As with learning any language, you want to gain an understanding of both the Hawaiian culture and how the Hawaiian language works. An exciting option online is to have email pen pals so that you can practice Hawaiian as you learn. There are many online sites to help you learn this language for free. Some websites also offer language exchange learning, allowing you to teach someone English while you practice Hawaiian.
Reasons to Learn Hawai'i
Images of Hawaii's lush palm tress and gorgeous mountains dripping with waterfalls, wrapped up with the idea of being so close to nature, calls to many of us. In learning the Hawaiian language, which is actually spelled Hawai'i, we can be part of that calling. There are many reasons we choose to learn this language, from dreaming of living in Hawaii, having a relative who lives there and adoring everything Hawaiian to loving Hawaiian food, a sense of spiritual calling and just wanting to learn a language that is part of American history. Maybe you also have become an expert at the hula.
Because the Internet has become such a staple in our society, there is almost nothing we cannot access. Learning Hawaiian is now at our fingertips. The methods of learning Hawaiian are varied and can be tailored to your learning style. If you prefer to learn word by word, there are dictionary sites that help you put words together. See worldlingo.com/en/resources/hawaiian_dictionaries.html for links to Hawaiian dictionaries. If you learn better visually, there are even free video sites, including Kamehameha Schools Distance Learning, linked below in Resources, which offers streaming video.
If podcasts are your thing, so that as you learn you hear correct pronunciations, alter-native-tongue.podomatic.com will help you. Another way to learn online is a step-by-step tutorial. Such tutorials are explicit in making sure you know the important beginning phrases that are necessary in any language, such as, "Can you please tell me where a bathroom is?" Visit geocities.com/~olelo/hltableofcontents.html for Hawaiian beginner lessons.
If you are interested in learning the Hawaiian culture in addition to the language, you can teach yourself the hula online. Learning parts of the language as you gain an understanding of the ancient hula dance and its sacred history is another method; visit anytimecostumes.com/costumes/hula.html.
Learning Hawaiian online, as with any method of learning, means a commitment to studying and practicing. The benefit of learning online is that there is always a community waiting to support your efforts.
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