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Whatʻs the difference between aha and wai?

  • He aha Kēhau? - What is Kēhau?
  • ʻO wai kou inoa? - What is your name?

Just to clarify, does aha imply the indefinite (he or a/n) and wai imply the definite (like the or a name?). Or is a subject/object distinction?

October 14, 2018

1 Comment


I think wai more appropriately translates to who, making the question literally be "Who is your name?"

This is in Malay/Indonesian as well ("Siapa namamu?"), a person's name signifies the person themself, so a person's name is a "who".

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