Examples of Hawaiian Pidgin and Hawaiian Creole*

Examples of the Hawaiian Pidgin spoken by people who immigrated around the turn of the century:

"Inside dirt and cover and blanket, finish"

"They put the body in the ground and covered it with a blanket and that's all."


"Me cape buy, me check make."

"He bought my coffee; he made me out a check."

"I bought coffee, I made him out a check."


"Building-high place-wall pat-time-nowtime-an' den-a new tempecha eri time show you."

Here the speaker was seeing (for the first time) an electric sign high up on a building in Los Angeles which displayed the time and temperature

"Good, dis one. Kaukau any kin' dis one. Pilipine islan' no good. No mo money."

"It's better here than in the Philippines; here you can get all kinds of food, but over there there isn't any money to buy food with."


Examples of the Hawaiian Creole spoken by the children of the immigrants.

"Da firs japani came ran away from japan come."

'The first Japanese who arrived ran away from Japan to here.'


"Some filipino wok o-he-ah dey wen' couple ye-ahs in filipin islan'."

'Some Filipinos who worked over here went back to the Phillippines for a couple of years.'

"People no like t'come fo' go wok."

'People don't want to have him go to work [for them]."


"One day had pleny dis mountain fish come down."

'One day there were a lot of these fish from the mountains that came down [the river].'




*Recordings of Hawaiian Pidgin and Creole speakers were made by Derek Bickerton.


Pinker, Steven (1994). The Language Instinct, William and Morrow Company, NY.

Berreby, David (1992). "Kids, Creoles and Coconuts." Discover Magazine (April 1992)