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"The instrument strings are tuned."

Translation:Ua kī nā ʻaha o ka pila.

January 12, 2020



Does " Ua kī nā 'aha pila" translate to "The instrument strings are tuned" and "Ua kī nā 'aha o ka pila" translates to "The strings of the instrument are tuned?"


Could pila be used as an adjective like in the English sentence – the instrument strings = nā 'aha pila?


I have the same question—-

Could pila be used as an adjective like in the English sentence – the instrument strings = nā 'aha pila?


Looks like several people have had the same question. Hiki nō. Placing a "noun" after another noun turns it into an adjective since adjectives follow nouns. That's why word order is so important in Hawaiian sentences.

So "nā ʻaha o ka pila" and "nā ʻaha pila" mean essentially the same thing.


Are there two words for string, 'aha and kaula?


Yes. In a discussion elsewhere some folks speculated that 'aha was being used mostly to refer to an instrument's entire set of strings, whereas kaula was used for an individual string, but this doesn't seem to be ironclad (e.g. 'ua kī anei ka 'aha G?')


What I seem to see is kaula is used when a specific instrument is mentioned - ke kaula o ka 'ukulele. But 'aha for generic instrument or instrument string e.g. the famous G string.


ʻaha seems to be used as a plural---

"ʻEhā ʻaha o ka pila kū nui." "The upright bass has four strings."

"ʻEono ʻaha o ke kīkā." "The guitar has six strings."

kaula appears to be used when speaking of a single string (singular)

"E hiku i ke kaula pila kū nui." "Pick the upright bass string."

"E hiku i ke kaula kīkā." "Pick the guitar string."

But is isnʻt written in stone. DL seems to have flexibility in this area as seen in "Ua kī ka ʻaha G?" "Is the G string tuned."

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