"Nui ka laulau."

Translation:There are plenty of laulau.

December 12, 2018

14 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RonRGB

From Wight Illustrated Hawaiian Dictioanry: laulau a bundle of food wrapped in tī leaves and steamed, a favorite dish at parties and lūʻau.


[deactivated user]

    I'm with Rabelon regarding this and a similar sentence. If nui is acting as a stative verb, this should be There is a lot of laulau. And DL does accept that answer. What I don't understand is how Nui ka laulau translates to The laulau is big. If Nui is not the verb but a modifier of laulau, shouldn't this be He laulau nui ( or some such?)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KiUlv
    • 1662

    I will admit I don't know all the terms for parts of speech- especially in Hawaiian where they aren't (to me) as clearly transferrable to English, but I speak Hawaiian. I would translate there is a lot of laulau to "Aia na laulau he nui" or something similar, with the "he nui" indicating that there are many. Nui ka laulau to me just says the laulau is big. But also, the word "ka" indicates just one laulau (ka is singularly). If it said Nui na laulau, that might be more ambiguous because you are talking about more than one laulau (na denoting plural).

    He ka laulau nui would be "A the big laulau" But ka laulau nui would be the big laulau-- similar in meaning to The laulau is big, but not a complete sentence. Nui ka laulau is a complete sentence that means the laulau is big.

    This sentence structure is a pepeke painu. In Hawaiian, we learn various sentence structures and then the vocabulary to fill them. Sentence structure changes based on what needs to be said. This one describes the trait of a thing.


    [deactivated user]

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

      But isn't it acting as the verb here?


      [deactivated user]

        I thought so, jdmcowan, it's structured that way, but where does The laulau is big come from? My understanding is with Nui as a verb, this should translate to There is a lot of laulau -rather than "The laulau is big" as the translation of choice. On my computer, DL is translating this as "The laulau is big." I think that would be formatted slightly differently. Do they mean the same thing?


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

        I'm just a student myself and I can't answer with certainty. But I'm not sure Hawaiian makes that clear of a disctinction. I mean if you have a lot of laulau, how is that significantly different than a big laulau? I guess English allows us to make a distinction, but I'm not sure Hawaiian does. That would explain why this exercise also accepts "There is a lot of laulau" (and possibly "The laulau is a lot"?) as additional possible translations. [Edited because I realized my question was answered in a preceding post.]


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

        Part of the problem lies in the discrete nature of laulau. Obviously, if the subject were poi, we would recognize that the poi cannot be large, but it can be plenty. The real question is whether there is a better way to fashion "The laulau is big" other than Nui ka laulau.

        In my opinion (just me),

        Nui ka laulau.
        The laulau is big. Ka implying there is a single laulau and therefore cannot be numerous.

        Nui nā laulau.
        There are plenty of laulau. Na implying there are many of them, it suggests "plenty," but is still not entirely definitive.

        Perhaps a more specific prompt with less ambiguity can be stated as an equational sentence.

        ʻO ka laulau he mea nui.
        He mea nui ka laulau.
        The laulau is a big one.


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

        The pepeke painu / the quality and action sentence

        is used to tell that something or someone has a certain quality or trait: big, heavy, red, clean, good, pretty, small, ect. And it is also used to tell that someone or something does a particular action: such as he or she sees, lives, sleeps, drinks, eats, works, ect.

        Poʻo (head of sentence) w/adj ..............Piko (navel of sentence) w/ noun like word in this case

        Nui...............................................................ka laulau.

        is big...........................................................the laulau.

        The laulau is big.

        (There) is a lot (of)................................................... [the] laulau.

        There is a lot of laulau.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertGay7

        "Plenty of laulau" is shown as wrong and the accepted answer is "There are plenty of laulau," but the Hawaiian phrase lacks "aia," so I'm definitely confused.


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

        (nui) can mean large, plenty of, big, a lot of, very

        [Nui]...................................................................ka laulau.

        [is plenty]...........................................................(the) laulau.

        [ (there) is a lot of ].........................................................laulau.

        [The laulau is plenty.] does not have a good sound in English.

        A better English sentence would be: There are plenty of laulau. or There is a lot of laulau.

        [ Nui / is plenty ] is a condition, and is acting as the verb at the beginning of the sentence. This type of Hawaiian sentence is called a pepeke painu / the quality and action sentence.

        Anuanu ka wai. = The water is cold.

        Nani ka lani. = The sky is pretty.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DiaaV
        • 1988

        It helps me to think in Pidgin -- Cold the water, Pretty the sky, Plenty the laulau. And then translate it into standard English.
        I'm looking forward to understanding the grammar better, and I appreciate the thoughtful posts I see trying to explain it.


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

        nui can mean both Big and Plenty. If I wanted to tell someone there was many laulau i could say lehulehu ka laulau


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

        Shouldn't nui be loa instead? I thought nui meant big and loa meant plenty?

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