"His uncle is tall!"

Translation:Lōʻihi kona ʻanakala!

March 5, 2019

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I keep getting confused when it has the word "is" in it. That makes me want to just enter "He" right away at the beginning...


Well, this was for 1 year ago! You’ve probably learned by now there is no such thing as “is” in Hawaiian... What does it mean “to be”, anyway? Let us say “A red fish” or “A fish is red”—in both cases, the fish IS equally red!


What determines whether or not I start the sentence with ʻheʻ?


When a sentence begins with an adjective, you don't use "he". So, "John is tall" is "tall John", while "John is a policeman" is "HE policeman John".


Why does the hint show "i kona 'anakala" when "kona 'anakala" is the correct translation?


I’m just a beginner, but I can already tell you I love this language! Please keep it alive forever! —Also, as a Finn, I think the Polynesian, clear phonetics often-time gives some funny meanings. Which makes it a bit easier to memorise phrases, in the very beginning. This one sounds almost like “Salmon the Villain, give me a fish!” Just visualise it with his tall uncle saying it


I had lōihi but forgot the okino between the o & i. Correction popped up lōkihi???


Consider adding "loloa" as another translation for tall.


Loloa kona 'anakala - is accepted now


Auē! Although Pukui's dictionary does define "tall" as "loloa (as a person)," in the same entry a few lines later it says: "Tall person, kanaka lōʻihi."

In traditional Hawaiian writings (like from the mid 1800s), "kanaka loloa" does appear occasionally (as does "kanaka loa"), but even then "kanaka lōʻihi" was apparently more common.

Personally, I've never heard anyone describe a tall person as "loloa," not even native speakers of Hawaiian. So, if you plan to speak with anyone in Hawaiian today, I would recommend sticking with "lōʻihi" to describe a tall person.


Aloha e Hōkūlani! And mahalo again for sharing your manaʻo. It has been incredibly helpful to so many learners on this platform to hear from someone with so much experience.

I was previously unsure about this word "loloa" for describing someone tall, as I had never heard it before in conversation, but I talked with Makana Garma who told me that his family describes someone tall (around 6') as "kiʻekiʻe" (and he has described you as kiʻekiʻe), and someone taller even than that as "loloa".

He also said he doesn't recognize "lōʻihi" as tall, but rather long, which surprised me because that is the word I am most familiar with for describing people as tall.

Thought I'd share that manaʻo, in case you found it interesting.


Aloha kāua e Maui,

You’ve brought up what I thought was an easy question, but I’ve been checking with our mānaleo Niʻihau here at school, and there appears to be differences—or at least variation—of opinion about how to say “tall.”

The only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that they never use “kiʻekiʻe” (tiʻetiʻe) to mean “tall.” He kanaka kiʻekiʻe refers to a person’s rank or status (as an aliʻi, for example), never his physical size. A few people did come up with the term “nunui,” but that could also just mean “very large.”

Although the basic meaning of “lōʻihi” is “long,” when referring to a tall person, things get tricky between “lōʻihi” and “loloa.”

Some fluent mānaleo say there’s no difference in meaning between these two words when describing someone, while a few people seem to think that “loloa” is taller than “lōʻihi” (note that these speakers tend to be of the younger generation). To describe me—according to one source—at least one very fluent kupuna (who passed away several years ago) would have described me as “loloa.” On the other hand, two fluent mānaleo here at our school felt that “loloa” means “very long,” not “tall.” I wonder if there’s an English term between “dialect” and “idiolect”—like ʻohanalect?

Now as for “kiʻekiʻe” meaning “tall,” there seems to be general agreement that this word is used to describe something very tall or high, like a tall coconut tree, a skyscraper, or a high mountain. It could also be a general term for “elevation” when referring to any mountain. On the other hand, this would not be used to describe a tall ti leaf plant. A tall “lāʻī” would probably be described as “lōʻihi.” If a building were to be described as “lōʻihi,” it would mean that it stretches out a long ways without any reference to its height. And if you were looking at the trunk of a “kiʻekiʻe” coconut tree that had fallen down, the trunk would probably be described as “lōʻihi.”

Pehea, huikau?

Does this help clarify how to say “tall”? For Duolingo learners, I would suggest using “lōʻihi” to describe a tall person, and using “kiʻekiʻe” for “high” things like trees, buildings, or mountains. I would also recommend avoiding use of “loloa” or “loa” when you want to say “tall,” although we sometimes come across these terms, particularly in traditional literature or among certain elderly mānaleo. It would be safest to use the terms as I've recommended earlier in this paragraph for general conversational Hawaiian.

He kōkua kēia?


Mahalo kēlā manaʻo e Hōkūlani. He kōkua nō! The way you describe the use of "kiʻekiʻe" and "lōʻihi" here align with what has been my understanding of those words. Really appreciate you sharing your experience with all of us here.


Mahalo! And great use of "Aue" ! Here's a Lingot for sharing.


So by putting a word at the front of a sentence, it can become a verb? Is that correct?


By putting an ADJECTIVE at the beginning of a sentence, it becomes a STATIVE VERB. For example, He keiki akamai kēlā. (That's a smart child.) Akamai kēlā keiki. (That child is smart.)


My phone doesn't make kahakö for O.

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