It turns out Randy is good at speaking Hawaiian. Not that it’s as useful in our everyday lives as Spanish or in general in the Western world as French, or in the global economy as Mandarin, but still.

When we first arrived in Hawaii we were struck by how similar all the names sounded and how we had no idea how to pronounce them and it felt kind of like a foreign country, at least linguistically. I remembered being in Prague and feeling completely overwhelmed by consonants.

But after a few days we looked up some answers and got a few clues about the language. It turns out they only use 7 consonants: W, M, K, P, L, H, and N, and all five vowels. That’s the whole alphabet. So, yes, things do sound similar. But there are a lot of accent marks and I’m sure if you were fluent it would all make sense.

Randy discovered his favorite word, the name of a fish we saw several times while snorkeling. You mainlanders might call it a reef triggerfish.

But in Hawaiian it’s the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (HUMU-HUMU-NUKU-NUKU-APUA-A). It looks like this. Next time you see Randy, you can call him by his new nickname.