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Hawaiian Language Facts and Information

Information About Hawaiian Language

Hawaiian language topics and discussion
Hawaiian speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Malayo-Polynesian
Branch: Polynesian
Continent: North America
Country: USA
Region: Hawaiian Islands, mainly Ni"ihau Island and the Big Island of Hawai"i, some on all the other islands.
Countries Where Spoken: 1,000 mother tongue speakers, 500 with Ni"ihau Island connections, another 500 in their 70s or 80s (1995 Laina Wong Univ. of Hawaii). 8,000 can speak and understand it (1993 Keith Haugen). 237,128 ethnic Hawaiians in Hawaii (1996 Hawaii State Dept. of Health), 18.8% of the population (1990 Hawaii State Dept. of Health), and 99,269 ethnic Hawaiians on the USA mainland (1990 census), including 24,245 in California. In 1900 there were 37,000 mother tongue speakers (1995 Honolulu Advertiser). Ethnic Hawaiians include 8,244 pure Hawaiian, 72,809 between 50% and 99% Hawaiian, 127,523 less than 50% Hawaiian in Hawaii (1984 Office of Hawaiian Affairs). In 1778 there were believed to have been more than 500,000 pure Hawaiians (1995 Wayne Harada).
Countries Where Official: USA
Native Speakers: 0
Speakers Total: 0
Phrasebase members who speak Hawaiian at a native level: 12
Phrasebase members who speak Hawaiian at a conversational level: 12
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Hawaiian: 79
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Hawaiian: 598
Three Letter Code: HWI
Summary: 79% lexical similarity with Rarotongan, 77% with Tuamotuan, 76% with Tahitian (Elbert), 71% with Maori (Schütz), 70% with Marquesan, 64% with Rapa Nui. Speakers use Hawaii Creole English (Pidgin) or English as second language. 500 mother tongue speakers in their 70s or 80s (1995). People 2 years old and older are learning it as second language: 1,000 ages 0-15. 350 ages 15-25 (1997 Rosemary Henze). Official language. Dictionary. Grammar. VSO. Roman. Punana Leo private schools offer Hawaiian immersion programs (as a second language) for about 800 2-year-old ethnic Hawaiians into high school. The University of Hawaii offers a BA in the Hawaiian language. Christian, traditional religion. Bible 1838.

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