"God be with you."

Translation:Ke Akua pū.

October 13, 2018

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Why is it Ke before Akua? I know I'm never going to use this in a real sentence but does there have to be Ke before every proper noun or something?


I am not native Hawaiian but I think it to differentiate between the native religion. As in "THE god" as opposed to "A god" in an effort to christianize the native population.


yes, this is partly correct. More specifically in Hawaiian, what something is called (ex. teacher of a class, "ke kumu") versus calling something by their name (ex. elementary school child refers to their teacher's actual name as being "Teacher", "kumu").

In this specific example "ke akua pū." The Hawaiian translation of "ke akua" would normally be understood as "the god" were the name of the god is not "GOD" as in christian religions, and so is not specified, BUT in this case, the native Hawaiian spiritual practice had multitudinous gods, and would normally be said "nā akua" unless there was already an understanding from context about which god was being referenced. IN post-missionary contact Hawaii, "ke akua" started to show up to distinguish in "THE god" as the one and singular since he had no name other than "ke akua haole" or "the foreign god". This can be seen in Hawaiian language newspapers.

hope this helps! It was a long explanation lol.


Because akua is a "common noun", it usually has a noun marker in front of it. The common way to express "God", with a capital G, in Hawaiian is with "ke Akua" (with a capital A). When referring to other akua, a lower case a is the norm. Iesū is a name, so it doesn't appear with a regular noun marker in front of it.


oh ty! your smart! ;)


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.


I hav lived on Oʻahu for more than 50 years-I have not heard a single ʻōlelo speaking Kanaka say this. Why are we spending a whole lesson on religion. Itʻs not even the religion of the Hawaiians. What a waste of time!


It is apparently a bunch of sayings from Niihau, oh wait, other places too supposedly, and yet I myself have only heard them in use in the past 18 months by 2nd language speakers, not by anyone from Niihau or any other native speaker.


Exactly!! Nobody in Hawaiʻi nei says this. Yet they are spending whole lessons on an archaeic phrase!


Not a common greeting, not necessary to learn Hawaiian language, more about a particular groups agenda to missionize people's minds...


I find it disheartening that the complete sentence as it would appear in the old newspapers is not yet accepted - 'O ke Akua pū me ʻoe. This hapahaole version that breaks rules is taking precedence over verifiable and historical usage, usage that follows the grammar of the language.


I will accept "ʻO ke Akua pū me ʻoe" as an alternate translation, although I have not heard it this way conversationally, with the leading ʻo. That said, I just heard an example on Ka Leo Hawaiʻi that I can point you to at around 50:23 of HV24_067A in which one kupuna says "ke Akua pū nō hoʻi me ʻoe" and then later at around 50:38 "ke Akua pū me ʻoukou" to Larry Kimura at the end of their conversation.

I hope you this resource is helpful to you.



Could you please add some religion-free responses in these polite greetings please? I do not feel comfortable with this type of greeting in any language


My phone does not support the Hawaiian punctuation


You can download a Hawaiian keyboard for free.


Akua is God and not Jesus. This is a christiancentric interpretation.


What are the changes we can get non-Christianized polite language here? This feels like proselytizing. Nobody learning here is going to Ni'ihau anytime this century.


Believe me. This is created by Kamehameha Schools employees. It is totally proselytizing. They do not even teach you're welcome yet.


Ok. More religious references that have no bearing on colloquial or conversational discourse.

[deactivated user]

    Does ke have to be before "akua"? What if I'm talking about a deity in general, and not the xtian God? Is "ke" a necessary article when translating nouns into Hawai'ian?


    Hi! yes, ke/ka/nā is necessary before noun-like usage words in Hawaiian. Without context, "ke akua" would normally be translated as "the god", without any specific reference (but perhaps referring to one that was mentioned earlier or understood).

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