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  5. "Which ball do you want?"

"Which ball do you want?"

Translation:ʻO ke kinipōpō hea kou makemake?

January 10, 2019



I thought "kou" meant "your" or "yours", how come it's used in this context instead of 'oe?


I sort of read it as "your desire/want".


I started out with "Makemake 'oe." On the basis of a previous "Do you like vegetables or fruits," I wonder if the sense of the English could also be expressed as "Makemake 'oe i kēia kinipōpō a i 'ole kēlā kinipōpō?


I always hear this in my head as "Of the ball, which [hea] is your desire?" "which" = hea


But that is a different idea being conveyed. The prompt is "which do you want...". Your "makemake 'oe" puts the want/desire at the front of the sentence, rather than the options up front. And your proposed translation actually limits the choices to two, not implied on the prompt. These are 3 very different sentences, conveying related ideas with different emphases. The prompt emphasized "which one?"


What is the 'O here for? Is the construction just 'O .... hea to mean which? When I look at wehewehe.org the example sentences seem to just use hea (Ka hale hea? Which house?).


ʻO describes an equality between "the ball" and "your desire". Notice there's nothing obvious in the sentence which says "which ball IS your desire?" There's no "is" in Hawaiian. Showing a state of being like this is done in different ways. In this case, ʻO tells you that "which ball" = "your desire"

For example, ʻO wai kou inoa? A common way of asking someone's name, is an equality and can be thought of as "what" = "your name"? Then the reply: ʻO Kalei koʻu inoa Here the equality is that "Kalei" = "my name". Notice that ʻO has two uses here that overlap, since you also need an ʻO before people's names.


The ke is directing attention the ball. Which of the balls do you want? would be the correct trans. O kinipõpõ hea would be the proper arrangement for the translation Which ball. Wouldnt it?

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