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Bob Marley (and UB40 from an earlier post in this sentence discussion) has been used in a couple sentences in the Music Skill. The computer randomly steals words from other places to create "wrong" sentence possabilities. It occasionally results in some pretty funny options.
The two are actually their letter sounds combined, in other words they're spelt how they sound. Let that be a guide.
A in the hawaiian alphabet makes an "ah" sound. I makes an "ee" sound. Put those together and say it quickly and A + I = "ah-ee" for ai or ‘ai.
E in the hawaiian alphabet makes an "eh" sound. (The sound in "wet" as opposed to the sound in "whey.") So A + E = "ah-eh" spoken quickly for ae or ‘ae.
They do sound very similar and the difference is subtle. I hope you get a chance to hear them next to each other. To my ear ’ai sounds sharper and ‘ae sounds flatter, but I don't know if that will mean much to you. When saying them, finish ‘ai with more of an ee sound, and finish ‘ae with more of an ay (like the name of the letter A) sound.
The pronunciation is distinctly different. Native speakers have a slightly different pronunciation of the letter "a" when combined with the letter "i." It is a shorter duller sound than when combined with any other vowel. It is a closed vowel sound.
Imagine someone unexpectedly tapping your stomach. The sound you make is "uhh." Combine that sound with "ee," and you get "uhee."
It is distinctly different than the open "ah" sound from ae, which sounds like "eye."
'Ae [eye] = Yes.
'Ai [uhee] = Eat.
Aloha mai = [ah-low-ha muee]
They should probably also accept that for this separate entry. Did you report it with the flag as, "my answer should have been accepted".
In any case, notice that there is no punctuation on this entry. This is not a sentence, this is just the word. If there had been a period or an exclamation mark, then this would have been the command and it would have required the "e". Like I said, though, it's easy to see this and think of the command, so I agree with you that it should be added as an accepted translation.
I agree with you that "e ʻai" should also be accepted, but notice that there is no punctuation on this exercise. This is not intended to be a sentence or exclamation, but just a word asking for a definition. The reason I agree that "e ʻai" should also be accepted is that many users will quickly answer, not paying attention to the punctuation and shouldn't be marked wrong for an answer that should also be correct. I hope you used the report flag to mark this as "my answer should be accepted" so the actual Course Specialists can consider adding it.