hawaiian correct spelling aloha (w)au ia 'oe

mue389
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Joined: 2015-11-20, 18:49

hawaiian correct spelling aloha (w)au ia 'oe

Postby mue389 » 2015-11-20, 19:34

Aloha,

because my girlfriend loves Hawaii I decided to engrave the engagement ring for her with the phrase "I love you“ in hawaiian language. Unfortunately, the search for translation ended with much confusion. At first there are two different versions of spelling: "Aloha wau ia oe" and "Aloha au ia oe". In addition, sometimes the first letters of every word are written in upper case and sometimes they are written in lower case (except Aloha). To make me totally confused there are also different possibilities to set the accent marks;

ia, iā or iâ
oe or 'oe

So can you please help me to get the right spelling? Thank you in advance :blush:

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linguoboy
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Re: hawaiian correct spelling aloha (w)au ia 'oe

Postby linguoboy » 2015-11-20, 20:51

mue389 wrote:Unfortunately, the search for translation ended with much confusion. At first there are two different versions of spelling: "Aloha wau ia oe" and "Aloha au ia oe". In addition, sometimes the first letters of every word are written in upper case and sometimes they are written in lower case (except Aloha). To make me totally confused there are also different possibilities to set the accent marks;

ia, iā or iâ
oe or 'oe

ʻ (known in Hawai'ian as ʻokina) is not an "accent mark" but a consonant like any other. Leaving it off would be as incorrect as leaving the y off of you.

For the same reason, I would recommend that you don't omit the macron over the a in ; this can change the meaning of a word completely. Normative resources (e.g. dictionaries, official websites) always use both the ʻokina and the macron.

I am not sure why au has the alternative form wau or what rules govern its use. It strikes me as more euphonious to have a /w/ break up a sequence of two identical vowels, so I would prefer wau after aloha myself, but you might feel differently.

As far as I have been able to determine, Hawai'ian follows the same capitalisation rules as American English. Thus there is no reason to capitalise every word in the sentence unless you were making it the title of something.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

mue389
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Joined: 2015-11-20, 18:49

Re: hawaiian correct spelling aloha (w)au ia 'oe

Postby mue389 » 2015-11-21, 12:58

Thank you for the quick and detailed reply. Everything is clear now :ohwell:

Kekāne‘āhē
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Re: hawaiian correct spelling aloha (w)au ia 'oe

Postby Kekāne‘āhē » 2015-11-29, 19:58

Remember that Hawaiian didn't originally have a spelling system, until missionaries created one. The kahakō (the line over the vowel, which indicates extra length) is a relatively recent addition to the writing system, so some texts (especially older texts) may omit it. However, you should include it if possible, as without it, ambiguity can result (ia without the kahakō means he/she/him/her/it, and sometimes "this", though in this case, the correct meaning is clear from context).
"iâ" is sometimes used instead of "iā", but only because many fonts are unable to render the kahakō.

To my knowledge, au and wau are exactly the same, though it seems au is more common. Pukui and Elbert say that "wau" is a variant of "au"
Also, here's a relevant video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArrmySKzcV4
At 2:36, he sings "Aloha (w)au iā Mauna Kea" (I love Mauna Kea). It sounds to me like he uses "au" here (though the written lyrics say "wau")

kahihi'o
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Re: hawaiian correct spelling aloha (w)au ia 'oe

Postby kahihi'o » 2016-01-10, 10:32

This is quite late, but it would be written:

Aloha au iā ʻoe

Au and wau are variations of the same word. Personal preferences govern the use of one over another. I use both whimsically. The explanations provided above are all accurate. I'm glad to see that this area is still moderately active since I've been gone. Mālama pono.
I nui ke aho a moe i ke kai, no ke kai kā hoʻi ua ʻāina.


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