What Is the Main Language Spoken in Hawaii?


Quick Answer

The main language spoken in Hawaii is Hawai'i Creole English or Hawai'i Creole. It developed from the Hawai'i Pidgin English that emerged in the 19th century on sugar plantations.

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What Is the Main Language Spoken in Hawaii?
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Full Answer

The Hawaiians often refer to Hawai'i Creole as "Pidgin." However, the terms "pidgin" and "creole" are not synonymous. In linguistics, "pidgin" is a restricted language used by people who do not share a common tongue. Pidgins usually develop as a means of communication between colonizers, traders, sailors and the natives they met. The term "creole," meanwhile, is an evolved and expanded language from the children of pidgin speakers.

Although majority of Hawaiians speak Hawai'i Creole, the official languages of the state are Hawaiian and English.

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