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erich@muttcrew.net
10-27-2015, 08:18 AM
I am looking for someone who speaks Hawaiian well and could help me find a phrase in Hawaiian that sounds right, even to native Hawaiians.

The phrase I have found that sounds right (phonetically) is:

kirikiri taua

which I believe translates to something like "light misty rainshower" but I really don't know if that's correct or whether this is actually a correct Hawaiian phrase.

Thanks :music:

Brad Bordessa
10-27-2015, 08:39 AM
It's not Hawaiian. Gonna guess more like Tahitian or Maori. What do you want to say and what is the context?

Brad Bordessa
10-27-2015, 08:46 AM
The polynesian languages are often similar. Change a couple letters and you often have similar words - kirikiri: kilikili. I had to look it up and found: Ka wai kilikili noe. Which means: fine, misty rainwater. It's close, but context is going to tell you a lot.

hawaii 50
10-27-2015, 08:48 AM
It's not Hawaiian. Gonna guess more like Tahitian or Maori. What do you want to say and what is the context?

looks like a Tahitian word to me...but I am just guessing

mds725
10-27-2015, 08:51 AM
There is no letter "R" or "T" in the original Hawaiian alphabet or "R" or "T" sound in Hawaiian, except in words borrowed from other languages. There is a word "kuāua" ko-aaaaah-oo-aa) that means shower. Words for rain include kili (kee-lee, meaning fine raindrops), kilihune (kee-lee-hoo-nay, meaning fine light rain, windblown spray), and kili'ohu (roughly kee-lee-oh-hoo, meaning light mist). There's also, as Brad pointed out, a phrase "ka ua" (kah-oo-ah) that essentially means "the (ka) rain (ua)." Did you hear this phrase somewhere, as in a Hawaiian song? It's possible that the phrase you heard (if you heard it) is some combination of these words.

Pueo
10-27-2015, 09:33 AM
I don't speak Hawaiian, but I do study it, and I do know some vocabulary from learning Hawaiian songs.
I agree that kirikiri taua is going to be another Polynesian language, not sure which, but not Hawaiian.

I do know that this exact phrase in Hawaiian would be kilikili ka ua.

For emphasis in Hawaiian they will repeat a phrase. So kili = fine raindrops, kilikili = LOTS of fine raindrops, I would think that would be like a thick fog of mist.

kilikili ka ua would then mean to me a rain that is like a thick fog of mist.

OK, now for more:
Hawaiian music often has kaona, or hidden meaning.
Flowers often refer to women.
Moisture often refers to love or even love making.

So when you read lyrics about the flowers with mist or dew on them, it really means something else...

erich@muttcrew.net
10-27-2015, 11:40 AM
Thanks to all for your help.

@Hippie Guy: It's not so much about what I wanted to say but started with how it should sound and then I looked it up some time ago and found something like "light rain", which I do like as an idea. But I think you're right kirikiri taua may have been maori or some other Polynesian language.

So, just want to check back: kilikili ka ua would be OK for something like fine misty rain drops and might also mean something cool like fine misty love making. That would be really cool for me.

But this should be pleasant news, not a bad weather report. So if "kilikili ka ua" would mean thick fog, would it be better to say "kili ka ua" for misty, light rain? I do like the Hawaiian emphasis, because it sounds cool, but I don't want to use it in such a way that it emphasizes the wrong part of the meaning.

Pueo
10-27-2015, 12:50 PM
I don't think fog is accurate, I was just thinking of it in terms of a feeling. When a term is repeated, it really means "more of" so if you want to use it go ahead.

There is a Hawaiian dictionary by Mary Kawena Pukui that has a great section on grammar and sentence structure, you might find it at your local library.

Also wehewhe.org is a great online resource for translating words, but not so great with sentences and grammar.

There are some folks on this forum who really do speak Hawaiian though, perhaps they will chime in.

kkimura
10-28-2015, 09:33 AM
Just guessing here but maybe a lot of the spelling differences are attributable to the different European languages native to the people who first created the Roman alphabet and spelling conventions for the Polynesian spoken language they heard in the islands.

The French speakers in Tahiti did it differently that the English speakers in Hawaii because they "heard" it differently.

Interestingly, spoken Hawaiian on Molokai is different from Oahu.

Pueo
10-28-2015, 11:28 AM
Just guessing here but maybe a lot of the spelling differences are attributable to the different European languages native to the people who first created the Roman alphabet and spelling conventions for the Polynesian spoken language they heard in the islands.

The French speakers in Tahiti did it differently that the English speakers in Hawaii because they "heard" it differently.

Interestingly, spoken Hawaiian on Molokai is different from Oahu.

Yes, there is some of that too. I do know that if a Tahitian and a Hawaiian are talking to each other, in their native tongues, they will understand each other. I have a Tahitian brother-in-law and I have seen him speaking Tahitian to a Samoan friend - and his friend replied back in Samoan and they can understand each other.

Mahalo in Hawaiian is Maruru in Tahitian
Wahine in Hawaiian is Vahine in Tahitian - BUT - most Hawaiians will still pronounce it with a V even thought it is spelled with a W
Kane in Hawaiian is Tane in Tahitian - the word for man

I know that when Hawaiian was "Anglicized" they just basically made what they heard to conform to English letters.
There are some S sounds and there are some T sounds but they were just lumped in with K.

erich@muttcrew.net
10-30-2015, 07:48 AM
Thanks for your replies, everyone.

Actually the origin of the phrase is not that I heard it but that I was looking for something that sounded like [ʃɪl'tauɐ] (for the non-linguists that would be: "shill towa" or even better "shill tower" with the r dropped at the end). So I looked through different dictionaries for phrases that would sound similar using the phonetics that the languages offered. Problem is, I come up with something that I think sounds nice but I don't know whether the speakers of the language would ever use the phrase or whether it sounds like "Get the gun, honey, I'm gonna kill that damn rooster" :D

bonesigh
10-30-2015, 09:56 AM
LOL. Interesting thread as I have tried my hand at Hawaiian songs and did well with some and not so with others. It would be nice to have a friend who speaks true Hawaiian. What I've wondered though is if the Hawaiians take offense at me even trying. (: One time I was trying to say "Cute as a button" and the best I could come up with was "Na’au pihi baby" which I think actually translates to "pretty button baby" but then when I sang the song at open mic some said it meant something else. I still don't know ):

Pueo
10-30-2015, 10:27 AM
I am a haole from California who is married to a Hawaiian and we now live on Oahu. I am very aware that I am not Hawaiian in appearance, but I am very Hawaiian at heart. I love the music and culture. We are friends with many Hawaiian musicians. I always feel that I need to get it 100% correct if I want to sing Hawaiian songs. When I go to local gigs, I often hear that the musicians will sometimes forget a verse and "wing it" so that makes me feel a little better if I can't pull it off perfectly.
I do my best to both understand what I am singing and pronounce it as best I can though, out of respect.
Other languages fascinate me.