Hawai’i Pidgin

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A language of United States

Alternate Names
Hawai’i Creole, Hawai’i Creole English, HCE, Pidgin
Population

600,000 (2012 J. Grimes). 100,000–200,000 with low proficiency in standard English (1986 M. Forman). Another 100,000 on the United States mainland.

Location

Hawaiian Islands, United States mainland (especially the west coast, Las Vegas, and Orlando).

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

The basilect is barely intelligible with standard English (McKaughan and Forman 1982).

Language Use

Vigorous use by 100,000 to 200,000. Native speech of a large number of those born or brought up in Hawaii, regardless of racial origin. Continuum of speech from distinct creole to standard English [eng] of Hawaii. Different speakers control different spans along the continuum, with some only speaking creole. Some communication problems at university level. Up to 400,000 L2 speakers. Courts, literature, personal letters, local commerce, and a few songs. All ages. Mixed attitudes. Accepted by many as important part of local culture, a distinctive local language; but looked down on by others. Some official acknowledgement of it in print and public discussion, Miranda rights. 50% of children in Hawaii do not speak English [eng] as L1 when entering school. English is used in school. Most songs are in Hawaiian or English. Other languages used are Hakka [hak], Yue Chinese [yue], Japanese [jpn], Korean [kor], Tagalog [tgl], Ilocano [ilo], Cebuano [ceb], Hiligaynon [hil], Portuguese [por], Spanish [spa], or Samoan [smo].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 66%–75%. Literacy rate in L2: 66%–75%. Taught in bush schools as an elective to native and nonnative children. Taught in primary schools. Radio programs. TV. Grammar. NT: 2000.
Writing
Latin script.
Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion, Buddhist.