Wednesday March 24, 2021

March 2021.

Yesterday (March 23, 2021) I began to learn Hawaiian :) ! Inspired by this article (which I’ve read long ago), I decided to give DuoLingo app a try. I much like Hawaii, Hawaiian music, climate, aura, the place. This has been one of the main reasons behind me much liking Test Drive Unlimited (I) computer game, because its action takes place on Oahu, a well-known Hawaiian island. It has been a very pleasant experience particularly with this game because it allows You to freely take a ride through the island and sightseeing to Your heart’s content :) .

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The language seems to be interesting, especially because 1) it is regarded as an endangered one and 2) it has interesting spelling (diacritic marks which are new to me and therefore fascinating). Apart of that it naturally associates with the Hawaii itself which I much like, so learning the language may be a naturally pleasant experience for me :) .

Duolingo asked about my motivation, I chose brain exercise (or something like that) because it’s yet another thing, exactly like in case of Anki which I practice for years now and which fascinates me because of those two reasons: 1) fascination with learning and memorizing and 2) keeping my mind in pretty good shape :) .


May 2021.

It’s been a while since I wrote the thing above, and in the meantime new things came up within the matter of me learning Hawaiian :) . First things first, an exciting idea crossed my mind: it would be great to create an Anki deck to help, support and motivate myself in learning. I already have very pleasant awareness of Anki’s power, so to speak, all the certainty needed and gained throughout the years of using this app and method. It has therefore seemed obvious to harness Anki by creating and using a dedicated deck with Hawaiian vocabulary. Moreover, I thought I could equip the deck with Duolingo’s speech samples to make it much more usable and helpful (given how characteristic Hawaiian pronunciation may be, especially in relation to spelling). So I’ve begun to create my brand new deck.

Meanwhile I was looking for other didactic materials I could incorporate in my learning. Among a few things I’ve stumbled upon a book called Learn Hawaiian at Home (by Kahikahealani Wight). It had been published back in the early 90’ies, alongside with analog audiotapes containing of spelling samples and other invaluable educational material. But I’ve found this book in an e-book form, without the tapes. It was a pity, I thought, that probably I won’t find those tapes anywhere in an .mp3 form: I’ve already tried to search for any Hawaiian course in mp3 - to no avail, so let alone to estimate what could be the likelihood of someone willing to transform analog tapes into mp3 files and share with others? I myself had done that kind of thing long ago and I know the thing is a hassle.

So it seemed sad to me that probably I won’t reach the tapes which otherwise would be so valuable and useful, and it could widen my learning experience so much. I’ve even already done the research and knew that any learning Hawaiian course is hard to find throughout my sources, therefore I much doubted that the thing could be much better in case of the Learn Hawaiian at Home.

What was the surprise when one time I’ve done the research once again and... found it! It was standing in front of me, vividly displayed on my screen - and I couldn’t believe it’s true. So rare and so low likelihood, and yet... it exists! A real wonder, and wonderful gift from the Universe :) . At that moment I felt really happy.

So now I harness both Duolingo course and the book mentioned before, and out of those two I develop my Hawaiian Anki deck, this time having much more recordings at hand. I’m very happy how much more the deck would grow this way, and I will be more than happy to making it available for anyone else interested in learning this language (here You’ll find the current version of the deck). Let’s make Hawaiian alive again :) !

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