"E hele i ka ʻaoʻao hema o ka pāka."

Translation:Go to the south side of the park.

March 18, 2019

6 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marijkstee

How come that left and South is the same word? What about east and west?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArielBisso

Only speculating I would suppose Hawaiian culture points itself towards the general direction of the rest of Polynesia, thus -SouthWest Pacific. Left/West become cognates, and it is understood that the person who says "turn right" is the point of reference. However, "east" and "right" are not cognates, so my hypothesis is somewhat limited. In the case of the specific example "go to the south side of the park", maybe, like seabound/mountainbound, the geography of a small island is relative and implied by context? Again. just guessing... If you're a native speaker, please by all means correct me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacKinzieRob

Having been told that 'hema' means 'left' at the beginning of this lesson it now means 'south' BUT the hint has both so its all OK


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DiaaV
  • 2098

I'm confused about the directions too. Instead of the north arrow pointing to the top of the map or page as I was taught, is west the default direction in Hawaii, thus making south = left and north = right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/villajidiot

Yeah, trying to figure this out as well. The west sides of the islands are generally the leeward/kona ones, away from the trade winds... so itʻs to the wind's left? Or something else? I looked "hema" up on ulukau:

The Andrews dictionary entry is pretty useful:

adj. Left; applied to two opposite things; as, lima hema, the left hand, in distinction from lima akau, the right hand; welau hema (in geography), the south pole; opposed to welau akau, the north pole; kanaka lima hema, a left-handed man. Lunk. 3:15. NOTE.—In marking the cardinal points of the compass, a Hawaiian will place himself back to the east and his face to the west; hence, his right indicates the north and his left the south.

The Parker dictionary is similar:

Left; applied to two opposite things; as, lima hema, the left hand, in distinction from lima akau, the right hand; welau hema (in geography), the south pole, opposed to welau akau, the north pole. Kanaka lima hema, a left-handed man. (In marking the cardinal points of the compass, an Hawaiian faces the west; hence, his right hand indicates the north and his left the south.)

So yeah, your guess seems correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DiaaV
  • 2098

Thank you, I appreciate these definitions But like Talmerian below, I'm still confused about how the same word can mean either a fixed direction and a changeable one simultaneously. There must be more nuances to learn . . .

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