The Hawaiian language is an Austronesian (or Polynesian) language that is the ancestral tongue of the Hawaiian Islands, which lie in the Pacific Ocean. The Hawaiian language is the official language of the State of Hawaii. There is one Hawaiian Island, Niihau, where the Hawaiian language is still predominantly spoken.
Thousands of people travel to the island paradise of Hawaii every year. Hawaiians love to share their interesting history, vibrant culture, and the beautiful poetry of the Hawaiian language with visitors. When visitors arrive on the Islands, they are often greeted by native Hawaiian ladies who present new guests with a kiss on each cheek, a friendly aloha!
Today, there are many words from the Hawaiian language that are still used conversationally and informally by the Islands inhabitants. We all know the word "aloha", which has a myriad of meanings including hello, goodbye, and love. There is also hula, which is a very common Hawaiian dance that you often see at luaus, or traditional Hawaiian feasts, where ukulele music is played along to meles (traditional songs and chants), and tradition Hawaiian foods such as poi are served.
And children are also being educated in the Hawaiian language, as a means of teaching them the history and legacy of their people. The Hawaiian language is being taught in public schools on the Islands as a second language alongside English.
For tourists, there are Hawaiian language books available that can provide lessons in the basic Hawaiian language. Also, computer software can provide a fun and interactive experience for a person who is interested in learning the native tongue of the Hawaiian Islands before embarking on a vacation there. There are also websites available that offer free, accelerated lessons in Hawaiian. Learning the basics of a language like Hawaiian will provide tourists with an opportunity to gain more understanding of a fascinating culture that thrives still today. Though there will not be any real language barriers for tourists when they visit Hawaii, learning some of the ancestral language will also serve as a history lesson, which will allow tourists to appreciate the culture that they are being exposed to so much more.
Traveling to the tropical paradise that is the Hawaiian Islands is a chance of a lifetime. Experiencing the sights, the sounds, the people, and the exotic surroundings is likely to broaden anyones scope of the world.