Hawai’i Pidgin


A language of United States

Alternate Names
HCE, Hawai’i Creole, Hawai’i Creole English, Hawaiian Creole, Hawaiian Creole English, ōlelo paʻi ʻai

1,000,000, all users. L1 users: 600,000 (2012 J. Grimes). Another 100,000 on the United States mainland. L2 users: 400,000.


Hawaii; Florida: Orlando; Nevada: Las Vegas; west coast.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


None known. The basilect is barely intelligible with standard English (McKaughan and Forman 1981).

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. Courts, literature, personal letters, local commerce, and a few songs. Used by all. Mixed attitudes. Accepted by many as a distinctive local language and important part of local culture; but looked down on by others. Used as L2 by Hawaiian [haw].

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. TV. Grammar. NT: 2000.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Some official acknowledgement of it in print, public discussion, and law (for example, Miranda rights may be read in the language). Christian, Buddhist, traditional religion.

Page Views Left: