Report Title:

Hawaiian Language; Public Documents; Letterhead; Symbols; Emblems



Requires that all letterheads, documents, symbols, and emblems of the State and other political subdivisions include both state languages.



H.B. NO.













relating to the hawaiian language.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the Constitution of the State of Hawaii provides for the preservation and promotion of native Hawaiian culture, history, and language.  For example, article X, section 4, provides that, "[t]he State shall promote the study of Hawaiian culture, history and language."  Article XII, section 7, Constitution of the State of Hawaii, provides, "[t]he State reaffirms and shall protect all rights, customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes . . ." of native Hawaiians.  Because maintaining a living language is an integral component of preserving a culture, it is also important to note that article XV, section 4, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii, reestablishes that "English and Hawaiian shall be the official languages of Hawaii . . . ."

     Since 1978, when the State reaffirmed Hawaiian as one of its official languages, the legislature has backed efforts to incorporate the language into official state writings, emblems, and signs.  Ensuring that these public inscriptions are mandatory, accurate, and spelled correctly, and use of the proper Hawaiian macrons and glottal stops not only shows the deserved respect for the native language of these islands, but also fully comports with the intent and words of the state constitution.

     The purpose of this Act is to ensure the constitutionally-and ethically-mandated preservation of the native Hawaiian language and culture by requiring that all state and county documents, letterheads, symbols, and emblems, when newly created, replaced, or reprinted, contain the accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian names and language.

     SECTION 2.  Section 1-13.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

     "[[]§1-13.5[]]  Hawaiian language; spelling.  [Macrons and glottal stops may be used in the spelling of words or terms in the Hawaiian language in] (a)  Effective January 1, 2011, all documents and letterhead prepared by or for state or county agencies or officials[.] shall include the accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian names and language, including proper Hawaiian spelling and punctuation, including but not limited to macrons and glottal stops, printed above the English translation; provided that any revision to conform any document or letterhead existing on or before January 1, 2011 to the requirements of this section, may be implemented when the document or letterhead requires replacement or reprinting, or otherwise requires revision.  Any rule, order, policy, or other act, official or otherwise, that prohibits or discourages the use of [these symbols] proper Hawaiian punctuation or spelling shall be void.

     (b)  The Hawaiian language shall be accurate, appropriate, and authentic when printed in conformance with:

     (1)  "Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian", by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert, University of Hawaii Press, copyright 1986; or

     (2)  "Māmaka Kaiao: A Modern Hawaiian Vocabulary", developed by Kōmike Huaolelo, the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee."

     SECTION 3.  Section 5-6.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

     "[[]§5-6.5[]]  State language.  (a)  The Hawaiian language is the native language of Hawaii and [may], effective January 1, 2011, shall be used on all emblems and symbols representative of the State, its departments, agencies, and political subdivisions[.]; provided that for emblems and symbols existing on January 1, 2011, conformance with this section may be delayed until a replacement for the emblem or symbol otherwise is required.

     (b)  The Hawaiian language as used on all emblems and symbols shall be in conformance with the requirements of subsection 1-13.5(b)."

     SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.