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What is the Language Spoken in Honolulu Hawaii

What is the Language Spoken in Honolulu Hawaii
What Is The Language Spoken In Honolulu Hawaii


Hawaii is the only state of the United States which is located outside North America. The Hawaiian Islands are known all over the world for its beautiful beaches. Hawaii has beautiful beaches with unusual colors including green, red, pink, and black sand. The state is made up of 137 volcanic islands. There are eight main islands where the majority of the population of the state is located. With 1.4 million inhabitants, Hawaii is one of the most densely populated states of the US. The official languages of Hawaii are English and Hawaiian. Linguists weren’t sure at one point that the Hawaiian language, also known as ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, would survive. But the state has made efforts to promote the language. Language experts were hired to create a dictionary of Hawaiian to make the language popular in the state.

The Language of Honolulu Hawaii:

Honolulu is the capital of the state of Hawaii. It is an important portal in the United States. It is also host to a diverse variety of cultures, cuisines, and traditions. Honolulu is the third safest city in the US. It also ranks high on the world livability rankings. It is the second-most populous city in Polynesia. More than 50% of the city’s population is of Asian descent. Japanese make up the biggest Asian ethnic group in Honolulu. 8.4% of the city’s population is made up of the native Hawaiian population. Downtown Honolulu is the historic and economic center of the city. Chinatown is the most popular district in Downtown Honolulu.

Since the state of Hawaii is a part of the US, English is one of its official languages. But what is the language spoken in Honolulu Hawaii? The majority of Honolulu’s population cannot speak the English language fluently. It is Hawaiian and immigrant languages that are spoken in the city of Honolulu. Various community languages including Japanese and Yue Chinese are also spoken in Honolulu. But Hawaiian continues to be the most popular vernacular of the city.

The Language of Honolulu Hawaii

The Hawaiian Language:

Hawaiian is the native language of 24,000 people. In Hawaii, it is known as ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. It is a Polynesian language that is primarily spoken in Hawaii. It has been heavily influenced by the English language. A creole, known as Hawaiian Pidgin is more popular in Hawaii than Hawaiian. Some linguists believe that Hawaiian Pidgin is a dialect of American English. Many fear that ultimately, the Hawaiian language will go extinct. The increasing popularity of English in Hawaii points towards that future too. But for now, Hawaiian is one of the official languages of Hawaii and continues to be spoken by thousands of native speakers.

The speakers of Hawaiian can be found all over Hawaii. The Polynesian language is also spoken by Hawaiian diaspora in foreign countries. The Hawaiian alphabet has five vowels and eight consonants. The vowels have both long and short pronunciations. The people of Hawaii had to give a lot of sacrifices just so they can get the freedom to speak their native language whenever they want. For a long time, Hawaiian was not taught in the Kamehameha Schools. Speaking Hawaiian was also considered a crime. Many men and women were imprisoned because they spoke Hawaiian in a public space. There are many instances in the history of Kamehameha Schools where students were punished for speaking Hawaiian. Once the Hawaiian language was recognized in the constitution, it became easier for people to use it in their everyday conversations. It is one of the community languages of today which is spoken in different islands of the state.

The Hawaiian Language

Although there are thousands of native speakers of Hawaiian, it is still an endangered language. The English language is slowly replacing it as the community language in Hawaii. But still, many people continue to study it. There are any multilingual students in Hawaii because both English and Hawaiian are taught in schools. Although the Hawaiian alphabet is simple the Hawaiian grammar can be difficult to understand. The Hawaiian language revitalization program was a step towards increasing linguistic diversity in this US state.

It was the Hawaiian Bible that promoted literacy in Hawaii. The Christian mission had a far-reaching influence on the people of Hawaii. The school systems of Hawaii and Honolulu of today produce multilingual students. These students rely on their cultural strengths to learn multiple languages. The native speakers of Hawaiian are not too many in numbers, but the board of education has made various attempts to make the language popular in the state.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hawaiian is one of the most spoken languages after English in the state of Hawaii. The cultural strengths of the people of Hawaii are being negatively influenced by American culture. The gradual increase in speakers of Hawaiian is the only way to keep the language alive.

How to Increase the number of Hawaiian speakers?

Hawaiian is an official language of Hawai, but it has less than a million native speakers. If the number of speakers of Hawaiian doesn’t increase, this Polynesian language will go extinct. Although it is one of the community languages which are being taught in Kamehameha Schools today, it still doesn’t have enough speakers. Only effective educators with the right skills can actually improve the situation of multilingualism in Hawaii. Without effective educators, there will be no multilingual students.

If we don’t focus on a range of languages, we will eventually lose all of them to popular vernaculars. On six out of seven inhabited islands of Hawaii, the English language replaced Hawaiian. The range of language in Hawaii has already been affected by the popularity of English. The Hawaiian speakers are decreasing in number despite the simplicity of the Hawaiian grammar. The Board of Education’s attempts to increase the number of Hawaiian speakers have been successful. But it is still not enough to save the language from extinction.

Businesses in Hawaii only use English as the primary language. But forcing businesses in Hawaii to operate in Hawaiian won’t be very productive. On the other hand, asking student performers to use Hawaiian can be helpful. Children bring their culture into school which is what promotes multilingualism. This is why introducing Hawaiian culture into school with the help of student performers can bring positive results.

The popularity of Hawaiian Bible in the state proved that religious literature can cause an increase in attention towards the language. Including religious literature should be a part of the policy implementation plan.

English is not the only language that is affecting the culture of the statewide population. Immigrant vernaculars like Yue Chinese and Japanese are also affecting the use of Hawaiian. It is up to the state government to come up with a policy implementation plan that can increase the number of speakers of Hawaiian with the help of effective educators. It is important to create linguistic diversity in all the inhabited islands of the country.

Creating a good dictionary of Hawaiian is just as important for the multilingualism policy implementation. The data on languages spoken in Hawaii proves that the statewide population focuses more on English than Hawaiian. A gradual increase is the only way to improve the situation of Hawaiian in the state.

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