The Printed Language – Sandwich Islands


The first home that the Missionaries lived in was a Hale Pili house like this one. Hale = house and Pili is a type of grass that they used to cover the tops of homes

They came to the Sandwich Islands at the behest of the a young Hawaiian sailor who had emigrated to the East Coast of the United States.

They spent the six months on the Brig Thaddeus learning to speak the Hawaiian language so that they could communicate with the native peoples of the Islands.

Many believe that the Missionaries went to the Islands to teach them English… but think about this. The Missionaries created the Hawaiian alphabet so that they could create a Bible in the Hawaiian’s own language.

alphabet_hawaiian)leflet_1822What written language did they create?

Instead of the 26 letter English Alphabet that I grew up with, the Missionaries started with a 17 letter Alphabet in 1822: (five vowels & 12 consonants)

A, B, D, E, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, T, U, V, W

in 1826, they lowered the number of letters to 12-

Why? B & P were similar
same with K/T
same with V/W (some still pronounce Hawaii as HaVaii)
same with L/R/D (old maps have the spelling of my city as HONORURU)

So, when you READ a Hawaiian word and try to SAY IT… Remember, that the whole Hawaiian language is a PHONETIC language… there are NO silent letters…

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