The Linguist

The Linguist 57,4 - August/September 2018

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 24 of 35

FEATURES @Linguist_CIOL AUgUST/SEPTEMBEr The Linguist 25 A history of struggle This increased use of Hawaiian comes after decades of effort to keep the local language alive. The now-defunct Hawaiian monarchy always championed literacy in the local language. King Kamehameha III (1813-54) established the first high school in 1831 and encouraged all Hawaiians to learn to read. Newspapers and government documents were published in the Hawaiian language, and Hawaiian songs and chants were written down for the first time. Queen Lili'uokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, ruled from 1891 to 1893, when she was forced to abdicate through political manoeuvring as Hawaii joined the US. Imprisoned for one year, she devoted herself to translation and intense literary activity, composing the much-loved ballad Aloe 'oe. Her English version of the Kumulipo chant was vital in making this seminal Hawaiian creation story available beyond the confines of her island kingdom. Following the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, the local language was banned in schools. on six of the seven permanently inhabited islands, Hawaiian was displaced by English. A small community of native speakers has remained on the tiny, westernmost island of Ni'ihau, which is mainly agricultural and not open to tourism. Hawaiian is still the first language there. Children would be punished for speaking Hawaiian, and teachers encouraged parents to speak only English at home. Hawaiian was further displaced by economic and social pressures increasing the importance of English. In the 1930s, it was taught as a subject in some high schools and at university level, but the range of courses was small. By the 1950s and 1960s, linguists and Hawaiian nationalists were beginning to despair about the language's future. Then, in 1978, it gained a last-minute reprieve when it was declared an official state language. After nearly a century, schools taught in Hawaiian were established once again in 1985. Kindergarten to grade 12 immersion programmes began teaching all subjects in Hawaiian. Today, teachers encourage parents to use the language at home, and the 'Aha Pūnana Leo Hawaiian language preschools in Hilo have received international recognition. Through the Native American Languages Act of 1990, the US Federal government adopted a policy to recognise the right of Hawaii to preserve, use and support its indigenous language. on 23 November 1993, President Bill Clinton signed a joint congressional resolution apologising for the US government's role in the overthrow of Hawaii's monarchy and the events leading to annexation. These milestones have resulted in a revival of interest in both the language and the culture. Local colleges and university programmes have also played a significant role. There has been a resurgence of the performance of traditional hula dances, chants and songs. growing interest in shipbuilding, martial arts and herbal healing has given local communities opportunities to gather and speak Hawaiian. The Hawaii Public radio station features a 'Hawaiian word of the day' and Hawaiian-language news broadcasts, while Sunday editions of the Honolulu Star- Advertiser, the largest newspaper in Hawaii, include an item written entirely in Hawaiian. As of 2013, 5.7% of the state's population (18,610 people) speaks Hawaiian. 4 Language background Numerous Hawaiian words can be found in English dictionaries, mainly indicating names of plants, birds, fish, and geological and cultural features unique to the Hawaiian islands. we are all familiar with 'aloha', 'hula', 'ukulele' and 'luau'. The informal dialect of English spoken in Hawaii uses many local words in a simplified creole. Visitors to Hawaii immediately find themselves greeted with aloha; mahalo ('thank you') is widely used; while many visitors are tickled by an invitation to join friends for pūpū on the lanai ('appetisers on the balcony') before dinner. Hawaiian, along with about 30 other languages, belongs to the Polynesian family, spread over much of the Pacific ocean, and is closest to Tahitian and Maori. Polynesian languages share many features, especially vocabulary. Hawaiian, Tahitian and Maori have the same words for 'evening' (ahi.ahi), 'drink' (inu), 'bird' (manu), 'sleep' (moe) and 'tooth' (niho), for example. 'woman' is wahine in Hawaiian and Maori, and vahine in Tahitian. CULTURAL CONCERNS Festivals such as the Mauna Lani Resort Turtle Independence Day (main image) have been a tourist attraction for years, but interest in Hawaiian culture is now growing further; and Hawaiian words like 'lei' (above), which concern the local culture, are familiar to most English speakers e komo mai mahalo nui loa haole hula kahuna lei 'ohana lû'au 'ono 'ahi mahi mahi mai tai come in thank you very much foreigner, Caucasian dance with chant priest, expert garland family feast delicious yellowfin tuna dolphin fish drink with rum and juice COMMON PHRASES IMAgES © HAwAII ToUrISMAUTHorITy (HTA)

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