Archive for April, 2011


• Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ivivi'.


  • (v.) to really like

Ivivi iko puka i’i.
“I really like this doorway.”

Notes: Check this out:

A circular doorway.

I recognize that this isn’t practical for humans, given our shape, but man is that cool!

I also don’t know what it says on that sign. One of these days I want to learn either to read Chinese or speak it (not both).

The picture I took here cleverly cuts out the little chain that prevents one from passing through this circular portal. I really wanted to walk through it. Alas, it was not meant to be…

(Note: This word derives from ivi, the verb meaning “to please”.)


• Friday, April 29th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tiku'.


  • (v.) to stand, to be standing, to stand up (in certain contexts)
  • (adj.) standing, erect

Ai kupi ia ua ai e tiku ai…?
“Are you standing or sitting…?”


When we were leaving one evening, we turned and saw Keli doing this:

Keli stand/sitting.


Half of her is sitting, half of her is standing. I wonder if a language has a word for this… She’s just so wretchedly adorable!

Today’s iku should look somewhat familiar. It’s actually built off the iku for kupi, which means “to sit”. The extra liney bits indicate standing. And even though this is a stative predicate (to be standing up), it can be used for “to stand up” primarily based on the shape of the glyph itself. That is, it kind of looks like someone standing up, so it’s used as such.


• Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'omi'.


  • (n.) macadamia nut

Oku havava ei iu omi.
“I don’t like macadamia nuts.”

Notes: Or any kind of nuts (except for Grape Nuts). It’s true. I’m also allergic to them. I don’t think that has anything to do with it, though. I was exposed to nuts at a very young age—all sorts. They all taste the way a stuffy photo from the 1800s looks. They’re not cool, they’re not juicy, they’re not savory, they’re just…blech. Tree bark.

But, of course, macadamia nuts are the touristy export of Hawai’i. Why, I have no idea. (Probably because they keep well.) Whenever anyone goes to Hawai’i they bring back macadamia nuts. And for some reason on Christmas, everyone gives everyone chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. I do like chocolate, but, I mean, come on: Nuts? Seriously?

So, yeah, I’m not a big fan. This is kind of a slanty iku. It’s all right, I guess.


• Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'heli'.


  • (n.) strawberry
  • (n.) slang term

Ka fi’ea ei i amo! Kau ala heli i eika!
“I forgot! We have strawberries!”

Notes: And that’s the truth. We’ve got a bunch of strawberries. Downstairs. Right now!

I’m a capable human being. I know how best to make use of this information on a hot evening like this one.

The iku for heli was one I changed. Originally it had a narrower “v”, but I changed it to give it the same shape as the “v” in keva which is used in a number of glyphs. For the most part, I’ve moved towards reusing pieces of glyphs where possible, to give the orthography more of a unifying aesthetic.


• Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'heva'.


  • (adj.) gray
  • (v.) to be gray
  • (adj.) foggy
  • (n.) fog

Fuilaila heva ono te heva.
“Gray sky over a gray roof.”

Notes: Another picture from the Huntington:

A nice building at the Huntington.

I like the stone tiles on the ground. It reminds me of The Village.

A while back I did on a post on another sense of the word heva. That was the sense without the line determinative. This one has it, and can be considered the “original” sense. The idea of “gray” derived initially from the word for “fog”. Since then, it’s all but taken over as the primary meaning.

The iku itself derives from the iku for kawi, “cloud”. The iku for heva comprises two kawi glyphs, one right on top of the other. Over time, the line in the middle of each glyph dropped out.

You may also notice the aberrant ordering of the glyphs (i.e. it might seem like they should be pointing the other direction). This goes back to the days when Kamakawi was written in many different directions: bottom-to-top, top-to-bottom, left-to-right and right-to-left. Now bottom-to-top and left-to-right are the most common directions (in that order), but the iku for heva was fossilized by writers who wrote from right-to-left. And now it’s stuck that way. :)


• Monday, April 25th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'uitipo'.


  • (n.) mango

Havava ei iu uitipo.
“I like mangos.”

Notes: Ha, ha! Bet you thought I was going to miss today! No, sir. I got it up in time!

This is another glyph I feel so-so about. It’s got curvy lines (cf. comment on an entry from a couple days ago), and it doesn’t look that much like a mango. I think I could’ve done a better job… Maybe some day I’ll retry it.

But then I’ll have to edit this entry. Grr…


• Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'keyo'.


  • (v.) to be empty (of something, use ti)
  • (adj.) empty
  • (n.) emptiness

Male ia i hopoko keyo’o ipuke ele keyo ae ia!
“You’ll always be a hollow man because you’re empty inside!”

Notes: And now begins an occasional series I call “Translating Crazy Things I Hear While Watching Anime”. Today’s line comes from Kekkaishi, a show about these high school kids that turn out to really be demon quellers, and are both really, really annoying.

This week’s episode was my favorite so far, because, unless I was missing something, it featured neither of them. Hooray! :D

I don’t have much to say about this word. I do about keyo’o, but I realized that I hadn’t done keyo yet, so it became the word of the day.

Oh no. It’s Full Metal Alchemist. I hate this show… I wish all shōnen anime could be One Piece.


• Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'lila'.


  • (n.) lagoon, back reef

I levea i lila.
“There’s salt water in a lagoon.”

Notes: Bit of a definitional word of the day, but I’m seeing coral reef-bounded lagoons on the east side of the largest of the Kamakawi islands. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been to any inland salt water body (near the ocean) large enough to be called a lagoon. I’ll have to think about that. My guess would have been Laguna Beach, but ain’t no lagoon in Laguna Beach, as far as I can tell.

Hard to focus because summer is coming, and this is exciting to me. :) Also watching the Blazers’ inept offense in the third quarter against the Mavericks. Come on, man!

Game of Thrones episode 2 tomorrow! I’ve seen this one; I can vouch for it. It’s good.


• Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'popoyou'.


  • (n.) finery, regalia, vestments (kind of a silly word)

Kaneko oi’i e’i e popoyou li nea.
“My cat in her finery.”


And here she is, in her royal attire:

Keli in her finery.

As I noted before, we like to drape little scraps of cloth off of Keli just because. The thing is, she seems to like it. She’s fully capable of getting those scraps off of her: She just doesn’t. In fact, she likes to walk around with them draped about her for as long as she can until they fall off of their own accord. It’s beyond adorable. (She also likes to lie in the sun.)

If you look at the top right hand corner of that picture you’ll see the bag I got at the CAG Conference. That’s where I put it when I came home. Two months ago.

So…yeah. A glimpse into how I live…

(By the way, I really like this word! It’s fast becoming a favorite of mine. It can be written as it is above, or with another po on the front.)


• Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'takoikoi'.


  • (v.) to resemble, to look like
  • (n.) resemblance
  • (adj.) resembling

A takoikoi ipe fate i… I… I uku ai?
“That window looks like… Like… Like what?”

Notes: Beats me:

Weird window.

I mean, if it’s a tree, it’s kind of weird looking. Very rounded. Too rounded for fire. There’s a nice tree through that window, at least…

Today’s word derives from takoi, and the semantic resemblance (pun…intended?) should be readily apparent.

Oh, but don’t think I don’t like the window. It’s pretty good! I wish I had something like that (and the tree to go behind it). Looks neat. I’d probably go with a different shape, though. Like a spade (on cards). Or a bear’s claw. Or you know what would be cool? A Kamakawi glyph cut into the wall! It’d be tough (a Chinese glyph would likewise look cool), but it’d be so, so worth it.