'olelo hawaii


MOVOTO INSIDER ORIGINALS - Pronounce This: Hawaii Place Names

Where to even start with this video.  The problem isn’t that these people don’t know how to say the words.  They obviously haven’t been trained or grew up learning it, and like any new language, Hawaiian requires learning.  The problem is the video’s premise that the Hawaiian language is funny.  This premise allows the video to be “funny,” allowing the people in it to laugh and make fun of the language.  The view of Hawai'i is already skewed because the first interviewees say “mahalo” and shaka in a very comedic manner.  It shows that they believe Hawaiʻi to be a tourist culture, made especially for their enjoyment and pleasure; it can be ridiculed, made fun of, and made to be comedic.  In other words, it is too “exotic” for them to connect with, and therefore does not demand their respect.  

For example, why the need to pronounce words in a high-pitched squealing noise?

And their comments about “what is it about these damn apostrophes everywhere? You can’t just thrown damn apostrophes in the middle of a word.”

And then there are the two guys that try to sing their way through (or pronounce like a barbarian) words, and the girl that thinks the ʻokina is a click.  

And to top it off, Movoto, producers of this video do not make an effort to put the correct pronunciations (or spellings) of the place names they are having their interviewees say and added comical background music.  These acts only serve to further make the Hawaiian language laughable and disrespected.  A language that nearly went extinct only two generations ago.  My grandfather, and countless others were banned from speaking Hawaiian and were beaten for speaking their native language after the monarchy was overthrown.  This banning of language was the United State’s plan to eradicate the Hawaiian culture, to assimilate its people into being American citizens, even though the overthrow and subsequent occupation of the land of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi is considered illegal, even today.  Now that we have gotten our language back from the brink of death, these people are making fun of it.  It is seen as an inferior language because it doesn’t observe the rules that these people are used to.  These people have the privilege of being english speakers in the United States.  These people have the privilege of living the “American” way of life.  These people have the privilege of not having their culture and people oppressed to the point where many are living with post-traumatic stress of losing their nation.  This is another example of how systematic oppression encourages privilege.  I am sickened by this display of ignorance and privilege and hope that you are too.

nepchoon  asked:

As a Hawaii native I cannot let that other ask go uncorrected. While the definition is sort of there it's spelled Haole (specifically white foreigner) Which is extremely distinct from Hau'oli (happy) Stop butchering olelo hawaii pls :(


thank you for letting me know!!