The Language of Aloha at Disney’s Aulani Resort – ‘Okina! There are so many new things people can explore when they visit Hawaii. Hike into a beautiful valley at Mānoa, or swim among the fishes at the coral reef at Hanauma. With all the extraordinary sights to see you might miss the little things that make Hawai‘i, and Hawaiian culture, so beautiful — like the ‘okina, a glottal stop used in written Hawaiian language.
The ‘okina is a letter in the Hawaiian language that looks like an apostrophe but in the shape of a 6, and is used to show where you should break your vowels when we writing Hawaiian words. It’s similar to how we say uh-oh in English, except it is used between all sorts of vowel sounds. It is most commonly seen in the state name, Hawai‘i or in the island where Disney’s Aulani Resort is located – O‘ahu. In fact, the ‘okina can be seen and heard all around the island as you explore street signs, names, and even local radio and television.
Next time you visit Aulani Resort, be sure to practice using the ‘okina! Any Cast Member can help you pronounce the names as you visit various areas around the resort, such as ‘AMA‘AMA, the fine dining restaurant by the beach, or Ho‘okani Pila (Instrument Playing) class at Pau Hana Community Hall.
One of the best uses of the ‘okina is the name of one of newest Disney friends: ‘Olu, a friend of Duffy the Disney Bear. If you saw photos of him, you may have noticed a small mark next to his name on the upper left-hand side. You might have thought it was a splash of water, but I’m here to tell you it’s an ‘okina!
Start planning your visit to Disney’s Aulani Resort to start your next Hawaiian adventure and learn more of the Hawaiian language.
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Image/Source Credit: Disney