Q: What are the punctuation marks I see on the Aulani web site?
Many Hawaiian words have more than one meaning depending on the placement of pronunciation or diacritical marks. The Hawaiian language uses two diacritical marks:
- ‘Okina: The ‘okina is a glottal stop, similar to the stop of sound when saying “uh-oh”. The ‘okina looks like a backwards apostrophe and you'll see it often in the words Hawai‘i and O‘ahu. It will assist you in pronouncing these words. Notice that the ‘okina is not used in English words. For example, “Hawaiian” is an English word referring to something that is from or of Hawai‘i.
- Kahakō: The kahakō is a macron, which extends or lengthens the sound and adds stress to the vowel. In the word “kahakō”, the mark makes the “o” sound like the vowel in “snow”
Q: Are Hawaiian words used on the Aulani web site?
Yes! First-time visitors to Hawai‘i may be surprised to learn that the Hawaiian language is, along with English, the official language of the state of Hawai‘i!