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Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database
Hawaiian Diacritics ('Okina and Kahako)

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Written Hawaiian utilizes two diacritical marks - the 'okina and the kahako. These marks affect both the pronunciation and meaning of words. The currently accepted standard for written Hawaiian requires the use of both of these diacritical marks.

The 'okina is represented by a single vertical mark similar to an apostrophe. It often appears before vowels. The 'okina indicates a glottal stop, or break between vowels.

The kahako is represented by a short horizontal line over a vowel; this is also called a macron. The kahako indicates a lengthening of the vowel over which it appears.

FilemakerPro, the software package used as the search engine for the Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database, cannot utilize these diacritics for searching, sorting, or displaying Web pages. Wherever possible in the Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database Web site, a single quote or apostrophe has been used to indicate an 'okina. At this time, the kahako cannot be included on Web sites without requiring that the user download special font software. Hopefully, this situation will change and it will become possible to correctly spell the names of the plants and locations discussed throughout this Web site.

Your understanding regarding this shortcoming in the Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database Web site is appreciated.

For information on Hawaiian language fonts, see the Hawaiian Language Technology FAQ page.

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Last updated:
5 October 2001

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