Kuapo ʻŌlelo
Hawaiian Hawaii & English


In standard Hawaiian pronunciation the consonants are very much like those of English, except w. W is pronounced something like an English v in standard Hawaiian.

There are some words that are spelled either with or without a w in earlier writings. The w in these words is never pronounced as a v and is called the w-glide. The w-glide is the natural result of moving or gliding from a u or an o to another vowel. Today, many people do not write the w-glide because it leads to confusion with the true w letter. (Refer to dictionary for alternate spellings.)

auwē auē Oh no!
kauwā kauā slave
kowali koali a kind of plant
uwila uila lightning

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