I always love running into fellow Hawaiian speakers that I haven’t met before. I often wondered how many times I’ve encountered a fellow kanaka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, and we used English simply because we each didn’t know that the other could speak Hawaiian. I had an idea a few years ago to set up a directory of Hawaiian speakers in business so that we could seek out each other and know where we could go to order a coffee, get a hair cut, purchase a car, or just about anything using Hawaiian.
I had just finished a meeting with folks from The Recording Academy in Honolulu, was dropped off at the airport by you know who, and standing in line at Starbucks in the inter-island terminal to buy a bottle of juice. I heard the fellow at the counter ask the customer ahead of me for his name, using Hawaiian – ‘o wai kou inoa – followed by a translation in English. When I stepped up to buy my juice, he asked me if I wanted anything else, to which I replied – ‘o kēia wale nō, mahalo (just this, thanks). He smiled and we completed our transaction in Hawaiian. I wish things like this happened more often.
No laila, e ka po‘e ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, e kāko‘o kākou i kēia hoa ke kipa kākou i ke kahua mokulele kaumoku ma Honolulu!
One comment on “Signs of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i In The Universe”
Sometimes I see store employees wearing badges that say 日本語を話します What about some pin badges that say the same for Hawaiian? That way when you see the barista sporting the badge you would know.