This year marks the second year my precious Goddaughter has been enrolled in the Hawaiian Immersion program here on Maui. The program is gaining popularity every year it seems, and it is a blessing to see so many people passionate about their children learning and living the beautiful Hawaiian culture.
Nā Kula Kaiapuni O Maui: The Hawaiian Immersion Schools ensure students achieve the "Hawai'i Content and Performance Standards" like all other public schools; however the content and means of delivery are based on traditional Hawaiian knowledge and perspective.
So far the program is K-5, but hopefully will continue by the time Healani reaches fifth grade. The entire time my Goddaughter is in school with her classmates they are learning and speaking the Hawaiian language. Thankfully, there is also an after school tutoring program available for the children to learn formal English as well.
It is encouraged, if parents don't already speak Hawaiian 'Ōlelo to learn in order to support their children in development and at home. I am so blessed to be part of this program with my friends and Goddaughter... Every Monday evening the adults are taught and about three weeks ago commenced my first class!
The caption above essentially translates to: My name is Jennifer, What is your name? These two books are crucial to learning the Hawaiian language, and this is the same curriculum taught at the University of Hawai'i!
I'd like to start publishing weekly posts; however, I really don't want to come across as if I'm teaching the language--I am by all means a beginner! How about I simply post my notes from class and go from there?
At the very least, I will be reiterating what I learned, helping me memorize the information, and you, well, perhaps you will learn to pronounce everyday basic Hawaiian words--which will be excellent if you ever find yourself in Hawai'i!!
Kahakō (macron) [pronounced: kah-ha-ko]
Get used to saying Ah, A, E, Oh, Ooh, 'Okina, Kahakō, He, La, Mu, Nu, Pi, We...
Let's spell in Hawaiian!
[ah, la, oh, he, ah - aloha]
['okina, oh, ke, e, nu, ah - 'okina]
[ke, ah, he, ah, ke, kahakō, oh - Kahakō]
When spelling (especially out loud), remember to express the 'okina and kahakō appropriately (prior to the vowel) ... 'Ōlelo = 'okina, oh, la, a, la, oh - 'Ōlelo)
Try to spell the following words as I did above in the comment section below:
a) Kālā [pronounced: kaa-la] (money)
b) Kala [pronounced: ka-la] (crayon)
c) Ka lā [pronounced: ka-laa] (the sun)
Can you see how the kahakō placement changes the pronunciation of the word, thus the meaning of the word?
Here's another example:
ae [pronounced: eye] Kae (doodoo)
ai [pronounced: ah-ee] Kai (ocean)
We're not going to get into the technical side of things and end on that note. Next post, we will continue practicing spelling words verbally in Hawaiian and introduce speeches we will eventually memorize!
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