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Use of Kanaka in Germany

Wotcha 08 Sep 03 - 11:47 AM
MudGuard 08 Sep 03 - 11:56 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 03 - 12:01 PM
mike the knife 08 Sep 03 - 12:40 PM
mike the knife 08 Sep 03 - 12:47 PM
Chanteyranger 08 Sep 03 - 01:02 PM
Susanne (skw) 08 Sep 03 - 05:17 PM
Jen M 08 Sep 03 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Sep 03 - 07:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 03 - 07:52 PM
open mike 08 Sep 03 - 08:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 03 - 08:31 PM
open mike 08 Sep 03 - 10:27 PM
mg 08 Sep 03 - 10:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 03 - 10:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 03 - 11:47 PM
open mike 09 Sep 03 - 12:06 AM
GUEST,Clint Keller 09 Sep 03 - 12:17 AM
open mike 09 Sep 03 - 12:19 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Sep 03 - 01:26 AM
Wotcha 09 Sep 03 - 02:17 AM
Mark Cohen 09 Sep 03 - 02:37 AM
Mark Cohen 09 Sep 03 - 02:39 AM
MudGuard 09 Sep 03 - 02:54 AM
Wilfried Schaum 09 Sep 03 - 02:55 AM
GUEST 09 Sep 03 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Sep 03 - 07:36 AM
Wolfgang 09 Sep 03 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Hrothgar 09 Sep 03 - 07:44 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Sep 03 - 08:41 AM
Wilfried Schaum 09 Sep 03 - 10:47 AM
Wolfgang 09 Sep 03 - 12:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Sep 03 - 01:22 PM
Wincing Devil 09 Sep 03 - 07:08 PM
Wilfried Schaum 10 Sep 03 - 02:29 AM
GUEST,Tin cup 31 Jul 11 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 Jul 11 - 09:02 PM
Wotcha 01 Aug 11 - 08:35 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Aug 11 - 06:08 PM
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Subject: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Wotcha
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 11:47 AM

The longer I live here, the more I learn ... Couldn't resist but let loose with the chantey "John Kanaka" for the benefit of a local German running group (who've heard it before and getting used to the idea that sea chanteys can be sung in landlocked Baden-Wurttemburg). Although most ended up leaving the festivities humming the tune, one concerned German came up to me and informed me that Kanaka is not just a Polynesian term ... apparently it is used as a derogatory term for islanders (off North Germany). Not that this will stop me singing the song, but I'll remember to preface it with a bit more of an explanation.

Cheers,Tschuss

Brian


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: MudGuard
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 11:56 AM

"Kanake" in German is (but should not be) mostly used as discriminating/derogatory word against foreigners, especially against people from Yugoslavia and Turkey.

Most people who use that word in that sense are not aware of its origin.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 12:01 PM

Kanaka is not derogatory in Hawaiian. From my Hawaiian Dictionary:

Kanaka- a man, a human being.

Kanaka- people in general, the mass of people.

kanaka, adjective- manly, strong, stable.

After the old system broke down in Hawai'i in the 1820s, young Hawaiians looked to the sea, both whaling and merchant ships, and even to the Hudsons Bay Company for work (some on farms in British Columbia, others as voyageurs). Some worked in the hide industry in Spanish and later Mexican California.

The general name applied was Kanaka; it only became derogatory in the minds of bigoted Europeans and North Americans.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: mike the knife
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 12:40 PM

Not cool to use that term in Germany. Ugly. I only heard it from toothless drunks with an aversion to the most elementary levels of education and/or hygiene.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: mike the knife
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 12:47 PM

Hey Wotcha, where are you in BW? I was in Heidelberg from '91-'94.
cheers/tschuess,
Mike


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 01:02 PM

Interesting stuff, Wotcha!


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 05:17 PM

A certain type of German yob (usually roaming the streets in multiples of one, for reasons of personal safety in numbers) will use the term 'Kanake' about anybody who doesn't look familiarly 'white' and Western, without being aware that a Kanak people exists at the other end of the world. Wouldn't care, either!


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Jen M
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 06:41 PM

When I substitute in music classes the recorder students almost always play John Kanaka but I've never heard all the lyrics and have no idea the origin. Could someone fill me in, I love telling the music teachers something they don't know. (I can't play an instrument and have no music training, just a father who loved to sing and years at G.S.Camp. I've taught elementary music twice now for a full semester each time on the strength of "life education")


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 07:41 PM

Jen M - the lyrics are in the DT.

Kanake m -n, -n (Sudseeinsulaner) Kamaka; pej: Auslander, Sulander) wop (pej) dago.

Collins German Distionary, London/Glasgow 1980.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 07:52 PM

A little history:
My interest in the Kanakas employed abroad began when I learned of their contracts to work for the Hudsons Bay Company. Few people realize that they worked with the Company as voyageurs, transporting furs to the east. The Bay Company had a large store in Honolulu, selling lumber, fish and other food products, as well as "general store" merchandise. Young Hawaiians were hired for work aboard ship as well as in the farms and "forts' built in British Columbia. They did much of the building at Fort Langley. Some of their descendants still live in British Columbia.

Under the royal feudal system, every Hawaiian had a place, but with the breakdown of the system in the 1820s, young Hawaiians had to find employment in order to live. Whaling and merchant vessels hired many. The royal family and their bureaucracy kept records on those approved for jobs off the islands, so we have a pretty good idea of the numbers. Others just joined ship crews on their own (mostly against the Kingdom's rules), or were taken for employment in California and other places where labor was needed. Dana, in Two Years Before the Mast, tells of his experiences woking alongside the Kanakas in the hide industry of California.
Some Kanakas were expert harpooners. Others worked at rendering the carcases and expressing the oil. Many were just able-bodied seamen aboard a variety of vessels. They receive mention in many writings about shipping in the 19th century.

The song (in the DT) is not derogatory; the line "haul away and make your pay" held for all the seamen. And many young Hawaiians had shipboard employment.

The use of Christian names (like John) arose in two ways- the Hawaiian names were too unfamiliar, so shipmates applied them. Also, beginning in the 1830s, the missionaries and other entrepreneurs building their fortunes in Hawai'i pretty well destroyed the Hawaiian religion, and substituted Christianity. The usual American-British Isles names took over.

Was there discrimination? Yes, but also against orientals, Mexicans, Irish and whomever else was in a minority situation. The name Kanaka, however, is not considered derogatory by anyone who knows their history.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: open mike
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 08:23 PM

There is a geographical nema in this area==Kanaka Peak..
interesting linguistic connections between the native
americans form northern callifornia..and hawaiian.
some hawaiian people came over here years ago and
workied in the mines and rail roads together with
the native tribal people. there was some inter-marriage
and some inter-mingling of the language, too.
will research the origin of Kanaka Peak name.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 08:31 PM

Odd, the handling of Kanaka in different dictionaries. Langenscheidt, a true German dictionary, merely has kanake, kanaka. Cassell's Worterbuch doesn't have it at all. Webster's Collegiate has its correct Hawaiian origin, but notes that through the French, Kanak applies to a native Melanesian inhabitant of New Caledonia.

The Oxford English English Dictionary emphasizes it use in Australia: A native of the South Seas Islands, especially one employed in Queensland as a labourer on the sugar plantations.
In Samoan, Maori and Tongan, the word becomes Tangata (T and K are the same letter in Hawaiian, K always used).
In the 1985 OED supplement it is noted additionally that in the closing years of the 19th century, Queensland was known as Kanakaland, Bananaland, Nigger State, etc. an that an inhabitant of Queensland was called a kanaka.
The OED also adds that the Hawaiian language formerly was called Kanaka.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: open mike
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 10:27 PM

Kanaka Peak       is located in butte county                                           39.5833 north latatude
-121.3053 west longitude
height 899.0 this must be in meters
because it is nearly 3,000 ft. tall
it has a USGS earthquake metering
station on top apparently.
no linguistic history yet.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: mg
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 10:58 PM

There were large numbers of kanaka at Ft. Vancouver in Vancouver, Washington. In fact, at one point the largest ethnic group on the payroll. They had an "arrangement" between Hudson's Bay and the king of Hawaii who provided I guess indentured workers. Many of them stayed. They are excavating the kanaka village at Ft. Vancouver now I think. They also have a Christmas party recreating what might have been in the kanaka village. I have heard among other things they were used as divers in the river to do something with pilings. The town of Kalama, Washington is named after a Hawaiaan name, and I can't confirm it but I have heard also Aloha Oregon.

I think, again can't confirm it, that the Chinook trading language included some Hawiaan words. mg


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 10:58 PM

Kanaka Creek in southern British Columbia has its name from Hawaiians who worked there with the Hudsons Bay Company in the 19th century.
Yes, I would be interested in how the Butte County peak got its name.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 11:47 PM

Yes, Aloha, Oregon is on the map, as well as Aloha Lake, California. How these places were named, I don't know, but some Hawaiians came to the goldfields of California. There also are descendants of Hawaiian sailors in New England. As noted above, Hawaiians were in California in Spanish days, and undoubtedly some stayed.
As you say, there was a sort of indentured relationship, arranged between the contractors and officials of the Hawaiian Kingdom, but it was somewhat 'leaky' and some Hawaiians hired aboard ship without benefit of formal arrangement.

Hawaiians also worked for other trading companies than Hudsons Bay;
I would not doubt that some of their words invaded trading languages along the Pacific coast, along with English and Russian.

Trade was a great mixer and changer; the potlatch developed because of the wealth generated by trading with the Russians in what is now Alaska and adjacent territory.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: open mike
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 12:06 AM

There was a prince from the royal family in hawaii
or so the story goes, who married a daughter of the
Chief of the Maidu (northern california)Indians.
When the tribe was driven to a 'reservation" in the
western part of california, covelo or Round Mountain (in the california version of what was to beome the trail of tears)
the prince applied to the hawaiin royalty to be allowed
to be re-located, and not be held on the reservation;
He and his wife walked back to their former homeland.
the forded rivers, hid from soldiers, and eventually
made it back to the area they had come from. Shortly
after they arrived back, they gave birth to a child.
This was just about 100 years before our chiild was born
in the same area and we considered naming her Mele
after this Maidu/Hawaiian child.
(we named her Muir, instead, after John Muir)


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 12:17 AM

And Owyhee County in Idaho is named after an old spelling of Hawaii. There were Hawaiians there in the early days, but I don't know why.

clint


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: open mike
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 12:19 AM

that explains why so many hits from british columbia
come up when searching kanaka on the web...


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 01:26 AM

Nice story, Open Mike. Needs a song. Very doubtful, however.
The rank of prince applied only to the Royal Family. Their histories are a matter of record, from the unification of the islands by Kamehameha I at the beginning of the 19th century to the present family descendants. The few princes and princesses, especially from 1850 on, were well-rounded in education and their musical compositions survive. They (Kalakaua? have to look it up) brought in a director and started the Royal Hawaiian Band; Kalakaua had a Royal Glee Club, instituted coinage (1880s), and travelled far, eventually becoming ill and dying abroad. The family was intermarried with the American entrepreneurs of the day. At one point some departed from the faith brought by the New England missionaries and became Anglicans. The trust of one of these intermarriages, the Princess Bernice Bishop trust, is estimated at roughly 10 billion dollars and owns many enterprises in Hawai'i as well as funding education for Hawaiians.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Wotcha
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 02:17 AM

Wow! What great information. Mike-the-Knife, I am in Stuttgart for a couple of years unless I end up elsewhere (already been to Poland and Bosnia .. and found a great sing in Sarajevo!). Of course Stuttgart has its own word origins (stud-garden from the one of the town's original business that isn't viniculture ... now you know why Porsche's have that pony on the car).

Cheers/Tschuess

Brian


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 02:37 AM

The Hawaiians also brought something back with them from B.C.--salmon! For dinner tonight, I had a traditional Hawaiian dish: lomi salmon. It's marinated diced salmon with onions and green onions, and it's delicious. Marinated fish salads, called "poke" (pronounced "po-kay"), are big here: there are poke recipe contests where everybody shares his or her or their grandmother's special kind.

Unfortunately, most of the salmon we get here is the farmed Atlantic stuff ("color added"!), not the big Coho and sockeye I had in Seattle. Of course, we do have ahi and moi and mahimahi and... Then again, I lived in Hawaii for 7 years as a strict vegetarian, not eating fish. That was tough!

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 02:39 AM

Sorry, that should be "po-keh"!


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: MudGuard
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 02:54 AM

Online German dictionary says:

Ka|na|ke der; -n, -n :
1. Eingeborener in Polynesien u. der Südsee.
2. (ugs. abwertend) ungebildeter, ungehobelter Mensch.
3. [meist ka nak ] Ausländer, bes. Türke (Schimpfwort)

Quelle: DUDEN - Das große Fremdwörterbuch

Translation:
Ka|na|ke the; -n, -n :
1. native in Polynesia and the South Seas
2. (slang, derogatory) un-educated, ill-bred human
3. [mostly ka nak] foreigner, esp. Turk (swear word)

(Source: DUDEN - The big dictionary of foreign words)

The "Duden" is more or less the official dictionary of German.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 02:55 AM

Interesting, Wotcha. I never heard the term used over here for islanders, only for immigrants of Balkan origin and a somewhat darker complexion, mostly Turks.
How did the term came into the German language? Maybe in the times when Germany had colonies in the South Pacific (with the South Pacific Cruiser Station in Apia). Names of colonized or subjected people tend to slip down the social ladder and to be used derogatorily.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:13 AM

Used as a generic term for the Pacific Islanders (mainly Melanesian, not Polynesian - there is a difference, even though their languages share many words) who were brought to Queensland in the late 19th century to work mostly in the sugar industry.

They were supposed to be on contracts, but it is difficult to see much difference between the contract system as it operated and slavery.

One of the conditions of Queensland joining the other Australian colonies in forming the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 was that the blackbirding (recruiting, often by force) would end, and all the contract labour would be repatriated.

Not all were repatriated - Mal Meninga, Australian Rugby League captain, and an honoured figure in the game, is descended from Kanakas. There are a lot of others.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:36 AM

When Stan Hugill sang his version of "The Indian Maid" (mixed with "The Lass of Mohee") at Mystic in the 80s, he pointed out that the island girl changes from an "Indian" in stanza 1 to a "Kanaka" in stanza 2. The explanation ? "They were sailors, not bloody ethnologists !"

The word "Kanaka" is neutral in the song, as it is in Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast" (1834-40).


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:43 AM

Funny (or, rather, sad) how in Germany formerly neutral terms denoting a far away country or people become derogatory terms in a pars pro toto way for all foreign looking people as long as they have a dark skin.

Before Kanake came into 'fashion' as such a term, we had Kaffer (Xhosa) and now Fidschi (Fiji) is starting to replace Kanake.

Sing it, Brian, with one line of explanation, and you are doing well.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: GUEST,Hrothgar
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:44 AM

That 07.13 Guest was me.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 08:41 AM

Surely "kaffir" is from the Arabic originally, meaning any non-believer?


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 10:47 AM

German Kaffer via Yiddish from Hebrew kfar = village: silly or stupid peasant. Arab. kâfir: infidel, unbeliever. In Arabic there is also kafr = village from the same root KFR.
In South Africa during the Apartheid regime kaffer was the derogatory term for official Bantu: Negro.

The change from Kanaka to germ. Kanake is in assimilation to the determined form of the adjective; sometimes, in dialect, you may also hear the indetermined form Kanaker.

I must confess that I sometimes use the term Kanake when working between the shelves and swearing at the students unable to put back the books in the right order. Here in the sense of definition 2 given by MudGuard. It may be substituted by Bimbo.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 12:44 PM

Thanks for the correction on Kaffer.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 01:22 PM

To clear up confusion. Kaffir has TWO sources:

1: the Arabic-Yiddish-German term, already cited, from Arabic Kafir, infidel. Also spelled caffre in English (spelling now obsolete). Earliest known use in English, 1814, with reference to Moors.

2. "Caffre, one of a South African race belonging to the Bantu family. Also attrib., and as the name of their language." Oxford English Dictionary. In Boer and English usage, now spelled Kaffir.
Examples:
1801-" Monthly Review, XXXV, "The incursion of a tribe of people called Kaffirs."
1834- "Boyce, Grammar of the Kaffir language."
1857- Chambers, "The Kafirs, a race of people strikingly different from Hottentots and negroes. The Kafir nation conssists of numerous sections."
All quotes from the OED.
The word is used in a number of combinations:
kaffir bread- South African cycad, with edible pith.
Kaffir date, Kaffir plum, Kaffir-boom, Kaffir tree- various South African trees or shrubs.
Kaffir corn- Indian millet (much planted in South Africa).


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:08 PM

Brian!

Great to hear from you! We think of you whenever someone does JKK, General Taylor or Swansea Town at a sing. I'll sing JKK in your honor tomorrow night at the Alexandria Chantey Sing & Sail.

I've been taking lots of pictures of sings (and events, of course) and posting them at WincingDevil.com.

Have a great time "over there"!

Vince


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 02:29 AM

Objection, Q!

German linguists are unanimous that definition 1 has nothing to with Arabic kâfir = infidel. For centuries we hadn't any Arabs in Germany (except the calip's embassy to Charlemagne, 9th century A.D.), but a lot of Jews, with mutual influences languagewise.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: GUEST,Tin cup
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 08:14 PM

FYI
"Kanaka" means "man" in modern missionary-ruined Hawai'ian. The same word is used throughout ALL of the Polynesian languages, eastern and western, with slight variations of pronunciation. The original Hawaiian pronunciation was much more like the current Tahitian and Maori pronunciations "Tangata", with a "T" sound somewhere in between "T" and "K". The "ng" sound is elided, and is pronounced a as a separate consonant.


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 09:02 PM

GREAT STUFF at the Intro to this thread.... good Data but ... dates, page, source, location, publisher?

Somehow - I feel the "spirit of an Azisi type thread" - (there is no factual meaning - but twisted sisters - hope to claim "Google" Mother Load for all future "validated" Wiki sources.)

I sincerely hope MUDCAt - does NOT become a WIKI.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Wotcha
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 08:35 AM

Sang it again at the Irishman Pub in Stavanger the first day off the boat/Dar Mlodziezy with some new shipmates (a little off key and a little "landsick") but it worked! I avoided using my newly learned Polish term which sounds something like "Koo-vah" but apparently a as useful a word to the Poles as coconut oil is to Polynesians ... but I digress.

Med Vennlig hilsen,

cheers,

Wotcha (of the Watcha III)


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Subject: RE: Use of Kanaka in Germany
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 06:08 PM

Hawaiian, like its closest relatives, was an unwritten language. Lorrin Andrews was the first to attempt the formation of a written language, compiling word lists, and teaching at Lahainaluna.
Certain sounds caused problems to the missionaries and other newcomers, e. g., t and k, and l and r, b and p.
By the time Andrews published his first grammar in 1854, he had taught many Hawaiians to read, and they soon became one of the most literate peoples.
True, the simplified alphabet which became standard changed some sounds- call it 'missionary-ruined' if you will, but it created a literate people.
After the overthrow of the monarchy, the use of the language slowly declined, but it is now increasing in popularity and more and more it is being taught.

Modern teachers of the language point out the similarities among the related branches, but exactly what the pronunciations were prior to the coming of the westerners will remain unknown; closer to its roots, but also not exactly like its also changing relatives in New Zealand and elsewhere

I hold no brief for the missionaries, more of them should have been tossed into the cooking pot for emphasizing religion above all and joining in exploitation to make large personal fortunes, but some also taught and brought a people into the modern world.


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