PDA

View Full Version : K Brand Pronunciation?



Little Plink
06-15-2011, 03:35 PM
Hey everyone!

I've been wondering for a while now, how do you say the brand names of the K-Brand 'ukuleles? Sure, I get KoAloha, that's pretty simple, but I'm just not sure about the others.

For instance,

I pronounce

-Kamaka /as/ KUH-MAH-KUH.
-Ko'olau /as/ KOO-OH-LAU.
-Kanile'a /as/ CAN-IH-LAY-UH

Does anyone else pronounce these differently, properly, anything? It's been bugging me, because I always thought I knew these, but I recently heard somebody pronounce Kamaka as KAH-MUH-KUH, and it threw me off a bit. I realized I don't hear much of these names, I just see them. Any help would be appreciated.

uuuuke
06-15-2011, 03:48 PM
Hey Little Pink

Kanile'a is pronounced KA-KNEE-LAY-AH.
Kamaka is pronounced KA-MA-KA, Just like it reads.
Ko'olau is pronounced KO-OH-LAU

Hope this helps with your OO-KOO-LE-LE pronunciation!!!!

saltytri
06-15-2011, 04:04 PM
The apostrophe is a glottal stop. The common example in English is the little catch between the two parts of "uh-oh." Of course, I'll defer with respect to the experts who inhabit these parts. I took linguistics forty years ago. Yikes!

Kekani
06-15-2011, 04:25 PM
uuuook, good response (pun intended on the pronunciation of uke, as in "ook").

The next question is how to pronounce Honolulu? I just corrected myself about 10 years ago, if that.

And the "apostrophe" is an Okina, which is actually considered a letter of sorts in the language. Its use, and placement can completely change the meaning of a word spelled exactly the same. Its actually an upside down apostrophe (on today's computer), or the closest anyway. Since we're on that, `ukulele has one.

ItsAMeCasey
06-15-2011, 04:27 PM
Hey Little Pink

Kanile'a is pronounced KA-KNEE-LAY-AH.
Kamaka is pronounced KA-MA-KA, Just like it reads.
Ko'olau is pronounced KO-OH-LAU

Hope this helps with your OO-KOO-LE-LE pronunciation!!!!

corrrect haha! That's how I pronounce them at least. I live in Hawaii so it'd be a shame if I've been saying them wrong this whole time.

saltytri
06-15-2011, 04:49 PM
Kekani:

Thanks for the more accurate and thorough explanation. As I said, I gladly defer.

That reminds me of the time I was so proud of myself for learning the word for "banana" on Tahuata in the Marquesas. I think it was "meiki." A mile or so across a channel on Hiva Oa, I tried to show how smart I was by using that word and was politely informed that while "meiki" was fine on Tahuata, "mei'i" was proper on Hiva Oa. The Okina replaced the consonant, which apparently happens regularly in Polynesian dialects. For example, "Hawaiki" in Tahitian became "Hawai'i," which brings us full circle back to the land of the 'ukulele! :)

saltytri
06-16-2011, 05:20 AM
The next question is how to pronounce Honolulu? I just corrected myself about 10 years ago, if that.



Please enlighten us! :)

janeray1940
06-16-2011, 05:38 AM
Please enlighten us! :)

HOE-no-loo-loo, not HA-no-loo-loo. The Hawaiian language is actually pretty easy to pronounce - after all, there are only 7 consonants, and 5 vowels (which, unlike English, are pronounced in a standard way).

As for Kanile'a - one time when I was at Bob's Ukulele, the guy working there went on a rant about how people mispronounce this all the time: people say KA-KNEE-LAYUH, running the "e'a" together as if there was not an 'okina there. He emphasized that it should be pronounced KA-KNEE-LEH-(glottal stop)-AH, which I have no idea how to express in text but hopefully you get the idea.

molokinirum
06-16-2011, 05:49 AM
This is great!! I have always tried to use the correct pronunciation for the Hawaiian words!! And as Janeray1940 said, the words are not too hard to pronounce.

janeray1940
06-16-2011, 06:22 AM
And as Janeray1940 said, the words are not too hard to pronounce.

Except, I forgot to mention, for that darned "W" consonant. I've asked several Hawaiians how they know when it's a W sound and when it's a V sound, and they've all said they don't know!

Kekani
06-16-2011, 06:30 AM
Jane,

You are a pro. Most people pronounce it Hanalulu, here, still.

bbycrts
06-16-2011, 07:42 AM
uuuook, good response (pun intended on the pronunciation of uke, as in "ook").

The next question is how to pronounce Honolulu? I just corrected myself about 10 years ago, if that.

And the "apostrophe" is an Okina, which is actually considered a letter of sorts in the language. Its use, and placement can completely change the meaning of a word spelled exactly the same. Its actually an upside down apostrophe (on today's computer), or the closest anyway. Since we're on that, `ukulele has one.

I have no expertise on this whatsoever, but I have read alternate stories on the origin of the name of the instrument itself - and depending on which story you buy determines whether you believe the word is written with or without the okina.

The way I read it was that the classic story of the jumping flea is one possible origin - that people who saw the original Portuguese immigrants playing their machetes were so impressed with the speed of their fingers they said they looked like jumping fleas - 'uku lele. I believe this was the story that resulted in ukulele being spelled with the okina.

The other story was that Queen Liliuokalani was so impressed by the instrument and delighted with it that she referred to it as the uku lele - the gift that came from here. uku - gift. lele - to come. Thus, the origin of the word ukulele without the okina.

I don't know if anybody knows for sure which story is correct or if it's something else entirely. I think the jumping flea story is the most widely accepted, which would make the okina proper.

Anyway - I love looking at word origins and the stories that go with them. Maybe someone who has more than an internet knowledge of the subject can correct all my mistakes above!

janeray1940
06-16-2011, 08:21 AM
Jane,

You are a pro. Most people pronounce it Hanalulu, here, still.

I have to admit I vary my pronunciation depending on if I'm there or on the mainland. But it gets confusing. I was talking with someone in Hawaii last night, and said YOU-kelele instead of OO-kulele and I felt like a total malihini. But then when I say OO-kulele to, say, a Californian, I feel like a pretentious jerk!

1014
06-17-2011, 05:55 AM
The Hawaiian language is actually pretty easy to pronounce

lol. ever sing a traditional, even an "easy" one like `alekoki in front of an auntie? das why i get cousins who don't sing during family kanikapila. haha not cause they can not sing, but they scade of the kupuna. hahaha

Kanaka916
06-17-2011, 06:10 AM
lol. ever sing a traditional, even an "easy" one like `alekoki in front of an auntie? das why i get cousins who don't sing during family kanikapila. haha not cause they can not sing, but they scade of the kupuna. hahaha
Oh, so true! Dey frown on you wen you no pronounce right. Mo worse, wen dey jus shake da head . . .

janeray1940
06-17-2011, 06:15 AM
Oh, so true! Dey frown on you wen you no pronounce right. Mo worse, wen dey jus shake da head . . .

LOL! In my case they're always just surprised that this haole girl comes close to getting it right :)

molokinirum
06-17-2011, 08:20 AM
I have to admit I vary my pronunciation depending on if I'm there or on the mainland. But it gets confusing. I was talking with someone in Hawaii last night, and said YOU-kelele instead of OO-kulele and I felt like a total malihini. But then when I say OO-kulele to, say, a Californian, I feel like a pretentious jerk!

You are so right! When I say 'ukulele to someone here (Mainland) gotta say it the way they say it! lol It is almost like learning two languages! lol My Hawaiian still not too good but I really try and if a Hawaiian corrects me even better...gotta learn somehow.

patico
06-17-2011, 09:14 AM
Hi UUers

these words mentioned above, kanile'e, ko'olau, kamakawiwo'ole, n so on, come from polynesian language which is absolutely different in its origin to english. pronunciation is different as what i always hear in the videos in you tube, even hawaiian people pronounce these words with some kind of english accent in the vowels.... and also don't pronounce correctly the vowels separated by the ' sign
that ' sign transforms the vowel into a different vowel. so instead of beeing just 5 vowels, we have 10.
a, 'a, e, 'e, i, 'i ,o, 'o ,u, 'u

for ex:
ko'olau
the o'o must be pronounced as two different o, separated by a closed glotis.
if the ' is at a vowel at the beggining of the word, the vowel is pronounced strong by closing the glotis before the vowel
also the vowels are plain n simple, pronounced as in spanish...

hawai'i must be pronounced with 2 separated i'i at the end.

another example from here would be:
mau: very
ma'u: carry

iorana, mau'ururu mo hakarongo mai.
hope nobody gets hurt with my words, i'm not american nor do i intend to correct the english pronunciation, just to help if someone is interested in polynesian language, to speak it correctly.

ukestah
06-17-2011, 09:33 AM
Lalala deleted my post.

Pueo
06-17-2011, 10:36 AM
I generally try to pronounce Hawai`ian words as close as possible to the intended pronunciation no matter where I am. I also choose not to correct people who say hanalooloo or youkalaylee because whatever, that's just their deal, and besides I am a ha`ole. If they ask me how to pronounce something and I do in fact know, I will happily teach them. Now when I sing Hawai`ian songs, I also want to make sure I get the words correct and the pronunciation correct, because I respect the culture. I do it for myself, not to impress anyone else. I look at it this way: If others want to perform Hawai`ian music and murder the language in the process, it is really no different than a French person singing an English song and doing the same. There are some artists that will take the time or have the ability to learn to do it correctly and I choose to be one of those people, but I don't have any ill will against those that do not, I feel it is not my place. I also don't feel pretentious saying oo-koo-leh-leh on the mainlaind because that's just how I say it, I don't make a big deal about it. The BEST was when my Hawai`ian wife's grandmother heard me sing and play and she said, "You sound like kanak!" That made all the effort worth it.