The Inspiring Quest to Revive the Hawaiian Language

Pelehonuamea Suganuma and Kekoa Harman were bright-eyed high schoolers in Honolulu when they first crossed paths, in the 1990s. The two were paired for a performance—a ho‘ike, as such shows are known in Hawaiian. Both teenagers had a passion for hula and mele (Hawaiian songs and chants), and they liked performing at the school they’d [...]

By |2020-11-17T18:44:23+00:00November 17th, 2020|Endangered language, Hawaii, Hawaiian language|0 Comments

Hawaiian Language Revival Used as Model for Other Indigenous Languages

Advocates of endangered languages gathered at the University of Hawaii at Manoa this month for the fifth International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. The conference included a field study of Hawaiian medium language schools — public schools where the curriculum is taught entirely in Hawaiian — in Hilo, Hawaii, to see what lessons can [...]

The race to save a dying language

In 2013, at a conference on endangered languages, a retired teacher named Linda Lambrecht announced the extraordinary discovery of a previously unknown language. Lambrecht – who is Chinese-Hawaiian, 71 years old, warm but no-nonsense – called it Hawaii Sign Language, or HSL. In front of a room full of linguists, she demonstrated that its core [...]

Can texting teens save a threatened Hawaiian language?

To stay alive, languages must be used. It helps if they are hip, too, says Amy Kalili, a native Hawaiian. Six decades ago, Hawaii's native tongue was close to vanishing with only a few dozen youngsters left speaking it. Scared of losing their lingo, islanders led a "cultural renaissance" in the 1970s and 1980s by [...]

De-Stigmatizing Hawaii’s Creole Language

“You don’t know how happy this makes me,” I wrote a colleague after she casually sent me a link to a recent news story reporting that the U.S. Census Bureau now recognizes Hawaiian Pidgin English as a language. “Oh really?!” the colleague responded, surprised at my excitement. After all, how could a seemingly silly decision [...]

By |2015-11-22T15:38:30+00:00November 22nd, 2015|Hawaii, Hawaiian Pidgin English, Language|0 Comments