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Workplace ‘Ōlelo I

Hi Everyone! Last month I participated in Workplace ‘Ōlelo I with Ho'okahua and Kumu Kahealani Lono. It was a two-part workshop with a total of 3 hours to soak it all in. There was about 25 of us in the class, and we all varied in race, age, and job positions. It was great to see such a wide range of individuals in one class wanting to learn Hawaiian.

Being as this was Workplace ‘Ōlelo I, we did not dive into sentance structures or patterns. We started off with commonly used Hawaiian words and slangs that we might have heard growing up or in passing. We started off with the "Kanaka Survey" which is a 2-page story with Hawaiian and English words. Here's a short sample:

Today, this wahine momona (large female), a malihini (tourist), in a red mu’umu’u (dress) went hele (go/come) up to me and said, “Aloha (Greetings)! You look like a kama’äina (local). Can you tell me how to find the Pali (Cliff)?” I told her, “'A'ole pilikia (No problem)! You just go the ma uka (to the mountains) up this road past the kapu (forbidden) signs. Then you huli (turn) to the right, almost at the top and you’re there.”

Once the story was complete, Kumu Lono went over additional vocabulary words, popular Hawaiian Phrases and Popular Hawaiian Songs. She also shared with us a little bit of history behind certain words, for example:

Aku & Akule- We all know them to be fish that Hawaii people love to catch and eat. However, Kumu Lono shared that these were the two fishes that swam along side of Pele when she made her journey from Tahiti to the Hawaiian Islands.

On the 2nd day of the workshop, Kumu Lono went over vocabulary, greetings, sayings, and closings that are great to use in the office. For example:

  1. ke ke'ena- Office
  2. ke kelepona- Telephone
  3. ke kelepa'i- Fax
  4. ka lekauila- Email
  5. ka ho'omaha- Take a break


  1. Aloha käkahiaka- Good morning
  2. Aloha mai e nä hoa hana- Hello to my co-workers
  3. Aloha e ka 'ohana o Kamehameha- Hello to the Kamehameha family
  4. Welina mai- Hello


  1. Helu 'ekahi 'oe!- You're number 1!
  2. He nani ho'i kau!- This is extremely beautiful!
  3. 'Eleu 'oe!- You're on it!
  4. E 'ai ana wau i ka 'aina awakea- I'm going to eat lunch
  5. 'A'ole paha- Probably not


  1. A hui hou käkou- Until we all meet again
  2. Me ka ha'aha'a- Humbly yours
  3. Me ke aloha pumehana- With warm regards or Love Always
  4. Mahalo nui loa- Thank you very much
  5. Mälama Pono- Take care

Overall, I enjoyed the class. It was a great refresher for me as I did take 2 years of Hawaiian in high school. I'll try my best to incorporate what I've learned in this class to my work day. Wish me luck!

I am looking forward to taking the 2nd and 3rd workshops later this year. So, keep an eye out for my next blog on it! A hui hou!


Joan said…
Thank you for taking the time to post this! My olelo, as tiny as it is, sure have been rude in the past 8-) Let's do it!

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