"She is from Molokaʻi."

Translation:No Molokaʻi ʻo ia.

December 28, 2018

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I heard from a Molokai kupuna that there's no 'okina in Molokai. Is that true? I assume so since he's a kupuna, but I see Moloka'i more often than not.


I took Hawaiian in High School and we all had to say where we were from. The emphasis was placed on our pronunciation of place names. Our Kumu would correct us if we were mispronouncing anything. Multiple classmates were from Moloka'i and most pronounced it with the 'okina. However I remember one of those classmates pronounced it Molokai and were told that they are not necessarily wrong, but he challenged them to explain their reasoning. I remember they said because the meaning of Molokai is the gathering of water and that's what they've grown up knowing. So it really depends who you're speaking to and what they've known it as. I googled and found this article that further explains the same thing but mentions a kupuna who advised Mary Kawena Pukui on the proper spelling: http://totakeresponsibility.blogspot.com/2014/08/molokai-or-molokai.html


Mahalo nui no ka link! That was EXACTLY the way I remember the explanation. Maybe the Duolingo folks will read it and stop calling the 'okina a typo. Maybe they might even offer the 'okina as an alternative correct spelling. Btw, I live on Molokai. We hear both pronunciations but most who say Moloka'i justify it with "but I've always heard it that way," while those who say Molokai use the reasoning presented in your article. Mahalo nui loa for sharing that insight to everyone!


Certainly, both Molokai and Molokaʻi are heard today, and both are now accepted for the Hawaiian and English answers. We had both spellings accepted for the English answer for a long time, but not the Hawaiian. Mahalo for bringing it to our attention through the forums, and especially through reports.


Molo means twisted / swirl and kai means ocean. It is actually a natural phenomenon which gave the island the name Molokai. I’ve seen aerial pictures of this “gathering of the oceans” which look like a swirl, while visiting the Hālawa valley. A picture says more than a thousand words.


My version of Duolingo does not recognize capitals, punctuation, okina or kahako(not sure where to put the kahako in kahako, lol) or the lack there of.


I answer "No Molokaʻi ʻo ia." and am told Another correct solution: No Molokaʻi ʻo ia. Oooops!

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