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Aloha! And other useful words for your Hawaiian getaway

Aloha! And other useful words for your Hawaiian getaway

You packed your towel, your sunglasses, your sunscreen and everything else for your Hawaiian getaway. Missing anything? Words! Even though everyone speaks English, it never hurts to make someone smile by saying something in their local language.


Aloha – Hello, Goodbye, Love

Pehea ‘oe – How are you?

Maika ‘ i – Good

Maika ‘ i ‘ ole – Bad (although, should you ever feel bad in Paradise? That would be a ‘no’.)

‘O wai kou inoa – What’s your name?

‘O…ko’u inoa – My name is…

Other basics

‘Ae – Yes

A’ole – No

Hoaloha – Friend

Kulikuli – Shut up/be quiet (because maybe that friend talks too much)

Lolo – Crazy (because maybe that friend is literally crazy)

Kahakai – Beach

Luakini – Temple for human sacrifice (so you know what place to avoid)


Mauka – Towards the mountains

Makai – Towards the ocean

Being polite

Kala mai ia’u – Excuse me

Mahalo – Thank you

Falling in love

Aloha au ia ‘oe – I love you

Ku’uipo – Sweetheart

Hawaiian things

Hula – The dance of Hawaii

Humuhumunukunukuapua’a- The state fish, a Triggerfish

Kahuna – Expert. A priest or an expert at any profession. Basically, the big boss.

Luau – Feast

Hang loose – Take it easy, relax, do things slowly (if you have given up on the Hawaiian)

Student life

Halau – School

Kumu – Teacher

Manuahi – Free, gratis (students love free things)

Haumana – Student


Food – Kaukau (for when you’re Pololi – Hungry)

Niu – Coconut

Hala Kahiki – Pineapple

‘Ahui mai’a – Banana bunch


Honu – Turtle

L’a – Fish

Kohala – Humpback whale

Print these out, bring them along with you to the beach and have a go – you might make a locals day with these words.

Photo by Marieke

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