If you’re hanging with Hawaiian locals you’ll hear over a dozen different languages.
There’s English, Hawaiian and the native ethnic tongues of the Chinese, Japanese, Philippinos, Samoans, etc.
But if it’s not English, what you’re most likely to be hearing is Plantation Pidgin. Plantation Pidgin was created out of necessity when the sugar cane plantations imported workers from China, Japan, Portugal, Samoa, Spain, the Philippines and other countries.
Pidgin is a mix of words from all of these cultures and languages. For example, kau-kau, meaning “to eat,” is widely heard. It’s Chinese, not Hawaiian.
Andy Bumatai has a hilarious video series that’ll teach you the basics of Pidgin. Let’s start The Daily Pidgin Show with Pidgin 101, in which Andy teaches us the names for the various ethnic groups in Hawaii.
A Warning: All Pidgin is politically incorrect.