Hawaiian Language

Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat

February is Hawaiian language month in the state of Hawai‘i. Nearly 40 years ago, the Hawaiian language was recognized as one of two official languages in the state. While the Hawaiian language speaking community has grown, recent events in a Maui courtroom have led to questions about what it really means to have Hawaiian as an official language. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Kawainui Marsh in Kailua's Future Facebook

Hawaiian Language Court Controversy; New Ocean Management Tool; Kawainui Marsh Master Plan; Place and Culture Forum

Bryan Berkowitz

There’s a court case that’s drawing a lot of attention and not just for the reason the defendant is on trial but because he is insisting on defending himself in his native Hawaiian language. HPR Reporter Ku’uwehi Hiraishi has this story.


You’ve probably heard the news. The Walt Disney animated film Moana has been translated into Hawaiian. Most Disney productions are officially dubbed in more than 46 global languages after appearing in English. But this is a first for Hawaiʻi and the Hawaiian speaking community. So what does it take to translate a Disney movie? HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has the answer.

Na Kau A Hi'iaka

One of Hawaiʻi’s oldest stories is making a new appearance on a local stage. It’s a legend that has been passed down through hula for generations, and it is now being performed in Hawaiian. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi talks with Hawaiian playwright and director Kauʻi Kaina.

A school name change on Oʻahu is raising awareness in that community about the origin of place names in Hawaiʻi. The Governing Board for Lanikai Elementary Public Charter School has decided to revive the traditional place name for the land beneath the school. HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has more.

Guest DJ in the house tonight! DJ Mermaid from KTUH will be sitting in and mixing some of her favorites.

Episode 79: Keeping a Language Alive

Nov 17, 2016

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

Hawaiian language students at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa are working with millions of historical documents that were previously lost in translation.