Talk:Hawaiian Pidgin

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The most interesting part of pidgin to me is the word origins (etymology) of pidgin. Hopefully someone that has studied pidgin can contribute to this part of the page because people are going to find it to be the most interesting part of the article. Aloha —Preceding unsigned comment added by Joe82493 (talkcontribs) 05:44, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


If you can't actually speak Hawaiian Pidgin, do not edit this article. You'll just introduce errors into it. Unsigned comment by User: at 02:06, February 4, 2006 True, dat! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:05, 28 November 2015 (UTC)


Eh, I nevah know Pidgin stay so complicated! I think I've probably got this article going to a good start, and touched on the basics, but anyone who wants to really delve into detail on this article, e.g. grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation,, chance 'em!  :) KeithH 07:13, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hawaiian Pidgin seems to be a dialect of english, rather than a separate language. (Unlike Tok pisin, which largely is unintelligible to a speaker of standard english.) To an outside viewer, it seems to be similar to Ebonics. What do you think?
Ebonics was developed by slaves who were brought into an English environment communicating through English with other slaves from different African languages (simplified history). The main difference between Ebonics and HCE is the fact Hawaii was not an English speaking environment at the time. Other than a few phrases needed from the plantation bosses they didnt need any English at the time. Dialects are developed completely different than Pidgins/Creoles. Dialects start with ONE singular language and then change (The Queens English vs Cockney vs New England English vs Surfer Dude) (Hokkaido-ben vs Aomori-ben vs Osaka-ben). Pidgins are created by 2 or more languages where the is no agreed upon "dominant" language, so someone moving from Japan to the USA trying to speak English is not speaking a pidgin, they are speaking broken English. When a pidgin is spoken by or taught to the children it becomes a creole. English started as a pidgin, became a creole, and is now a language.
HCE (Pidgin) is now spoken by people who are taught and tested in school to speak English, listen to English on TV and movies and so the amount of English words has grown to the point where it might seem like a dialect, and maybe some scholars who know more about linguistics than I do might have enough talking points to show that it is in fact, now, a dialect, but since HCE was developed so totally and completely different than other dialects, I dont know if it can be called a dialect, that is for a someone else to decide, but 80-90 years ago it wasnt a dialect. Because of the very strong English influence, HCE will most likely never become a language, but who knows... --Billy Nair (talk) 01:00, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Ho! How you call Pidgin a creole language? Its a dialect brah! I gon' get bold, and change da' category!

Wot!!! Like beef?!?  :) :) Nah...I can see your point. The last thing I want is to get into an edit war. Sure it's a dialect, as in a variant of English. AND, it fits the definition of pidgin, when two or more language groups improvise a common language so that they can communicate. Hawaiian, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, can't get much different. AND, since most locals nowadays learned Pidgin from grandma, from mom and dad, from the schoolyard, we've become native speakers...that's the point when a pidgin becomes a creole. So just think of creole as the most specific term. And as for intelligibility, just put yourself in the shoes of a tourist from Nebraska visiting the islands for the first time and overhearing two locals speaking full-on Pidgin...'nuff said.  :) KeithH 06:04, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

If Hawaiian Creole English isn't actually a creole, then why are there such differences in da Pidgin and standard English? Locals will constantly switch between both "dialects", (what linguists call code switching), and each language variety contains context bound information or social commentary about Hawaiian culture and social relationships. Will code switching prove that HCE or Pidgin English is really a seperate language from standard English? Why bother to switch at all if they're the same language?

The Pidgin you hear waking around Pearlridge sounds SOO different than the Pidgin you hear from Ni'ihau or the southern boonies of the Big Island. If some linguist from Nebraska only studied Honolulu Pidgin, they might conclude that it is just English with some Polynesian/Asian influences. If they tried to listen to some kid from Ni'ihau, they would cry. The number of times they would hear an English word would be so few and the fact that the grammar and sentance structure is so completely foreign to them, they would have a hard time convincing me that Ni'ihau moke was speaking an English dialect.--Billy Nair (talk) 01:09, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

try scots for unintelligible dialects[edit]

Well, I don't want an edit war either, so I surrender. I suppose I'm interpreting the definitions of dialect pidgin and creole language to mean that Hawaiian Pidgin is a dialect of English, not a separate language, so therefore it couldn't be considered a Creole language. I was going to prove my point by pointing out that if you want to hear unintelligible versions of English, then go to Scotland. (I lived there for a few months) But then I looked up scots language and the article acknowledges the dispute between calling it a dialect or a language. And they fall on the side of calling it a separate language.

Here's what they said about the dispute:

Whether the varieties of Lowland Scots are dialects of English or constitute a separate language in their own right is often disputed. There is little doubt that, had Scotland remained independent, Lowland Scots would be regarded as a separate language from English. This has happened in Norway with Norwegian. Norwegian, once regarded as a dialect of Danish, has been regarded as a language in its own right since Norwegian independence in the 19th century. All the same, the British government now accepts Lowland Scots as a regional language and has recognised it as such under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

--Frogcat 01:31, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure how much you mean by invoking Norwegian for comparison. Are you alluding to a Scottish language struggle?  Randall Bart   Talk  20:25, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Creole or dialect?[edit]

I would agree with those who dispute its status as a creole. As has been said, when compared to other creoles like Sranan Tongo or Tok Pisin, its grammatical structure is very much like any other English dialect. It might have been a creole in the past, but if so it seems to have gone through enough "decreolization" (by increased contact with standard American English) so that its creole origins are not apparent anymore.

Why not avoid the issue entirely and use the term polyglot? the grammar is substantially different, I think the point people are trying to make is that much of the vocabulary is similar. "Jesus wen go down" doesn't make any sense in a traditional english (grammar) sense, but the meaning can (almost) be derived from context and vocabulary. Avriette 05:02, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
I guess you have to decide if it is "English" spoken in a different way than the standard (a dialect), or if it is a composite of many languages that start as a pidgin then stabilized (a creole). If you only hear downtown Honolulu Pidgin you might feel that Hawaiian Pidgin has incorporated way more English than the other languages so must have lost its "creole" status, and has morphed into an English dialect. If you get the chance to leave townside and make it to the smaller towns or even to the boonies of the outer islands you might have a harder time convincing some that it is just English with a weird accent and a few non-English words thrown in for style. As long as your argument acknowledges that Pidgin developed as a way for the workers to communicate between themselves and not an attempt at speaking English (not an official language of Hawai`i back then, and absolutely not the language spoken by the majority) you might still have a case. The sentence structure looks a lot more like Asian/Polynesian that it does English and that is something that must be addressed, because no matter how many English words get incorporated into Pidgin, the grammar seems to stay, no matter where you live. --Billy Nair (talk) 09:21, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


Please see discussion here. It's gotten kind of ugly, and I would like assistance from somebody who is formally trained in linguistics, or at least has a better grasp of the subject than I do. I'm more of a hobbyist, and I know the terminology. However, I think in this case, it's a grey area. I would also ask that before making a quick judgement based on the nature of the article, that you think about some of the comments. I am fairly certain we're not talking about a slang here, as it's a constructed grammar, which is dynamic. I also don't think we have a pidgin. A dialect may be the right word, but because it is so drastically different, I have doubts about that. Really, I'd just like a chance to discuss the matter. I'll be placing this comment over at Singlish as well, as I think there may be people there who could help. Thanks. Avriette 15:42, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I might be of some help. I attend the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa for linguistics. There is a research group on campus which specializes in the study of HCE called “Da Pidgin Coup”. I can consult their members if anything with serious depth is necessary. Otherwise, I can work from what I know of Pidgin both as a learner, a friend of several native speakers, and as a linguist with more than passing knowledge of it. BTW, I informally call it “Pidgin” with a capital <P> because that’s the term I use daily and with speakers. It’s not an official term of any sort, but it will suffice here.
First off, the old dialects of Pidgin that were spoken up through the 1920s were significantly influenced by Hawaiian. It was at the time nearly unintelligible to English speakers without a long period of custom, essentially passive second language learning. As the English speaking population of the territory increased, particularly with the influx of military personnel during and after WWII, Pidgin began to take on more and more features of English. What is spoken today is much closer to English than what was spoken in the 1920s.
However, Pidgin is today still not English. I offer the example sentence “How come I go stay come and you go stay go?” which is essentially unintelligible to native English speakers even when written in the purely English orthography. It means “Why are you leaving when I just got here?” in a rough translation. In English it is essentially meaningless gibberish.
There is on the otherhand a very obvious cline between what speakers often call “deep Pidgin” and what is known as Hawaiian English, the dialect of English spoken by nearly all people raised in Hawaiʻi. The two languages share many features, such as the “downfall question” pattern inherited from Hawaiian, a lack of interdental fricatives, etc. Most Pidgin speakers today can shift at will between a nearly pure Pidgin and a nearly pure English to varying degrees, however there are still a number of people even in the bustling city of Honolulu who have only a passive knowledge of either Pidgin or English and cannot speak it.
The current theory that I’ve overheard in the hallway is that basically Pidgin is undergoing a gradual shift towards English, but that in the mouths and minds of many speakers this shift is not complete. As such, Pidgin, is still a separate language and not a dialect of English.
Feel free to ask any more questions and I’ll try to answer them or find answers for them. — Jéioosh 03:05, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
'“How come I go stay come and you go stay go?” ' haha, good stuffs!! I cant read that without Rap's voice in my head. (followed by the inevitable "Pardon me?")
I can see the shift from the old Pidgin toward a dialect of English as more and more people from the mainland move with their families to Hawaii and locals going to the mainland for school and such, even in my own family I can see it. I was raised in the old side of Laie, a small town but still a noticeable division between the the halves, "Old Laie" and "the Haole Side" (mainly based on the division when the dominant faith split into 2 sub divisions). Before my youngest brother was born we moved to the Haole side and although he can still speak Pidgin it is noticeably less thick than what me and my sister use, but still a few generations away from looking like a dialect of English. --Billy Nair (talk) 09:43, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Portuguese connection[edit]

Though I feel it is valid to say that Portuguese has had an impact on HCE, I do not care for the examples cited.

To say that "You no can do dat" results from Portuguese syntax is making a massive assumption. In many languages the negation of phrases results from using the word for no before the verb (English is a rarity because of our modal verbs, auxiliary verbs and syntax reflecting them). Wo bu shi meiguoren (Mandarin - without tone markers - Chinese for "I'm not American.) -- the order would be seen literally as "I no am American." Now the Portuguese: Eu nao sou (norte)americano. "I no am American."

What can you draw from this? Both Chinese and Portuguese are purported to be contributing languages to the formation of the pidgin and subsequent creole in Hawai'i.

Also, the "dis-dat-dem" construction is referenced as following Spanish/Portuguese form - I assume the writer means phonetically speaking. In reality, the sounds of [theta] and [edh] (both written as "th" in English and respectively illustrated in the Standard American English words: think and leather) are both infrequent in contemporary languages across the globe. In Europe, the sounds are most common in English, Spanish (central Iberian variety), and Greek - though they are not limited to those languages worldwide, nor are they both necessarily present in any given language's soundstock just because one is present. I follow from this by saying that depending on the proximity of the sound to a more familiar sound in any other language (French, Portuguese, or Chinese for example), a given speaker of one of these languages will try to approximate the sounds that they cannot make when speaking English. So, let's say you're German, perhaps /s/ and /z/ respectively come closer to the sounds of [theta] and [edh]. In many Spanish speakers' versions, /t/ and /d/ (respectively may come closer. So, again, to say that only a Portuguese speaker would make these approximations is a fallacy of logic.

The last I will mention is familiar: the comparison of the "-da" ending and its frequency in English. What you have here is the coincidental and totally superficial link of modern Portuguese's tendency to pronounce an unstressed final "a" as a [schwa] and the fact that in several dialects of English, the ending "-er" is often pronounced without rhoticity - that is to say that the final vowel will be made often as a [schwa] and the final "r" will not be pronounced (other dialects of English modify this final cluster of "er" differently). Also, the examples cited do not have a -da ending in the Portuguese translation, nor related words. Brada (brother) is "irmao" in Portuguese, for example.

I'm just a former student of Anthro. Linguistics and a Portuguese speaker - and, therefore, I do not think my research and contribution would be apt for this section, but I urge someone with better knowledge on this subject to post something more empirical. I'm not trying to berate the contributer(s), but the evidence used to support the Portuguese connection is weak and often a popular convention in several languages. 13:48, 6 June 2007 (UTC)13:48, 6 June 2007 (UTC)13:48, 6 June 2007 (UTC)13:48, 6 June 2007 (UTC)13:48, 6 June 2007 (UTC)~

I agree with what you have said. Although I was surprised of the example of ficar. I'm not sure if that was mentioned in the book "Da Kine Talk" or if that was taken from my own website. There were no sources cited. I wrote about "ficar" on my website because I learned Portuguese and realized the connection. Mamoahina (talk) 02:54, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

The Chinese connection is equally unsupported by the eample given: "Another word in pidgin that was derived from the Chinese which is also seen in America is "lie dat", which means "like that" but in Hawaii it is pronounced "ladat"." Clearly this is derived from the English words "like that" and is perhaps pronounced in a Chinese-influenced manner. Evelyn

I don't have time to edit the main page, but among scholars who study Hawaii Creole English, the influence of Portuguese does not seem to be controversial. In Jeff Siegel's 2000 article "Substrate Influence in Hawai'i Creole English" (Siegel is one of the linguistic authorities on HCE), he argues that in fact many features of HCE can be traced to Portuguese influence, and even backs some of them up with evidence of change over time - that is, showing that a certain feature isn't just similar to Portuguese, but that it was more common in the speech of Portuguese HCE speakers earlier, and later became more common among other groups. This is not as surprising as it might seem given the smaller numbers of Portuguese immigrants, because they did, in fact, come significantly earlier than the Japanese and Filipino immigrants, and unlike the Chinese immigrants that outnumbered them at the time, they mostly came as families, meaning there were more Portuguese children. Which meant that when the first generation of Hawaiian-born immigrants was born, it was Portuguese children that were one of the dominant ethnic groups in the schools, which were important to the development of HCE due to the ethnic mixing in them. In fact, Siegel would say that the three most important non-English influences on HCE would be Hawaiian, Chinese and Portuguese, and the influence of Japanese would be a bit lesser (and Filipino influence relatively minimal). That is, if you're speaking grammatical structure rather than borrowed words. So... the Portuguese influence on HCE is pretty well documented. -Mario —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

That may well be so, but our Portuguese friend acknowledged right away that they did not deny the Portuguese contribution, they just pointed out poorly chosen examples. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 09:51, 6 June 2015 (UTC)


I have to wonder whether it's a good idea to call "Hawaiian English" one of the official languages of Hawai'i, when the State Constitution at just calls it English. I think it is reasonable to make the point that it may constitute its own dialect, but until that dialect is named by the state government in its constitution, it's probably unwise to say it's an "official" language. Bugmuncher 03:33, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Absolute NONSENSE[edit]

I strongly agree with Bugmuncher. Whoever wrote the line that "Hawaiian English" is an "official" language under "state law" needs to either (1) quote the law, or (2) delete the deliberate deception. (Writing is not accidental; it is deliberate.)

Speaking as a person who holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics, the claim that the alleged mandatory use of okinas and kahakos effectively creates a dialect of American English is absolute NONSENSE. It's equivalent to claiming that ee cummings created a dialect of American English by merely writing in all lowercase.

This article is an embarrasment to Wikipedia. It should be swiftly deleted. Agent X 20:28, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Instead of putting in a citation needed stamp after every phrase, I think it would be clearer just to put a box at the top. It's a little jarring to read the article with all those stamps and, to be honest, after reading your comments, it sounds like it was done out of spite. Perhaps that was not your intention, but that's how it came out. I'm going to remove the little tags and put one at the top of the article.--Stella luna 16:20, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
First, I did not put a tag "after every phrase". So you have misrepresented what I did. I put the tags at specifically selected points where a supporting citation is needed. It so happens that the article/stub lacks even one citation, and it makes numerous unsupported (false) claims.
Second, it is not "clearer just to put a box at the top", in terms of knowing exactly where supporting citations are needed. The box fails to pinpoint any specific claims, and for that reason, is inferior to the use of specifically placed tags.
As for "spite", that's an irrelevant, subjective perception on your part. Nonsense and false claims should not masquerade as a Wikipedia article, nor stub. Agent X 21:20, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Constitution of the state of Hawaii, Article XV, Section 4[edit]

The relevant text is quoted here:


Section 4. English and Hawaiian shall be the official languages of Hawaii, except that Hawaiian shall be required for public acts and transactions only as provided by law. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]" (italic added for emphasis)

1. As correctly noted above by Bugmuncher, there is NO SUCH THING as "Hawaiian English" in "The Constitution of the State of Hawaii". It is "English", NOT "Hawaiian English", that is an official language of the State of Hawaii. The stub/article makes a FALSE statement and misrepresents the law.

2. Hawaiian language is NEVER REQUIRED in any State of Hawaii activities UNLESS specifically "provided by law". There are NO STATE LAWS requiring the use of Hawaiian language. The stub/article makes another FALSE statement, and again misrepresents the law.

3. The mere optional use of a macron and an opening single quote (so-called `okina), by certain enthusiasts (zealots), does NOT create a "dialect" of English.

4. The claim that use of the two marks is preferred by the majority of Hawaii's people is the DELUSION of an "okina lunatic".

5. The stub/article uses the word "Standard" to describe "Hawaiian English". There is NO SUCH THING as "Standard Hawaiian English". Where are the alleged "standards"? Where are they published? Who has the authority to fabricate such "standards"?

6. The stub/article has NOT ONE reference, and NOT ONE citation. According to Wikipedia:Citing Sources, "any material that is challenged and has no source may be removed by any editor". According to Wikipedia:Verifiability, "The obligation to provide a reputable source lies with the editors wishing to keep the material, not on those seeking to remove it."

Agent X 09:11, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Citecheck needed for Further Reading section[edit]

I checked a few of the resources that were helpfully added to the Further Reading section a few days ago. The ones I was able to find with my university library access were talking about Hawaiian Creole English or a Pidgin dialect, rather than the subject of this article, which supposedly differs in only a few minor ways (accent when speaking and use of native phonic symbols when writing) from standard American English. Because of this, I have removed those citations and will now add them to the appropriate article, where they may be more useful. I suggest that the rest of the Further Reading be checked by those with access to resources I do not have. Andrew Levine 23:27, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy and justification for removing content[edit]

The policy states:

1. Articles should contain only material that has been published by reputable sources.
2. Editors adding new material to an article should cite a reputable source, or it may be removed by any editor.
3. The obligation to provide a reputable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it.

In accordance with Wikipedia policy, I am challenging and removing content from this stub/article which lacks citations to reputable published sources. Agent X 13:08, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

The following content was removed by me. Agent X 13:15, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

The following content was removed by me. Agent X 13:24, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

  • As a written standard, English with Hawaiian phonics is used in all state publications and widely in regional magazines and newspapers. It has a somewhat lesser impact as a spoken language standard, as a portion of Hawaiian residents—particularly those who were not born in, raised in, nor have roots in the islands—speak Hawaiian words and names with a more anglicized pronunciation more common to the continental United States. However, Hawaiian English still has an accent which is noticeably different from that of general American English.


Words ending in "da", for instance the words "brada" or "wada" which mean "brother" and "water" were contributed by the Spanish and the Portuguese; which are actually the only languages that have words ending with "da" at the end of them.

I thought of "soda" and "agenda".. probably many others exist. Can someone clarify? 05:17, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

It's a ridiculous claim. I've removed it from the article. --Ptcamn 07:25, 22 May 2007 (UTC)


It is not a contribution of any Romance languages where nouns are either masculine or feminine. Rather, it is the result of the New England pronunciation where the final R and the R before consonants are absent. Mamoahina (talk) 02:50, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

At first glance this article appears to be professionally written.  But after taking time to read through more carefully I decided to tag this article as being original research.  My reason for doing so is that, as has been previously cited, the author has made many unreferenced assertions, which makes it difficult for readers and editors to determine if the author's assertions are fact or just the author's opinions.  For example, the author's claim that the "da" endings are derived from Portugues/Spanish is just one case in point.  If the author can't prove that particular assertion with an accurate reference, then that assertion certainly should be deleted — as should any other assertions in the article that the author can't provide "da kine" (an acceptable reference) for.

I'm sure the author was (and is) means well, and has personal experience with Hawaiian pijin. But the bottom line is that criticism has been leveled about the lack of references in the author's assertions, and the author appears not to have done anything at all to correct the problem.  I gather from the discussions on this talk page that AgentX (whoever that is) apparently (and if so, correctly) added the "fact" template tag to several of the author's questionable assertions, which an editor subsequently (and unfortunately) deleted.

Without adequate and appropriate references and footnotes to the author's assertions, I believe this article can be classifed as "original research", and if not corrected within a reasonable period of time, then I think the article certainly should be renominated as an article for deletion.   K. Kellogg-Smith 14:31, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

It needn't be nominated for deletion, just rewritten. --Ptcamn 09:33, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I have seen Hawaiian Pidgin/Creole cited as a pidgin that has become a creole. It only takes one generation raised with a pidgin as their primary language for a creole to emerge. The lines are fuzzy of course, but I understand Hawaiian Creole has a distinct grammar.  Randall Bart   Talk  20:25, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Deletion of pidgin word articles[edit]

No doubt there are/will be more of these. I'm noting this here so that there can be awareness of activity. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 23:34, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Puinsai (via WP:PROD on 24 November 2007) Deleted after transwiki to Wiktionary--User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 23:34, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


I'm surprised no one decided to put the complex negatives of Pidgin here for the past, present and future tenses. Mamoahina (talk) 03:27, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

like "nevah wen go" and "neva going go"? They have a small grammar section, I think the negatives are a pretty easy way to demonstrate the differences between standard English and Pidgin, but unless it is presented by a linguist, it has the potential of looking kind of silly.--Billy Nair (talk) 20:41, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Where do they use those forms? Is that used by the older people? It's good to know that there are dialectal varieties too. But I was referring to the common NO, NOT and NEVA. I grew up on a small island (just under 7,000) and grew up on a pineapple plantation and the island consists about 50% kanaka so not sure if that's a good or bad thing as far as not being exposed to "neva wen go", etc. If it matters, I grew up in the 70s up to the mid 80s. Mamoahina (talk) 02:09, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

White Space[edit]

Why is there a white space between the top of the article and the first line in the lead? Remove, if not possible, report to bugzilla. (talk) 10:51, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Reduplications as a feature of HCE[edit]

Currently, the article makes reference to the word "wikiwiki," which is from Hawaiian, stating that it comes from the English word "quick." While wikiwiki does mean quick, it is a word from the Hawaiian language with cognates in other Polynesian languages. Reduplication is definitely a feature in the Hawaiian language and other Polynesian languages. I'm not sure if reduplication occurs in HCE for words not borrowed from Hawaiian. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zzsnow3ater (talkcontribs) 09:32, 26 March 2010 (UTC)


" "Faka wat? False crack?" = "as soon as you're not looking I'm going to punch you in the head" " -- I think that's most likely complete rubbish. Remove? Sparkstarthunderhawk (talk) 13:54, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

not complete rubbish, it is pretty close to what it means. They didnt translate the "faka wot" part, maybe could have said "Hey, Jerk! Do we have a problem?" and put a comma after the faka part. as for the "false crack" part, that is what it means, to punch someone, usually in the side of the face or head, when they are not looking. I dont have a problem with it being removed, just saying it wasnt a horrible translation.--Billy Nair (talk) 20:51, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
You got beef brah? You talk story yah? Dis small kine. (talk) 04:53, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Portuguese/Chinese examples again[edit]

I read the article and got stuck on the examples cited for Portuguese and Chinese influence - just like some of the previous posters I'm sorry to say that most did not look very convincing ... so, after some thought (also considering the old 'citation needed' tag), I decided to trim down the section. As remarked by others, the negative construction could come from a wide variety of different languages and the same holds true for the 'one' for 'a' substitution - Portuguese is one possible source, but it might just as well have been Spanish, Italian, French or German :-) Now, maybe all these latter options can be excluded due to historical reasons, but then the argument has to be made that way, rather than just stating: construction X is like in (pick your language), ergo this must have come from (pick your language). In the case of Chinese we had 'haa' (which could be several different languages), chop suey (pardon?) and li'dat. If it had been the final particles 'lor' or 'meh', or the universal Malaysian Chinese 'lah' that would be pretty convincing (assuming the usage is similar), but haa? seems pretty universal to me ... Please feel free to reverse my edit, but please do also provide some stronger reasons for the connections made - otherwise, the article is weaker, it seems to me ... Hakseng (talk) 04:18, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Hakseng,

The term "Chop Suey" is very common in Hawaiian Pidgin English it is pidgin for someone who is saying that they are 'mixed', ethnicity wise. I looked up your "'one' for 'a' substitution" and I only found that the Portuguese out of those languages you pointed out used the word "Um" (The same word) for both the number '1' and the letter 'a'. James9871I (talk) 00:05, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

It may be an introduction from Hawaiian. In Hawaiian, the word kekahi can mean something close to a/an. The word is composed of the definite article ke and the numeral kahi meaning one. --Zzsnow3ater (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2010 (UTC)


If you do not know Hawaii Pidgin English do not erase anything about this topic. As the above poster stated "Chop Suey" is a well known saying in Hawaii Pidgin English. Why would someone erase something when they do not know anything of the actual language? Ben986876 (talk) 23:48, 22 November 2012 (UTC)


I don't believe that's accurate. I knew a Hawaiian woman born at the turn of the century and she said that Hawaiians spoke standard English and it was when the non-British/non-Americans came is when Pidgin was born. Ben986876 (talk) 00:02, 23 November 2012 (UTC)


Pidgin (or Hawaiʻi Creole) originated as a form of communication used between English speaking residents and non-English speaking immigrants in Hawaiʻi.[4]

This sounds a lot like they are trying to say most of the people in Hawaii back in the 1800s spoke English and then when the immigrants came they started speaking Pidgin. From what I know about Hawaiian history, a lot of the residents at the time that the plantations started bringing in workers spoke Hawaiian. The plantation owners spoke English, but few would consider these people to be Hawaiian "residents". Wouldnt it be better to word it so it sounded more like what really happened? The workers were all placed in large camps and had to try and communicate with each other, and since there was no official language (Hawaii was not part of the US in any stretch of the term back then and the Hawaiians were not a large percentage of the population in these camps) they developed a pidgin to communicate.

Plus, the [4] link is broken, there is nothing there to read to see what they were trying to say in that statement. I dont know how to show that this citation needs to be updated. --Billy Nair (talk) 00:25, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

See WP:DEADLINK. I've put a tag there. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

This Part Of The Article Seems Flawed[edit]

"Even today, Pidgin retains some influences from these languages. For example, the word "stay" in Pidgin has a form and use similar to the Portuguese or Spanish verb "estar", which means "to be" but is used when referring to a temporary state or location."

Anyone who is farmiliar with the Portuguese language would find that the word "estar" in the Portuguese and Spanish language is not used like it is used in Pidgin from Hawaii. But the word "Fica" in Portuguese is used EXACTLY like how Pidgin is used in Hawaii. Example: Portuguese: "Ele fica?" English: "Is he here?" Pidgin English: "He stay?" and the answer in Hawaii Pidgin is EXACTLY the way it is in Portuguese; Example: "Ele nao fica." English: "Hes not here." Pidgin English: "He no stay." I'm no linguist but I know this IS Portuguese grammar and a DIRECT translation from Portuguese to English. Ben986876 (talk) 23:42, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

This is correct. I don't speak hawaiian pidgin but was made aware of this particular nuance, so I came to see if there was an example here. It is definitely "ficar", not "estar". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:49, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Hawaiian Pidgin vs. Hawaii Pidgin[edit]

There was some inconsistency in the name used for the language: Hawaiian Pidgin vs Hawaii Pidgin. According to Joe and Barbara Grimes, two linguists who live on the island and work extensively with the language, many proponents of Hawaiian want the term "Hawaiian" reserved for the spoken language. The name in the ISO 639-3 standard follows this convention, as does the Ethnologue. Accordingly, I went through the article and changed "Hawaiian Pidgin" to "Hawaii Pidgin" wherever appropriate (e.g. not in titles of references). One striking inconsistency remains, in the title of the article itself. If my changes are accepted by the community working on this page, then someone else can move the article, set up redirects, etc. AlbertBickford (talk) 13:01, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I still think that would contravene WP:COMMONNAME. The guideline states “most common name,” not “name a couple prominent linguists proposed because it strikes them as more logical and regular and think everyone else should adopt.” Almost by definition, Hawaiian proponents are advocating a counterfactual situation; actual usage on the ground indicates extensive usage of “Hawaii/an Pidgin” both by speakers and investigators of the language. And in fact the primary name in ISO 639/Ethnologue is Hawaiʻi Creole English. Insofar as the laymen’s term Pidgin is used for the creole, both Hawaii and Hawaiian seem equally employed in reliable sources, if Hawaiian not predominating in non-scholarly references.
And calling them “linguists who … work extensively with the language” seems a little misleading; yes, they both have linguistics degrees, and, yes, after retiring from their other missionary work to Hawaii they spearheaded Da Jesus Book New Testament translation, a fascinating project, but that hardly strikes me as in the same league as, say, Sakoda, who has published peer-reviewed studies of the language. —Wiki Wikardo 20:45, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, Joe Grimes was a linguistics prof at Cornell for many years ([[1]]), and a member of the LSA (Linguistic Society of America) Executive Committee for several years as well, and has quite a publication record ([[2]]). So he is definitely a linguist (his wife Barbara died a couple years ago). If there's a difference between him and Sakoda, it's that Grimes published on general linguistics, other languages, and on pidgins/ creoles in general, whereas Sakoda has published a book on Hawaii(an) Pidgin grammar (I can't find references to any other linguistic publications by him, I believe he's not the same person as the Japanese linguist Kumiko Sakoda). It's hard to establish how extensively Grimes worked with HP, but from what I know of him, it was probably pretty extensive. Of course, none of this decides whether it should be called Hawaii Pidgin or Hawaiian Pidgin! Mcswell (talk) 16:11, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

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