Hawaii State Languages

English and Hawaiian

Hawaii State Languages

Adopted in 1978.

Hawai'i is also the only American state to have two official languages, Hawaiian and English. However, a 3rd unofficial language is also widely spoken, Pidgin which is a slang combining words from many aspects of island life and culture.

In 1978, this state made English and Hawaiian its official languages. More than a quarter (26.7%) of this state's residents speak a language other than English. The most common of these languages are Japanese, Tagalog (Philipino), Ilocano, and Chinese. This state has the nation's highest proportion of speakers of Chinese, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Samoan, and Ilocano.

Hawaii State Language: English and Hawaiian


English and Hawaiian shall be the official languages of Hawai`i, except that Hawaiian shall be required for public acts and transactions only as provided by law.
[Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
Chapter 5 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Hawaii's state laws.

[§5-6.5] State language. The Hawaiian language is the native language of Hawaii and may be used on all emblems and symbols representative of the State, its departments, agencies and political subdivisions. [L 1978, c 207, §1]

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