TWISTING YOUR TONGUE AROUND KAUA`I
You'll hear many folks say the name of this island as though it
were made up of the two English words "cow" and "eye". As with
most Hawai`ian words, the proper pronunciation is much more
lyrical, and flows through three syllables.
- "Kau" is sort of like "cow", but don't let
your lips move all the way out into the "oo" position at the
end. (Pretend you're a ventriloquist and you don't want people
to see your lips move.)
- From there you just glide into "ah" - the sort of
pleasurable sound you might make as you lower yourself into a
hottub after a particularly hard day. Following the "ah"
is a full interruption of breath at the back of your throat, as
is indicated by the ` character.
- The final syllable is prounounced "ee", as in "eek,
I see a mouse!".
Put them all together, kau-ah ee, and you'll sound like a
Now, isn't that much more pleasing to the ear than "cow eye"?
The Makai Guy's North Shore Kauai website
maintained by Doug Wilson, MakaiGuy@iName.com
Page revised: 9 Aug 2000
Unless otherwise noted, text and images © Copyright F.D.Wilson,
all rights reserved.