words for that sort of moment, but we would all know it if we heard it I think.

Edited: 4:08 am, June 06, 2014
Big Island, Hawaii
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4. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

The TQ on this topic already contains links to pronounciation guides and audio files, including the very useful link danipo2 mentions in her reply above.

Edited: 4:20 am, June 06, 2014
Salt Lake City, Utah
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5. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

Thanks for the link. I didn't see it anywhere in the topic guides on the subject. Personally, I know that if I hear how something is pronounced I certainly feel more comfortable using it and less likely to use improper names or nicknames. So maybe others are the same.

It's about respecting the culture, the place and the people that live there. While I certainly may not say it properly. I feel that making an attempt is better than perpetuating an incorrect place name.

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

Thank you for your thoughtful attitude and comment, 2muchSnow. I certainly agree with you.

The Top Questions will often contain info and gems that are not specifically listed in the descriptions. It's the nature of the software. I myself would prefer a FAQ to Top Questions, but this is what we have. It's very time-consuming to make Top Questions, and of course it is all donated time on our part, so there are limits to what I can afford to put into it.

Think of it as some pre-sorting the DE's have done to identify topics that are helpful to read in that area, which saves you from looking through all the topics in the forum. It's often not going to give you what you want right off the top, like any topic, and there will always be good topics that aren't in the queue.

We can link this topic to the existing question. That way the link you like will be in a topic with a heading on pronunciation.

Edited: 7:57 pm, June 06, 2014
Arlington, VA
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7. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

On my first visit to the islands, I was so embarrassed because I couldn't say anything! Couldn't even get out Haleakala. Before my second visit, I started to take online classes ( www.ahapunanaleo.org/index.php… ). The lessons do cost some money. There are also some You Tube lessons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR0rVQvRGJo

I still mutilate the language, but not so much. Generally, I have to see the word to be able to say it - ask me a question & I'll probably not get it right. BUT I can say humahumanukunukuapa'a thanks to Linda Yapp: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lindayapp

I've found that I really enjoy learning the language - it's so tied up with culture and a way of thinking and you're learning more than just how to say things.

One of my biggest irks is that street signs often do not use the Hawaiian spelling (with a macron mark over vowels and the okina) - these are essential to knowing how to say the word..

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

>>> One of my biggest irks is that street signs often do not use the Hawaiian spelling (with a macron mark over vowels and the okina) - these are essential to knowing how to say the word..

The highway signs for towns do, but as you say, street signs are bare bones.

No worries, I have yet to find locals who know the names of the streets. Everything is by landmarks. I personally am one who does learn street names, but when I get in a conversation I get nowhere with that. There are lots of people in Hilo who don't know the name of the street that their workplace fronts, much less the cross street. There are some major arteries that people know, forget the rest..

ETA, HPD does use street names. They are all about proper addresses, because their response system requires them. So their email advisories also use streets ... they also know and use the highway names. :)

Edited: 9:51 pm, June 06, 2014
pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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9. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

Someone recently gave me directions, by asking, "Know where the such-and-such store used to be?"

Island of Hawaii...
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10. Re: DE idea - Hawaiian Place names pronunciation guide?

>>> Someone recently gave me directions, by asking, "Know where the such-and-such store used to be?"

That is totally the norm in Hilo. Or even better, where the "old" location of the store was before the "new" location closed. In Hilo it is the "old JC Penneys" store. When I moved to the island in 2002, Penney's was closing its store at Prince Kuhio, but that was the "new" Penneys.

The old Penney's is now the County administration complex and the DMV, so you would think people would say that, but no, they still direct you using the old Penney's as your landmark that probably closed 20 years ago. :)

Edited: 10:22 pm, June 06, 2014