The Hawaiian language contains 13 letters: A, E, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, U, W and the okina (‘). The okina is a glottal stop like the sound between the ohs in oh-oh and is considered a consonant. The kahako or macron (–) is placed over a vowel to prolong the sound. The two diacritical marks are a way to show how a Hawaiian word should sound to a person unfamiliar with a word.
The following are some common Hawaiian words you may see or hear in Hawaii:
A hui hou: Until we meet again
Aloha: Hello, goodbye, love
E komo mai: Welcome
Hana hou: Do it again, encore
Haole: White person, foreigner
Kamaaina: Hawaii born or long-time Hawaii resident
Kapu: Forbidden, keep out
Keiki: Child or children
Lua: Bathroom (not to be confused with Luau!)
Luau: Traditional Hawaiian feast, usually accompanied by entertainment (named for the taro always served at one)
Mahalo: Thank you
Makai: Toward the ocean. A common way of giving directions.
Malahini: Newcomer, visitor
Mauka: Toward the mountains. A common way of giving directions.