"Iesū pū."

Translation:Jesus be with you.

October 5, 2018

65 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awahine

If you're going to include western religion in the native tongue, you need to also include our kupuna, aumakua, and various deities. Westernizing and white washing the culture through language is pretty offensive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonchen_mezza

I totally agree with you. I am white and i have longed for this course to learn the HAWAIAN culture, not the western one. Btw, i am not christian, so this words are of no use to me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelii....

These are nowhere near as common as an entire section devoted to them on Duolingo would suggest. In fact, in 21 years living in Hawai'i I never heard them ONCE. I just started seeing them used on Facebook here and there just a few years ago. You do not need to use these AT ALL if you do not want to. No one I know ever used them. It is nice and all to resurrect old words and phrases and grammar, but the glaring omission of please and you're welcome to use these phrases instead is disappointing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kuualoha.

These actually ARE pretty common phrases heard in Hawaiian churches, I grew up hearing the kūpuna saying it to each other. I’ve occasionally heard “ Iēhowa pū” as well. I think it’s likely common amongst the older Hawaiians and was somewhat lost upon the younger crowd until they saw it on DL & either learned it or remembered hearing their kūpuna say it & chose to revitalize it. I believe it originated from the commonly heard phrase “God be with you” and the response “and also with you”, that is frequently used in Christian churches throughout the world. Christianity IS a very large part of Hawaiian history (& Polynesian history in general), you can’t pretend that’s not the case just because it’s something you personally don’t believe in. The reason these are included, as opposed to the ancient gods of Hawaiian culture, is there weren’t “polite expressions” or phrases of those gods used in general conversation… because that’s not really a Hawaiian mana’o, such things are a foregone conclusion, it’s assumed that your day will be blessed or that the gods will be with you because YOU should have been doing your part to appease them, which would automatically grant you their favor. I’m glad DL included these, I feel like it’s a nice way to honor our kūpuna and the beliefs they passed down to us (remember that most Hawaiians are still Christian to this day, or in the very least raised in Christian households/families), however I DO think there’s other more common/basic “polite expressions” that could/should have been included prior to these though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sevi666

Christianity is as much part of Hawaiian as the US occupation is. A colonial cancer. It destroyed the queer elements of Hawaiʻi, the aloha spirit. If they had any respect for Hawaiian history they would take a step back instead of claming the front stage. It's colonialism as usual.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kuualoha.

Your argument is that neither Christianity nor the occupation are part of Hawaiian history lol, and you’re accusing DL of not respecting Hawaiian history, how hypocritical. YOUR personal beliefs do not negate the beliefs of others & the fact remains that the vast majority of Hawaiians STILL are Christian to this day… by CHOICE… which you’ll remember is a right given to us by our ali’i via our Kingdom constitution. That being the case it shouldn’t be of any surprise to you or anyone else that we created phrases to express that in our language & that’s makes the phrases relevant, to what extent is DL’s right to determine since this is THEIR platform & if you don’t like it, learn elsewhere.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelii....

I want to reiterate one thing here, reiterate meaning I have said this several times before here on DL, I have NEVER EVER stated that these expressions should not be included SOLELY because they are Christian, and to that I will need to add that I have NEVER said or implied Christianity is not a part of the history of Hawai‘i. I just want to be explicit in that. There are many posts and many comments by me, and I would hope that you just missed that. I would not say what others say around here, that the use of Christianity is colonized and an affront to the pre-contact culture and people of Hawai‘i. Others said those things but I have never said those things here. Hawai‘i is one of the most religiously diverse places on the planet, and one great thing about the people of Hawai‘i is that largely people respect the choice of religious beliefs.
Again, though, some users say the creators of the Hawaiian course have an agenda, and that agenda is to proselytize. That is what many take issue with. The purpose that people have to use DL is to learn the language and not to become a born again Christian through language learning. It is unethical to create a language course to teach language and also include implicit attempts to promote one's religious beliefs. You're Christian? Great. I spent 24 years in a fundamental Christian church myself. I came to practice Hawaiian, though, not to have the writers infuse Christian phrases that only certain people use in certain places because there is an implicit, unspoken, wish to use this site to promote one religion over another. What happened to Hawai‘i being religiously diverse and being mindful of others' beliefs? Telling people not to use a language course to proselytize is not anti-Christian. It is stating that the authors need to be more ethical by sticking to the intended purpose of this course. I like the first-hand account that they are used at churches, because while it affirms they are used more than what people like me have been claiming, that also affirms that they are used in specific places by specific people that DL language learners by and large would not encounter. They are used in church which is a logical place for their use, and it could be the most logical explanation why so many have NOT heard them from anyone - they do not attend those particular churches.
Your first-hand account does not change much for me. I restate what I already said - Hawai‘i is a very diverse place religiously. The fact that these are used by specific people in very specific places comes across as that agenda - using this site as proselytizing. I have a diploma to teach languages, and I would not teach at a basic level something so niche as a polite expression like "Iesu pū" before please and you're welcome. I have seen MANY first year textbooks in multiple languages in multiple language families. This just does not happen on a regular bases, though Arabic would be one exception since Islam is so infused into daily life.

As for "God be with you", that would be the one logical conclusion and I have said elsewhere also that while I have not found historical usage of these idiomatic phrases as is (Iesu pū for example), there is historical precendence in the old newspapers for the entire sentences they are derived from - ‘O ke Akua pū me 'oukou. is a sentence I have seen - ‘ike maka - by using nupepa . org. I do acknowledge that these are not some made up nonsense like haole means "without breath". LOL


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oliver916158

I agree. As a westerner, I don't travel to see more of the place where I started. It's great that there's finally a course for a Polynesian language, but let's leave the missionary stuff back in the 19th century.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtBurnap

Sounds like a reasonable point to me on cultural grounds, though whether to include any of either set of words in the current beta mini-course is a question. But even on linguistic grounds, since the beta Hawaiian course currently teaches barely over 100 words or lexemes according to Duolingo's own statistics (as can be seen in duome.eu), one wonders seriously whether 'akua' and 'iesū' occur(red) so pervasively as to be included in the first 100 words one needs to learn Hawaiian linguistically and culturally, unless you're a missionary.

Zwickerman mentions their occurrence in early recordings of Hawaiian. Though I know nothing of these recordings, I had professional training in cultural and linguistic anthropology, so I have some grasp of what we might call potential sample or corpus bias (= representative of what, and not necessarily prejudice, per se). Who and how many were recorded, where, by whom, how, and in what type of context, recording format or with what agenda. Though the result is a historical record, it is a record in the first instance of those particular people someone happened to choose in that particular place, time, & context. If we are indeed talking about acoustic recordings, given early recording equipment, they are less likely to have been done as actual fieldwork in one or more culturally natural settings, etc. How representative are they of broader use of Hawaiian across variables of geographic separation, dialect, and degree of Western contact & acculturation? Only data from wider contexts, even if not contemporaneous with the recordings can help shed light on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelii....

I have searched previously on nupepa . org - the database of Hawaiian language newspapers, and I did not find one instance of their use. I only started seeing these expressions on Facebook in Hawaiian language groups within the past few years. I spent years learning Hawaiian and lived in Hawai'i 21 years. I never heard them once. When I asked in the groups about their exact meanings and such considering how idiomatic they are, I got a total brush off. Interesting to me to see such conversations here on Duolingo about them. These are not so commonly used that I would expect a separate topic devoted almost exclusively to them here, especially in a section called polite expressions that do not include the use of please, thank you, and you're welcome before any other expressions deemed basic etiquette by having its own section the way these do.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kale333901

Brother it is refreshing to meet another Scholar in pursuit of deeper understanding and ALIVENESS. So in that way, may we continue to let our lives blossom and flourish with the tears of the Moon, the beckoning of the Stars, and the luch sea foam of the Sun, continue the journey my friend because my knowing of you is what invigorates me to learn more, MAHALO Na Aumatua, Mahalo Na Akua, Mahalo Na Tupuna, Aloha aku, Aloha mai, Malama aku, Malama, Mai, EŌ!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kale333901

Please read "Facing The Spears of Change: The Life and Legacy of John Papa I`i" . This book references so much of what you are asking about and gives a detailed understanding of the plight of our language and the dominance of an epistemological overlay by Academic "Western" schooling... MAHALO for your inquisitiveness and your knowledge ALOHA


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kale333901

YES, MAHALO iā`oe no kou leo! Thank you for your voice, for They Hear YOU...ALOHA


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaylaThorn

Came to the comments because I was curious if Christianity really had become that ingrained in the culture of the language. Disappointed in the lesson creators trying to push this and erasing native culture.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatieHorn10

Totally agree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DEE255780

I must say that just starting Hawaiian with Duolingo, I was shocked to see the use of the word Iesū used in the course. Whatever oneʻs thoughts on religion/Christianity or its origins in Hawaii or whether the alii, moi accepted it or not. There should be a disclaimer that Duolingo uses it without any real reason to do so. If it came in at some point later as part of history, or in cultural use for example like Japanese. "I am going to the shrine on New Yearʻs Eve" then it makes possible sense. "We visited a heiau yesterday". This introduction of Christian words reeks of Kamehameha Schoolsʻ indoctrination and varioius ʻōlelo kumu on island in Oahu who feel that the Lordʻs prayer is the best way to teach Hawaiian. The language of the islands is not Christian it is Hawaiian. There is an oral tradition that far supersedes the missionaries writing it down. So many people were excited to see Hawaiian on Duolingo but I wonder if they know about this path?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KawikaOCon1

Okay look, I'm not going to argue the cultural or religious side of whether or not this phrase should be included in this course, but I am going to say: does anybody use this? I mean, I grew up in the immersion community, and I never once heard this spoken, ever. This is a really kind of weird phrase to have in there, when again, it ain't really used. I think it shows the bias of KS showing through(might get a bit of flack for saying that, but I think it's true).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelii....

Kāko‘o aku wau i kou wahi mana'o. I was at UH Mānoa for a decade and never heard these ONCE. 'A'ohe o'u ho'olohe mai i ho'okahi manawa. That said, just a couple years ago, I saw these in Hawaiian language Facebook groups. That is the only place I have encountered them. I looked in nupepa . org but I could not find one use of them. Someone said they are from recordings / from kūpuna who have used them as they learned it from church. Okay.... The Hawaiian language community at the universities have a habit of digging through source material for forgotten words and expressions and such and then putting them into use so 'ike is not lost. Maybe these are examples. So that leaves me with two doubts - 1 is why do these expressions get their own section to be taught to people all over the world as if they are common when that is not actually the case, and 2 why do they sound so hapa haole in construction and idiomatic meaning. They sound as authentic Hawaiian as Hau'oli lā hānau does, which is not much. I also agree with you about KS - very much a Christian organization influencing content to me. They put almost totally unused Christian expressions of uncertain origins in a topic called polite expressions and completely left out please, thank you very much, and you're welcome.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pohaikealoha

I have never ever heard anyone use this and I went to Kamehameha where we were forced to go to chapel every other week... so that's saying something.

For context for anyone unfamiliar: Kamehameha Schools was the sponsor and main programmer of the Hawaiian language phrases in Duolingo. They are a "Native Hawaiian christian school" whose students are required to attend chapel on campus every other week. As an alumni who has had to do so for six consecutive years, I have never even once heard this phrase, not from one of their priests, not spoken on campus, not from anyone who spoke at mass, not from teachers, not from administrators.

There is absolutely no frequency of use that justifies its inclusion in this course and its odd coming from the very organization who doesn't even use it. It should not be included. Period.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maui_Bartlett

The phrases "Iesū pū" and "Ke Akua pū" are used by Christian Hawaiians when saying farewell to each other. They are very commonly heard among the poʻe Niʻihau.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniferBr1972

There are plenty of people in the comments here saying that they don't use it or never heard it before. Christianity had a serious formative effect on Romance language-speaking countries, but neither French nor Spanish has anything like this lesson. It feels like attempted proselytizing on the part of the creators of the course, more than teaching anything about modern or historical indigenous Hawaiians. Please consider making it a bonus lesson, rather than an early required lesson.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kale333901

A lot of Christian speak with this program, when does the Indigenous Belief come in I wonder?? Will they make room for the Native Speak?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lumipehko

This is clearly controversial both linguistically and cultural. At least give us an "opt-out" option.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KikoJohnst1

36 times, gonna make me type it until I believe it ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdultRefre

That's how I feel about, "My aunt is a short woman." (He wahine pakole anikie?) Duolingo hammers you when there is a question you're not grasping.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gavinisqueer

Specific religions should not be part of this course. A skill on Native Hawaiian beliefs, possibly, but there's no reason to make us learn how to speak about a Christian figure. Other language courses do not typically teach these things either, to my knowledge, unless they are culturally significant (see another comment here about Japanese's use of shrines in the lessons)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mary942691

I too would prefer to learn other words before learning a phrase like this, which I am fairly certain I will never use.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hallerd

❤❤❤ is up with this Christian stuff?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TJWphd
  • 1306

Duo wanted more indigenous languages and was willing to let evangelical missionary zealots create a very short and very biased course in Hawaiian. It's unfortunate and I hope the bias gets corrected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roos033

If you add pū in the end of a sentence, does that mean "with you"? I don't really get the grammar behind it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelii....

It is VERY idiomatic and the grammar and semantics are very much different from the original language. Learn them as phrases and file them away in a folder called "won't use" because these are not used on a daily basis by the Hawaiian language community.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maui_Bartlett

Pū is an interesting word. Some definitions for this usage of pū are: together, entirely, completely, also with, together with (from Pukui-Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary). It is often used as an "adverb" after "verbs" like hele, e.g. "E hele pū kākou" -> "Let's go together".

It can also be used after pronouns, for example, in the phrases "ʻO au pū" -> "Me too" and "Me ʻoe pū" -> "same to you [as in reply to a good wish]" (Pukui-Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdultRefre

Building off the idea of opting in or out, I think this should go at the end of the tree. That way, it is an additional chapter the student of the language can learn on this short tree, but it won't alarm those who aren't going to learn everything offered.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tatonka71

Woww, this is is cool. Is this a common phrase? I didn't know Hawaiian was influenced by Christianity like this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DubhghlasJulien

The legacy of the missionaries runs deep.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rapanui5

yeah you should look into that before you start thinking its a good thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lmeleana7997

It is not a common phrase. People around me usually use the word pōmaika'i.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/prudence110604

I agree, this is new. First time hearing it. Pomaika'i. (Difficulty using old phones with limited keyboard options ugh. Long vowel sound "mark" above the "o" )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aezyah1

Though I don't much like the inclusion of Christianity, the religion was supported by the mo'i themselves. Liholiho and Ka'ahumanu were very supportive of Christianity after they abolished the 'aikapu. Ka'ahumanu herself declared Christianity the official religion of Hawai'i. They must not have known the overall effects it would have, but it is a part of the history. So I think it is very important.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kale333901

I agree with you that it is important to remember history, yet because the mo'i declared chrisitanity the official religion did not mean that it was completely supported by the people nor was it needed to improve our living conditions as Kanaka Maoli. The Monarchy had their own agenda too, for their benefit and to others detriment.... and there were many Ali'i that opposed the path of Nationalism, such as Kekuaokalani and his wife Manono, there were more but we dont hear of their stories because they were erased from history to completely establish the monarchy without resistance. Just because it happened does not mean we should readily accept it as complete or done and then just move on, we need to heal from this...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awahine

Mahalo nui. Glad someone agrees with me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniferBr1972

As a non-Christian, I'm definitely never going to say these phrases...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelii....

Well, most speakers do not use these phrases either. I doubt you would ever encounter anyone who uses them on a regular basis.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blinkett

What the hell is with all the religious stuff? No one says this even though there are a lot of Hawaiians who are religious.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AKWynning

I find the use of Christian religious phrases offensive. I am her to learn a language, not become a missionary. As a paying client, I would appreciate the removal of religious content.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ian748199

this is bad form duolingo shame on you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laamaikahi

I would just use the basics I grew up with and say, ʻIesū me ʻoe.ʻ to mean, ʻJesus (be) with you.ʻ or ʻAkua me ʻoe, for ʻGod (be) with you.ʻ As far as the word, ʻBlessing(s).ʻ, I would say, ʻPōmaikaʻi.ʻ But this is just me and my manaʻo. Hoʻomaluhia a me Aloha. (Peace and Love)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/babsi388818

Why are god and Jesus included in the 4th lesson i ever studied in Hawaiian? I've taken Spanish lessons for nearly a year now and never had to deal with Jesus...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeddGreenw

The colonialisms are not immersing me in Hawai'i and really distracting. I'd rather learn more about their original Gods. BOO!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KieranAlston

Why is lesū (Jesus) in this course? When I first saw that word, I was shocked. It's not native Hawaiian and is not part of our culture. At least use a Hawaiian god instead.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KikoJohnst1

Auwe no ho'i e ! Another Jesus blessing 35 times now. Perhaps I can finish this lesson without having to type this polte expression too many more times.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/babeboss3

Why are must of these questions about god and jesus?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelii....

Awesome. Well, most speakers do not use these phrases. I doubt you would ever encounter anyone who uses them on a regular basis. Just blow past this section and wait for more common expressions like Thank you, you're welcome, and please.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noah.EXE

This showed up twice in a row in my hawaiian lessons.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talmerian

There is no god, this is insulting and not at all a polite greeting


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KikoJohnst1

Now 34 time had to type little used polite greeting Iesu pu 'nuff already,


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KingKilo

The race that which i came from was raised on Hāloa


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CanadianCheeto

I am an idiot. I have been thinking it's Lesu and not iesu. Maybe having a different font would have been nice lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ne_cede_malis

"Απο παντος κακοδαιμονος" preacher! Read some Hume or Sartre sometime.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kuualoha.

The irony that westerners introduced Christianity to Hawaiians (and all Polynesians) & are now complaining about having to learn phrases in our language which we use to express that introduced Christianity because you’re offended because it’s not your beliefs and you feel Christianity is being forced upon you.

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