Hawaiian Islands

In pronouncing Hawaiian words, vowels marked with macrons, short horizontal lines, are usually stressed. However, we suggest putting equal emphasis on all syllables until you become more familiar with the subtle differences in the language.

The glottal stop ' is a stop consonant. It is made by closing the glottis so tightly that no air can pass through, causing a momentary interruption in speech. One example of a glottal stop is that made in pronouncing the expression ''oh-oh! ''

In the names that follow, diagonal lines indicate glottal stops, and dashes join syllables. The letter combination ''au'' should be pronounced to rhyme with the word ''now.''

Points of Interest in the Hawaiian Islands

Kaua'i (Kau-ah/ee)

Kalalau ValleyKalalau Valley (Kah-lah-lau)
Uninhabited, this vast, rugged valley is virtually impossible to reach, except by sea or air.

Fern GrottoFern Grotto
This secluded cave is reached by boat on the Wailua River. Giant ferns, nourished by an 80-foot waterfall, grow upside down and hang at the entrance.

Waimea CanyonWaimea Canyon (Why-may-ah)
Called the ''Grand Canyon of the Pacific'' by Mark Twain, the canyon's beautiful colors change, depending on the time of day.

Lumaha'i Beach Lumaha'i Beach (Loo-mah-hah/ee)
One of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii, it was used in the movie South Pacific.

Ni'ihau (Nee/ee-hau)

Just twenty miles off the west coast of Kaua'i, travel to this privately-owned island was once restricted. Inhabited by only about 200 people, the locals have managed to preserve the traditional Hawaiian language and culture.

O'ahu (Oh/ah-who)

Diamond Head
In the early 1800s, this extinct volcanic crater and familiar Hawaiian landmark was given its name by British soldiers who mistook calcite crystals they found there to be diamonds.

Hanauma BayHanauma Bay (Hah-nau-mah)
This beautiful cove was created when the sea broke through a wall of an extinct volcanic crater.

Iolani Palace'Iolani Palace (Ee-oh-lah-nee)
The only royal palace in United States, the residence was built by King Kalakaua, brother of Hawai'i's last monarch, Queen Lili'uokalani.

Kamehameha I Statue Kamehameha I Statue (Kah-may-hah-may-hah)
Draped with long flower leis on Kamehameha Day, June 11th, the statue honors Hawai'i's first ruler, Kamehameha the Great.

Arizona MemorialU.S.S. Arizona Monument
The floating memorial is built over the sunken battleship, U.S.S. Arizona. The ship entombs over 1,000 servicemen who lost their lives on December 7, 1941, when Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Nu'uanu Pali LookoutNu'uanu Pali Lookout (New/oo-ah-new Pah-lee)
The site of a bloody battle in 1795 won by Kamehameha l and his men. Thousands of defeated warriors jumped or were pushed to their deaths on the rocks below.

Punchbowl Punchbowl
Situated on the floor of an extinct volcano, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is the final resting place for more than 20,000 members of the armed forces.

Moloka'i (Moh-low-kah/ee)

Kalaupapa Kalaupapa (Kah-lau-pah-pah)
A tiny, isolated peninsula that was made famous by Father Damien, a Belgian priest who came in 1873 to help treat victims of Hansen's Disease or leprosy.

Papuaiwa GroveKapuaiwa Grove (Kah-pooh-ah-ee-vah) Over 1,000 coconut trees were planted here in the 1860's by Kamehameha V.

Lana'i (Lah-nah/ee)

Pineapple Fields Nearly all residents on Lana'i are engaged in growing and harvesting pineapple, one of Hawaiian most important crops.

Maui (Mau-ee)

LahainaLahaina (Lah-high-nah)
A historic town, famous for its missions established by New England ministers and widely known as a whaling center in the 1800s.

Haleakala CraterHaleakala Crater (Hah-lay-ah-kah-lah)
Designated as a National Park, this dormant volcano measures twenty-one miles in circumference. The House of the Sun observatory is situated on the rim of the crater.

'Iao Valley'Iao Needle (Ee-au)
This moss-covered spire, which rises 2,250 feet, is located in 'Iao Valley State Park.

Kaho'olawe (Kah-hoe/oh-lah-vay)

The smallest island in the Hawaiian chain, Kaho'olawe was once used for bombarding and target practice by the U.S. Army and Navy.

Hawai'i (Hah-wah/ee)

Mauna KeaMauna Kea (Mau-nah Kay-ah)
A dormant volcano, which is snow-capped in winter and popular for skiing, rises 13,796 feet above sea level, and it's the state's tallest peak.

City of RefugeCity of Refuge National Historical Park
In ancient times, political and religious asylum was granted to anyone who could reach its grounds.

'Akaka Falls'Akaka Falls (Ah-kah-kah)
Located in 'Akaka Falls State Park, this waterfall plunges more than 400 feet over a volcanic cliff.

Kilauea CraterKilauea Crater (Key-lau-way-ah)
This steaming, active volcano is located in the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, and the Hawai'i Volcano Observatory is located on the crater's rim.

Black Sands BeachBlack Sands Beach
Formed by volcanic action, lava is ground into grains of black sand by the surf.