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Hawaiian Words to Know: April 2019

Okina: The okina is a symbol in the Hawaiian language that appears as a single quote symbol before a letter such as in the word ‘okina. The ʻokina is a glottal stop, similar to the sound between the syllables of “oh-oh.” In print, the correct mark for designating an ʻokina is the single open quote mark. The ‘okina is one of two diacritical markings in the Hawaiian language. When visiting Hawaii you will see it in many words, however, some Hawaiian words are still improperly being printed without it. Words such as ‘ohana, kama’aina, aloha’oe, ‘okina, O’ahu, Kaua’i, and many others.

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Gen Bush

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