From Namespedia - Names Meaning and Origins
The Hawaiian language is part of the central-eastern Polynesia languages family, same as Tahitian, Tumotuan, Rarotongan and Maori. It is rather a young language, since its history began around 400 A.D. with the first settlers that traveled from Hiva to the southern Marguesas Islands. At that time it was their language that was spoken in the area. The arrival of Captain James Cook in 1778 was going to change much of the Hawaiian ways of living, including the language they were spoken until then. In order to learn from the missionaries how to read and write, Hawaiians needed a written form of their language. The main goal of the missionaries was to teach them the Bible. Since the missionaries were not even close to experts in linguistics, during this process of establishing an alphabet, the Hawaiian language suffered capital changes and losses of some of the original sounds, as the newly established alphabet had only 12 letters, tho the language was as complex as any other European language. Some examples are: Honoruru changed to Honolulu, Ranai changed to Lana`I, Mauna Roa changed to Mauna Loa and so on. This was going to be an irreversible change. Since Hawaiians were fast learners the language became quickly the language used in official institutions and schools. But things were going to change again around 1890’s with the annexation of Hawaii to United States. Hawaiian language was then banned. Today only 9000 people can speak and understand Hawaiian, of which only 1000 are native speakers. In 1978 Hawaiian was again declared the official language of the state, along with English.
Kalei - the beloved, Lani - heavenly, Lanikai - sea of heaven, Leilani - heavenly blossoms, Lokelani - heavenly rose, Nalani - the heavens, Noelani - heavenly mist
Articles in category "Hawaiian"
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