We are slowly (over the last years) learning the Hawaiian language, or well, at least words and phrases. If or when we move here permanently, we’ll definitely take a course. If you are a first-time visitor to Hawaii, you’d be surprised how many Hawaiian words have found their way into everyday usage here on the islands. Here are a few that I hear or read often in everyday living:
aloha (of course)
lanai (patio, deck)
ohana (family, but often used to refer to a small mother-in-law type house or apartment)
mahalo (thank you)
pupu (platter of appetizers)
There are others too. You don’t have to learn these, but if you use aloha and mahalo and Hawaiians of all stripes will smile and be appreciative. The others are good to know just to understand what some people are talking about.
There is a great site to learn to pronounce these words and to learn more: http://hawaiian-words.com/ Check it out.