What Language Is Spoken in Hawaii?

language-spoken-hawaii Credit: Turner & de Vries/The Image Bank/Getty Images

According to the Polynesian Cultural Center, the official languages of the state of Hawaii are Hawaiian and English. The Hawaiian language is less commonly spoken than English but has seen a renaissance among recent generations.

The Hawaiian language has only 12 letters in its alphabet alongside a glottal stop that sees occasional representation in the form of an inverted apostrophe. The Encyclopaedia Britannica reports that Polynesian languages make up a subgroup of the Austronesian language group. The close links between Polynesian languages is especially notable given the geographic distances in question. Maori and Hawaiian are around as close to one another as Dutch and German, despite 5,000 miles of ocean separating the two cultures.