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8. Speak Hawaiian

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Try some basic Hawaiian pronounciation. Here’s an oversimplification that will get you going in the right direction: Hawaiian vowels are pure. So a is like “ah”, e is like “bet,” i is like “bee,” o is like “oh,” and u is like “oo.” If two different vowels are next to each other, you usually run them together really quickly and smoothly. If the same vowel is repeated, you repeat the same sound with a very short pause (called a "glottal stop"). Every syllable starts with a consonant or a glottal stop (pronounced as a brief pause) followed by either 1 or 2 vowels. If you break it up by consonant+vowel group, you will usually get close. So Maui is “mow-‘ee,” Kauai is “kow-‘ahee,” and Molokai is “Moh-loh-kahee,” and Kahoolawe is “Kah-hoh-oh-lah-weh.” Remember the consonant “h” is only pronounced at the start of a syllable.

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