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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Hawaiian language pronunciations in resource articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to resource articles, see {{IPA-haw}} and Resource: Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Hawaiian phonology for more detail on the sounds of Hawaiian.

IPA Examples nearest English equivalent
h Honolulu hat
j Mauna Kea ['k?j?][1] yes
k Kamehameha[2] sky
l Honolulu, L?na?i lean
m Maui moon
n L?na?i[3] note
p Pele spy
t Waik?k?, wikiwiki[2] steal
v wikiwiki[4] vision
w Loa ['low?], K?lauea [ti:l?w'w?j?][4] wall
? Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu uh-oh!
(a catch in the throat)
IPA Example Note
' Honolulu [hono'lulu] placed before the stressed syllable[5]
IPA Examples nearest English equivalent
a: L?naʻi father
? ahu, Molokaʻi[6] nut
? Hawaiʻi, Mauna Loa[6] sofa
e: K??kea hey without the y sound
? Pele[7] bed
e Kahoʻolawe[7] Spanish seta
i: Waik?k? peel
i wikiwiki Spanish hijo
o: ʻ?ʻ? low without the w sound
o Honolulu Spanish loco
u: ʻ?ʻ? moon
u Honolulu Spanish tuyo
Short diphthongs
ju kiu cue
ow k?kou mole
o?i [example needed] queen
ew [example needed] Spanish neutro
ej lei May
?w Mauna[8] cow
?j Waik?k?[8] light
?o? haole Italian ciao
?e? koaea Japanese kaeru
Long diphthongs
o:w [example needed] no way
e:j [example needed] may you
a:w [example needed] RP far west
a:j [example needed] RP far younger
a:o? [example needed] crowd
a:e? [example needed] [example needed]


  1. ^ The y sound [j] is not written, but appears between a front vowel (i, e) and a non-front vowel (a, o, u)
  2. ^ a b [k] and [t], spelled k, are variants of a single consonant. [k] is almost universal at the beginnings of words, while [t] is most common before the vowel i. [t] is also more common in the western dialects, as on Kaua?i, while [k] predominates on the Big Island.
  3. ^ In some dialects the letter l tends to be pronounced [n], especially in words with an n in them. On the western islands it tends to be pronounced as a tap, [?].
  4. ^ a b [w] and [v], spelled w, are variants of a single consonant. [w] is the norm after back vowels u, o, while [v] is the norm after front vowels i, e. Initially and after the central vowel a, as in Hawaiʻi, they are found in free variation. [w] also occurs, though it is usually not written, between a back vowel (u, o) and a non-back vowel (i, e, a).
  5. ^ Stress falls on the penultimate vowel, with diphthongs and long vowels counting as two (that is, a final long vowel or diphthong will be stressed). Longer words may have a second stressed vowel, whose position is not predictable.
  6. ^ a b Short a is pronounced [?] when stressed and [?] when not.
  7. ^ a b Short e is [?] when stressed and generally when next to l, n, or another syllable with a [?]; otherwise it is [e].
  8. ^ a b In rapid speech, /?w/ and /?j/ tend to be pronounced [?w] and [?j], respectively.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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