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Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Hawaii-related articles

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The following is the English Wikipedia's style guide for editing Hawaiʻi-related articles, including the State of Hawaii as well as the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and its ancient history. This subpage gives the preferred method of aligning word usage and typography in Hawaiʻi-related articles to give all articles a consistent "look and feel". This subpage is the result and record of past agreements and discussions over typographical issues. This is a general reference for editors on unique aspects of word usage in Hawaiʻi, as well as how to treat specific subjects.

Orthography, spelling and formatting[edit]

Orthography refers to the correct spelling of a language.[1] The Hawaiian language uses two special diacritic marks in its orthography not used in English.

The kahakō is the Hawaiian term for the macron, a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation or to distinguish between similar words. It is written as a raised horizontal line, which indicates a long vowel:

(Ā ā, Ē ē, Ī ī, Ō ō, Ū ū)

The ʻokina ( ʻ ) is an apostrophe-like letter indicating the glottal stop, serving as a consonant.[2]

Discussion may be needed to determine a consensus on use.[nb 1]

An apostrophe should never be used in place of the ʻokina diacritic, even if it is used in the source. Unless used as a part of a formal spelling, apostrophes should be replaced with the ʻokina character (ʻ). The standard western keyboard does not have these characters. They can be copied from the above description and pasted where needed in editing. The ʻokina template was created years ago by editors to simplify using the diacritic in the body of the article: {{okina}}. It is not to be used in article titles. Use in the body of the article is acceptable but is discouraged as this creates unnecessary characters in the editing box.

Use of special characters[edit]

Use of the proper diacritics in Hawaiian language words and phrases is important. However, when using the kahakō and ʻokina for a word in article content or title that has both these marks, it is suggested to use both of the characters or neither of them. This is to avoid a misuse of the diacritics that would change the meaning of the word. As with any letter or character, omission of the kahakō or ʻokina in Hawaiian words can change the pronunciation and often alter the meaning of the word in the native Hawaiian language. It may alter a geographical location: for example, Kalaʻe and Ka Lae are different places.[3] Lānaʻi is an island and has some other meanings,[4] while lānai is a covered porch around a house,[5] and lanai means "stiff-backed".[6]

Use of the kahakō and ʻokina, as used in current standard Hawaiian orthography, is preferred in Hawaiian language words, names and usage in the body of articles dealing with Hawaii on the English Wikipedia. The online Hawaiian Dictionary or a similar reference work should be used as a guide for proper spelling and diacritic usage. The {{Hawaiian Dictionaries}} template is useful for citations. Please see the sections below for more guidance on a few special cases or specific topics.

In the body of the article, if you are using a wikilink to a term that should have the special characters but does not, it will be a "piped link", using the spelling that follows the standard Hawaiian orthography on the right side of the pipe. For example:

[[Kau, Hawaii|Kaʻū district]] results in: Kaʻū district.

Avoid linking extra words that do not have direct meaning to the link.

In general, follow the orthography of use for the kahakō and ʻokina wherever possible when using Hawaiian words and phrases, except in article titles.

Spelling in article titles[edit]

Article titles can be contentious. Whenever possible, the most common name should be used with the regional spelling and orthography preferred for titles and consistently used when referring to the subject in the body of the article. Sometimes, Hawaiian related articles may have titles that are not using the regional spelling and orthography. If consensus holds for spelling in the title that ignores the diacritic marks, create a redirect that does. All titles with the native orthography, in turn should have a redirect page for the normal English spelling. Spelling in the running text should be consistent with the regional spelling. Therefore, articles that have not used the diacritics in the title, will list the native language spelling as an alternative, alongside the title spelling in the lede and then repeat the alternative spelling consistently throughout the running text in the body of the article. Discussion may be needed to gain a consensus on articles where an earlier consensus has established a particular spelling in the title if the spelling in the article differs from that title.


Hawaiian words and phrases in the English Wikipedia are italicized in the running text and in the article title[7] except for proper names. This can be done with {{lang}}, which also has benefits for text-to-speech, spell checking, and other systems:


Loanwords or phrases that have common use in English, such as "Hula", are also not italicized. WP:ITALICTITLE states: "Italic formatting cannot be part of the actual (stored) title of a page; adding single quotes to a page title will cause those quotes to become part of the URL, rather than affecting its appearance. A title or part of it is made to appear in italics with the use of the DISPLAYTITLE magic word or the {{Italic title}} template. In addition, certain templates, including Template:Infobox book, Template:Infobox film, and Template:Infobox album, by default italicize the titles of the pages they appear on; see the pages for those templates for details. For details, see Italics and formatting on the technical restrictions page."

Article names[edit]

The Wikipedia policy for article names provides the general guidance namings. The Wikipedia naming conventions page provides more specific guidance.

In general, use the most common name of the subject as the title of the article, as you would find in reliable sources. For example, use Pearl Harbor rather than Puʻuloa. You can create redirects for common, alternative names. This makes it easy to find, and easy to compare information with other sources. Wikipedia disambiguation pages are also used to help the reader find the desired article if several have similar names. For example, see Waimea.


Never copy content from a source directly into an article. Close paraphrasing without in-text attribution may constitute plagiarism, and when extensive (with or without in-text attribution) may also violate Wikipedia's copyright policy, which forbids Wikipedia contributors from copying material directly from other sources. Public domain material must likewise be attributed to avoid plagiarism. If the source material bears a free copyright license that is compatible with Wikipedia's licenses, copying or closely paraphrasing it is not a copyright violation so long as the source is attributed somewhere in the article, usually at the end.

When trying to determine what is a reliable source remember that three things affect a source's reliability: the author, the publication itself and the publisher. Tertiary sources may be used but are not as strong as secondary, reliable sources. Primary sources may be used but when sourcing facts from a primary source, be careful to only mention what content is in the source with no additional editorializing, analysis or interpretation.

Hawaiian sources[edit]

Sources must support the material clearly and directly: drawing inferences from multiple sources to advance a novel position is prohibited by the NOR policy.[8]

Hawaiian-language sources, such as newspapers, books, journals and online references, may be used to source Hawaiian related articles when no other English source of equal quality and relevance is found. Sources sometimes have differing or conflicting information. WP:BALANCE states: "Neutrality assigns weight to viewpoints in proportion to their prominence. However, when reputable sources contradict one another and are relatively equal in prominence, describe both approaches and work for balance. This involves describing the opposing views clearly, drawing on secondary or tertiary sources that describe the disagreement from a disinterested viewpoint."

WP:RSUE states: "Citations to non-English sources are allowed. However, because this is the English-language Wikipedia, English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones, whenever English sources of equal quality and relevance are available. As with sources in English, if a dispute arises involving a citation to a non-English source, editors may request that a quotation of relevant portions of the original source be provided, either in text, in a footnote, or on the article talk page.[8] (See Template:Request quotation.)"


When quoting Hawaiian sources, follow Wikipedia policy. "When quoting a non-English source (whether in the main text, in a footnote, or on the talk page), a translation into English should always accompany the quote. Translations published by reliable sources are preferred over translations by Wikipedians, but translations by Wikipedians are preferred over machine translations." Additionally, "If needed, ask an editor who can translate it for you. In articles, the original text is usually included with the translated text when translated by Wikipedians, and the translating editor is usually not cited. When quoting any material, whether in English or in some other language, be careful not to violate copyright; see the fair-use guideline."

Hawaiian and Hawaii[edit]

"Hawaiian" is always capitalized. Do not insert the ʻokina between the two "i" characters; "Hawaiian" not Hawaiʻian, since an English word ending indicates it is being used as an English word. When describing persons, "Hawaiian" refers to persons descended from the aboriginal peoples of Ancient Hawaiʻi. The article describing the people is Native Hawaiians, but that term can be ambiguous, and the people call themselves Kānaka Maoli. When referring to residents of the state in general, "Hawaii resident" is preferred, unless it is clear from the context that the person in question is of Hawaiian descent. Distinguishing between people who are "Hawaiian" or "Native Hawaiian" versus people who are "Hawaii residents" or "islanders" is also recommended by the AP Stylebook.[9]

The word "Hawaii" appears in most English dictionaries, so either spelling can be appropriate. The modern US State is usually just "Hawaii". The ʻokina is often used when talking about the ancient culture, Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, or the island of Hawaiʻi in the body of the article.


A good source for geographic names is the Geographic Names Information System, a resource developed by the United States Geological Survey.[10] Many of the island names have the special characters in them, but the major ones are likely to appear in English dictionaries, so both forms are acceptable (for example, Oahu or Oʻahu). The "Place Names of Hawaii" and "Hawaiian Place Names" databases in {{Hawaiian Dictionaries}} are also good sources.


Honolulu is the largest city and capital of the state of Hawaii, covering the southeastern coast of Oʻahu. The City and County of Honolulu is the governmental entity which covers the entire island of Oʻahu. There are no separate city or town governments in the entire state.


Generally names are used by local residents for roads instead of numbers. However, state highways and "Interstate" highways are also given numbers. According to highway naming guidelines, articles should be given titles of either the name of the road, or "Hawaii Route 19" for example, but just use "Route 19" in the body.

Census data[edit]

Census Bureau policy in 2000 and earlier did not allow special characters in Hawaiian place names. Place names for the 2000 census were submitted by state officials in 1998, before the GNIS was updated to include the marks. This restriction was rescinded for the 2010 census. The United States Census Bureau attempted to have the CDP and GNIS names agree as much as possible for the 2010 census. The Hawaii Board on Geographical Names, under the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, has been working with USGS to use special characters in place names as appropriate.[11]


Avoid literal translation from Hawaiian-language sources. For example, improvements could be made to the passage: "He was born, the son of Aliʻi Hoʻopuʻulani and Aliʻi Kalanianuiapui". All people are "born", and the use of "he" makes it clear he was a "son" so those words convey no information. On the other hand, it was not clear which parent was his father and mother, since both use similar titles. A better wording might be: "He was born in the late 18th century. His father was High Chief Hoʻopuʻulani and his mother was High Chiefess Kalanianuiapui".


Although two styles of dates are allowed by the general date style guideline, the "month day, year" style is used almost exclusively within Hawaii, and by most sources (published in the islands or the US mainland). Therefore, the "month day, year" style is preferred in Hawaii-related articles.

Ancient names[edit]

As stated above, use kahakō and ʻokina in the body, but avoid them (and apostrophes) in the article titles. The older style of using hyphens is more popular for pre-historic figures, and may be mentioned for clarification.

Hawaiian monarchs[edit]

In article titles for Hawaiian monarchs and members of the royal family, use the reign name (and ordinal as appropriate); e.g. Kamehameha III.

  • Do not use Christian names in the article title, nor the pre-reign name. Examples:
  • Avoid "of Hawaii" in the article title; the names of royalty are mostly unique to Hawaiʻi. Example: Kamehameha I, not Kamehameha I of Hawaii. One exception is Queen Emma of Hawaii.
  • Avoid the words "King" "Queen" "Prince" etc. in the title, since that can change through a person's life.
  • Refer to other given names in the article lead and body.

Use redirects as appropriate for alternate names. In the body of the article, refer to the name generally used by the person at the time the event is being discussed, being careful to explain when names change, such as when Prince Lot Kapuāiwa became King Kamehameha V.


  1. ^ Consensus determines most content on Wikipedia. Lengthy discussion on the use of the diacritics/special characters located here may be helpful to editors seeking a better understanding of this topic while seeking consensus.


  1. ^ Albert D. Wright (1889). Wright's Orthography: A Hand-book of Analytical Orthography Designed to Teach the Philosophy of Orthography and Orthoepy. A. S. Barnes. pp. 39–.
  2. ^ Charles L. Crow (15 April 2008). A Companion to the Regional Literatures of America. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 475–. ISBN 978-0-470-99907-3.
  3. ^ Juvik, S. & Juvik, J. (1998). Atlas of Hawaiʻi, Third Edition, p.26. University of Hawai'i Press., Honolulu. ISBN 0-8248-2125-4 (pbk.)
  4. ^ Mary Māmaka Kaiao Kuleana kope. "Hawaiian Dictionaries". University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  5. ^ Mary Māmaka Kaiao Kuleana kope. "Hawaiian Dictionaries". University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  6. ^ Mary Māmaka Kaiao Kuleana kope. "Hawaiian Dictionaries". University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  7. ^ This was decided during a July–September 2010 poll on the Article titles talk page. See Wikipedia talk:Article titles/Archive 29#Wikipedia:Requests for comment:Use of italics in article titles as well as the discussions that led up to the poll at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 116#Italicised article titles and Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 116#Request for comment: Use of italics in article names
  8. ^ a b When there is dispute about whether a piece of text is fully supported by a given source, direct quotes and other relevant details from the source should be provided to other editors as a courtesy. Do not violate the source's copyright when doing so.
  9. ^ Christian, Darrel; Jacobsen, Sally A.; Minthorn, David, eds. (2013). The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. New York, NY: Basic Books. p. 112. ISBN 9780465082995.
  10. ^ Search in the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
  11. ^ "Hawaii Board on Geographical Names". Office of Planning, Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism web site. State of Hawaii. Retrieved 2013-11-29.