Tuesday, December 8, 2009


1. to go down, descend; downhill, towards the sea.
2. core, as of an apple, breadfruit, or pandanus.
3. directional, down, below; used with words describing activities of ones own body, as eating, drinking, etc. ('ai iho - to eat. No'ono'o iho, to think) "self" personally.  

E hana ana 'o ia nona iho - he will work for himself.  Used with words of time, usually present or future, or just past.

WOW. The first two are pretty straightforward.

Iho i lalo - go down.
Ua iho a i ke kai - (It) descended until it reached the ocean.
He iho ko ka 'ulu - the 'ulu has a core.

The third translation is a bit more tricky.  In an English teacher's term, it is a particle, and its placement usually (but not always) follows the verb:

hele iho - go down, descend
makewai iho 'o Kaniela - Daniel was thirsty.
'O au iho nö me ka ha'aha'a - I am yours, humbly
ma hope iho - right afterwards
kēia lāpule iho - this coming Sunday
There are four directional words: mai, aku, iho, a'e. Iho is not as straightforward as mai (since mai is generally a direction towards the speaker). Iho is used in reference to a downwards motion, such as rain or tears, a motion unto oneself, such as inu iho, drinking, reflecting unto oneself, pa'akiki me kāna iho - stubborn with his own self, and has a time reference, such as i kēia mau lā iho nei - a few days ago (though the other directionals has a reference to time, also). Not always an easy concept to grasp, the unconscious use of directionals in speaking Hawaiian is hard to explain by a native speaker and very difficult to understand and use by a second language speaker. As with anything, practice makes almost perfect.  Pay attention to Hawaiian songs, which tend to use the directionals a lot. if you don't know what the whole line is referring to, at least you'll have an idea of what direction it's happening in!

Ke iho la ka ua - The rain is falling

Iho i lalo! - get down!

'O au iho nō me ke aloha nui no ka 'ōlelo makuahine (just me, with great aloha for the mother tongue)

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