1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hawaiian
  4. >
  5. "This is the month, January."

"This is the month, January."

Translation:ʻO kēia ka mahina ʻo Ianuali.

January 22, 2019



ʻO wai kēia mahina? = What is (the name of) this month? Literally: Who is this month?

ʻO Ianuali kēia mahina.

ʻO ka mahina hea kēia? = What (which) month is this?

ʻO kēia ka mahina ʻo Ianuali. = This is the month, January.

  1. January = Ianuali

  2. February = Pepeluali

  3. March = Malaki

  4. April = ʻApelila

  5. May = Mei

  6. June = Iune

  7. July = Iulai

  8. August = ʻAukake

  9. September = Kepakemapa

  10. October = ʻOkakopa

  11. November = Nowemapa

  12. December = Kēkēmapa or Kekemapa


Based on your examples, the correct English equivalent for "ʻO kēia ka mahina ʻo Ianuali." should be "this is the month of January", where January is a modifier of month. Why does Duolingo have it in this clumsy ungrammatical sort of English, "This is the month, January" - what is it trying to tell us about the Hawaiian sentence?


Who says this in English? Is it grammatically correct?


(I have edited my 2019 post. Sorry for the confusion -03/2020-).

Nobody says this in English. But I believe this is how it is said AND spelled in Hawaiian. From the desired sentence, they translated the meaning from Hawaiian to the English equivalent.

If they wanted the prompt:
"This is the month OF January"
then the proper Hawaiian would be:
'O kēia ka mahina o Ianuali. without an okina.

The okina-o in this prompt is a preceding marker for a proper noun (a name). It does not mean "of."


Can you clear something up for me? Let’s forget the exact English words for a moment and focus on the poʻo/piko/ʻawe structure. If we use ʻo we’re saying (I think anyway) the sentence has two pikos, since my understanding is that ‘o is only used (1) in the poʻo of a pepeke ʻaike ʻo or (2) at the head of the piko if it’s a proper noun. Is this just a structure I have not seen, two pikos in apposition?

My take was that this was simply a typo in DL and the piko should be “ka mahina o Ianuali.”


I think the English version shows that they intend this to be apposition and it is not a typo. Unfortunately all the answers I have seen yet are suppositions by other learners. I'm hoping that we eventually get an answer from a Hawaiian speaker who can help us learn if this is a model for multiple piko or for apposition or something else.


I was just looking thru the online grammar book


and came upon the Kāhulu Pepeke Piko Hou. The book doesn’t give anything that fits this structure exactly, but it does mention that “you will see each of these forms used in the old Hawaiian newspapers and books which, in some cases, donʻt necessarily follow the common “rules”.” I have contacted the author to ask about this sentence.


What would "O ka la mahina 'o Ianuali" even mean? It doesn't look like a sentence structure I've seen. You imply it means "this is the month of January" but thereʻs no "this" in it, so I'm confused as to what it is a translation of.


Sorry for the confusion. I had a misspelling. Plus I wrote the post poorly. I have edited my previous post to hopefully be a little more clear.


The English translation should be something like "This month is January".


Two questions: 1) why do we need "ka" in "keia ka mahina"? 2) could this also be equivalently written "'O Ianuali keia ka mahina."?


I echo the first question. Also why is ka needed? Am I mixing up earlier lessons? Keia kinipopo, kou kinipopo or is it keia ka kinipopo etc? Cheers


"Kēia" here is not being used as a determiner, but rather as a demonstrative pronoun. It is standing alone in the equivalence (This = the month, January). So "mahina" still needs its own determiner for the article "the" (which is "ka").


Ok great, thank you. I guess I see that in English ‘that month’ is surely not the same as ‘that is the month’. Cheers


I donʻt understand this one. The first ʻo marks the subject, and the second ʻo is a nominative marker for a proper noun, Ianuali? Can someone explain, please?


[EDIT: Ignore this post. I misspoke]

That is a great question. The second 'o, in the case of This and January, is used as an apposition. January refers to itself in an earlier part of the sentence, This. So, January deserves an 'o immediately preceding.
(EDIT: I stand corrected. jdmcowan is absolutely right in his grammatical breakdown below).


In the English sentence the apposition of "January" connects it to "month". "This" and "January" are on separate sides of the "is" connector. But "month" and "January" are side by side (just as in a sentence like, "Have you seen my brother, Brian?"). I have been trying to figure out if this sentence is an example of having 3 arguments for an 'O sentence and they are all equivalent, or if it is simply an example of apposition which can also be used elsewhere, such as, "He mahi'ai ko'u kupuna kāne 'o Keoki."


The English for this one does not look right: "This is the month, January."

I could not figure out what it wanted me to say, the first time I saw it. It should be "This month is January" or "January is this month". "This is the month, January" does not really make sense, except in narrow specific contexts where it does not mean quite the same thing as either of the other sentences. Can someone correct this?


There is nothing to correct here, really. English and Hawaiian do not generally have the same rules of grammar. What people often forget is that, besides translation, there is interpretation. Since this is a Hawaiian language course, the English prompts do not necessarily have to make much sense to the English speakers. The English translations into Hawaiian have to make sense to Hawaiians.

Examine the example by jdmcowan. This is an equational sentence with two related equalities: month and January. They are related to the pronoun subject "this." Both equationals are objects.

This is my brother, Brian.
This is the month, January.

The English equivalent would be something like:

This is my brother. My brother is Brian.
This is the month. The month is January.


There is another item in the same unit in the same duolingo course, "ʻO kēia ka mahina ʻo Malaki" and the English translation for it is "This is the month of March". Are you saying that one is actually false / incorrect, that the English translation for that one does not mean the same thing as the Hawaiian sentence?


I believe that neither is incorrect. The version "This is the month, January" is more precisely translated.


Now I'm angry. I literally copied down, word for word, the previous "correct" answer for this as: "Aia kēia ka mahina ʻo Ianuali" and now it's wrong?


DL gave a translation for this prompt starting with aia kēia? Or was it your answer that was previously accepted, and is no longer accepted? The DL translation, i.e the most correct translation, will always be shown when you enter the forum.


why is 'o ka mahina ianuali kēia wrong?


Well, as a proper noun, January needs to have the article 'o in front of it. And as for the grammatical order, I don't think people ever say "January month."


Why is "'O ka mahina kēia, 'o Ianuali" wrong?


Why is it necessary to add "ʻo" before "kēia" in this sentence? Thanks in advance

Learn Hawaiian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.