The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Hawaiian language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-haw}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Hawaiian phonology for more detail on the sounds of Hawaiian.

IPA Examples nearest English equivalent
h Honolulu hat
j Mauna Kea [ˈkɛjə][1] yes
k Kamehameha[2] sky
l Honolulu, Lānaʻi lean
m Maui moon
n naʻi[3] note
p Pele spy
t Waikīkī, wikiwiki[2] steal
v wikiwiki[4] vision
w Loa [ˈlowə], Kīlauea [tiːlɐwˈwɛjə][4] wall
ʔ Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu uh-oh!
(a catch in the throat)
IPA Example Note
ˈ Honolulu [honoˈlulu] placed before the stressed syllable[5]
IPA Examples nearest English equivalent
Lānaʻi father
ɐ ahu, Molokaʻi[6] nut
ə Hawaiʻi, Mauna Loa[6] sofa
Kēōkea hey
ɛ Pele[7] bed
e Kahoʻolawe[7] Spanish seta
Waikīkī peel
i wikiwiki Spanish hijo
ʻōʻū more
o Honolulu Spanish loco
ʻōʻū moon
u Honolulu Spanish tuyo
Short diphthongs
ju kiu cue
ow kākou mole
o̯i [example needed] queen
ew [example needed] Portuguese and Spanish neutro
ej lei May
ɐw Mauna[8] cow
ɐj Waikīkī[8] light
ɐo̯ haole Italian ciao
ɐe̯ koaea Japanese kaeru
Long diphthongs
oːw [example needed] no way
eːj [example needed] may you
aːw [example needed] RP far west
aːj [example needed] RP far younger
aːo̯ [example needed] crowd
aːe̯ [example needed] [example needed]


  1. ^ The y sound [j] is not written, but appears between a front vowel (i, e) and a non-front vowel (a, o, u)
  2. ^ a b [k] and [t], spelled k, are variants of a single consonant. [k] is almost universal at the beginnings of words, while [t] is most common before the vowel i. [t] is also more common in the western dialects, as on Kauaʻi, while [k] predominates on the Big Island.
  3. ^ In some dialects the letter l tends to be pronounced [n], especially in words with an n in them. On the western islands it tends to be pronounced as a tap, [ɾ].
  4. ^ a b [w] and [v], spelled w, are variants of a single consonant. [w] is the norm after back vowels u, o, while [v] is the norm after front vowels i, e. Initially and after the central vowel a, as in Hawaiʻi, they are found in free variation. [w] also occurs, though it is usually not written, between a back vowel (u, o) and a non-back vowel (i, e, a).
  5. ^ Stress falls on the penultimate vowel, with diphthongs and long vowels counting as two (that is, a final long vowel or diphthong will be stressed). Longer words may have a second stressed vowel, whose position is not predictable.
  6. ^ a b Short a is pronounced [ɐ] when stressed and [ə] when not.
  7. ^ a b Short e is [ɛ] when stressed and generally when next to l, n, or another syllable with a [ɛ]; otherwise it is [e].
  8. ^ a b In rapid speech, /ɐw/ and /ɐj/ tend to be pronounced [ɔw] and [ɛj], respectively.