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Why is the 4th unit so Christian-focused?

Just started the "polite expressions" unit, and every phrase in the first test was either Jesus be with you or God be with you. Is this actually really common in Hawaiian culture? Iʻve never heard it, even after watching a series of Hawaiian language lessons from Aha Pūnana Leo and I donʻt remember it from the language books I got at University of Hawaii at Hilo, either. It feels very offputting to me, but if itʻs genuinely an important part of Hawaiian culture to greet people with expressions of God and Jesus, Iʻd understand. If not, why does the course have a unit that emphasizes it so much? Can anyone tell me one way or the other?

January 22, 2020



Aloha e @Cos.. I also do not know why this is here. This is spoken in Hawaiian language Christian churches, but no, this is not common in day to day...and since there are also different religions in Hawaiian speaking communities including the traditional Hawaiian spiritual practice and religion mai ka wā kahiko mai... I am not sure why this is included. This to me is just the continuation of the colonizing force of what people decide should be the "main religion" for a specific culture (here it is Christianity) present on Duolingo. Duolingo should probably leave this section out if they are not going to represent it correctly and instead perpetuate a colonial tone through this form of language transmission.

Update ------ Or maybe they should just create a new section called Religious expressions; that way everyone knows whatʻs going on. But PLEASE just add one actual polite expression that is used in Hawaii to this section.


By people around the world learning Hawaiian via Duolingo, the island is making a colony of the mainland. That should be worth a few phrases that you personally don't use. I, for one, think "Ke Akua pu." is the most useful thing I've learned so far. Mālama pono!


Hi Cos. Although I am not Hawaiian and have not studied the language, I have studied the history of the islands and read stories. In the 1900s Christianity came to Hawaii (around 1820 was when it was first introduced to the natives) and it really influenced the islands, things like human sacrifices, use of young women for immoral purposes, and even cannibalism were brought down to a much lower rate. Although Christianity has been used in places of the world for wrong things it seemingly had a positive impact in Hawaii and even some rulers converted as well such as Queen Kapi'olani. I don't know if it that religious of a place now, but it definitely has Christian influences in their history which probably leaks over into the culture.

Religion influences languages all the time, in Arabic greetings with Allah are common, Spanish greetings with God mentioned as well. I think it's a pretty common thing to have religious greetings.


I have to say it was pretty off putting for me too. I speed through that turd chapter. I definitely don't think it is a polite thing to tell people that may not be Christian, "Jesus be with you.".. I'm no missionary and I have no desire to be one. It reeks of colonial oppression.

Hawaii does has a huge LDS presence so I get it. Doesn't mean I have to like it. The whole Polynesian culture center doesn't serve alchohol and you can very clearly see the morman presence there. BYU stinks up that whole side of O'ahu. I think they honey picked Polynesian culture to try to further justify LDS.

If anything it needs to be re titled Christian Expressions.


Well i am pretty sure Hawaiian's main religion is christianity. So people probably say this sort of stuff in Hawaii. After all loads of langauges have words influenced by their religion.


Is that a guess, or do you know this from experience in Hawaii or from some reliable source? It would be surprising to me if this were a really important thing in Hawaiian and yet I would not have encountered any examples of God or Jesus at all in any of the books I got from the Hawaiian language program at the university nor any of the Aha Pūnana Leo sponsored language learning videos I watched. Thatʻs why Iʻm asking for a reliable source, not just guesses, and itʻs not clear which one youʻre giving?


Christianity is the main religion in all the states. We don't say this in Arizona, or California.

Honestly the only time I do see something like this it is written on a cardboard sign.

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