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Hawai’i Creole English

A language of United States

ISO 639-3hwc

Population  600,000 (1986 M. Forman). 100,000 to 200,000 with low proficiency in Standard English and near Standard English (1986 M. Forman). Another 100,000 on the USA mainland.
Region  Hawaiian Islands, USA mainland (especially the west coast, Las Vegas, and Orlando).
Language map  United States of America, Alaska and Hawaii
Alternate names   Hawai’i Pidgin, HCE, Pidgin
Dialects  The basilect is barely intelligible with Standard English (McKaughan and Forman 1982).
Classification  Creole, English based, Pacific
Language use  Vigorous use by 100,000 to 200,000. Native speech of a large number of those born or brought up in Hawaii, regardless of racial origin. Continuum of speech from distinct creole to Standard English of Hawaii. Different speakers control different spans along the continuum; to some whose only form of verbal communication is the creole. Some communication problems at university level. Many L2 speakers. Used in courts by officers, jurors, plaintiffs, defendants, witnesses. Creative writing in it in some schools. A growing body of serious literature. Used in schools, personal letters, local commerce, a few songs. All ages. Accepted by many as important part of local culture, a distinctive local language; but looked down on by others. Some official acknowledgement of it in print and public discussion, Miranda rights. 50% of children in Hawaii do not speak English as L1 when entering school. English is used in school. Most songs are in Hawaiian or English. Other languages used are Hakka [hak], Yue Chinese [yue], Japanese, Korean, Tagalog [tgl], Ilocano [ilo], Cebuano [ceb], Hiligaynon [hil], Portuguese, Spanish, or Samoan [smo].
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 66%–75%. Literacy rate in L2: 66%–75%. Radio programs. TV. Grammar. NT: 2000.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  Fishermen; agriculturalists; animal husbandry; white and blue-collar workers; tourism; military; construction and maintenance workers. Christian, Hawaiian traditional religion, Buddhist, syncretism.