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  5. "Kaʻiulani eats the large tar…

"Kaʻiulani eats the large taro."

Translation:ʻAi ʻo Kaʻiulani i ke kalo nui.

December 12, 2018



From Wight Illustrated Hawaiian Dictionary: kalo / taro, main food of ancient Hawaiʻi and a symbol of the Hawaiianʻs family connection to nature and the earth.


The "taro" spelling comes from Tahitian which is a closely related language to Hawaiian, but uses t where Hawaiian has k and r where Hawaiian has l. Though taro is eaten throughout Asia, it didn't become a European thing until they found the Tahitians eating it. Even in Hawai'i, when it is discussed in English (at least in tourist areas) it is usually called taro instead of using the native version of the word (kalo). By the way, in most dialects of Spanish it is called malanga.


Why isn't taro described better, is it an English word? Should it be translated?


Taro is a common name for it in English. It's actually the Maori word for it and it's the common word throughout Asia. Even though the Hawaiian word "Kalo" is directly related through standard Polynesian sound changes (t/k, r/l), even in Hawaii, the word "taro" is often used in English.

In Spanish it is called "malanga" and there are other names for it throughout the world. It is a root vegetable with some resemblance to potatoes and cassava. It can be eaten baked, mashed, or sliced into chips and fried. It is a staple in the Hawaiian diet, but not as common in mainland USA. If you want more information, you can find a lot through and internet search.

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