Aloha baby names!
To celebrate our first PURELEI Kids Advent Calendar, I've listed traditional Hawaiian names for you that might be just the inspiration you needed when looking for your baby's name!
You don't have to be Hawaiian to admire the unique sound of Polynesian names. The Hawaiian language consists of 13 letters only, 8 consonants and 5 vowels, which is why the names are easily recognizable as Polynesian names, and their sound so special.
Being a passionate linguist myself, I am feeling the strong urge to provide you guys with a short introduction on how the Hawaiian language evolved and why it is so special.
As I've already stated, Hawaiian is a Polynesian language from the Austranesian language family, and therefore closely related to other Polynesian languages, such as Samoan, Marquesan, Tahitian, Māori (native in New Zealand), Rapa Nui (the language of Easter Island) and Tongan. Polynesian settlers brought their language with them when they arrived in Hawaii as early as 400 C.E. with their canoes. From then on, it was influenced by other languages and dialects it had the most frequent contact with. The Hawaiian language suffered a lot when the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and English became the official (and dominant) language. Luckily, Hawaiian language and culture are fighting their way back!
Scroll down to see my personal favorites!
Did you know? Hawaiian has been a spoken language only for a long time, and it was Protestant missionaries who translated the bible to introduce its contents to the Hawaiian people. In order to make it as accessible as possible, the orthography they used was as easy as possible. The simple orthography and a well-established school system by the missionaries from New England resulted in a fast and wide-spreading literacy in Hawaii.
This has been a really really short introduction from my side, and as you can imagine it is way more complex. What I love about language is that it tells so much about history and society, and if you look closely it reveals so many secrets and you can learn so much from it.
There are numerous gorgeous names for both boys and girls, but I find the genderless names the Hawaiian language has to offer the most beautiful.
Did you spot a personal favorite? I'd love to know – tell me about it in the comment section!
Sending you lots of love and Aloha