Not all the time, but sometimes someone will ask me if I speak Pidgin? So, being local to Hawaii, it’s not uncommon for me to reply, “Yes, sometimes, but it depends.”
You know: “If can, can, if not, not.”
This response to non-pidgin fans is usually met with a puzzled smile and neutral and polite….silence.
In this case, I mean to say, it depends on the social situation, the social context, and who I am speaking with. But most of the time, it comes out because of the mood. And the mood wins hands down, if your Pidgin comes out or not.
In the other case, it takes a little bit of little effort to understand and talk story in pidgin.
And where are you mostly likely to hear pidgin? In the most casual and informal setting between people reaching out to each other with humor!
Talking pidgin can be seriously fun!
Although it is a cultural “Language”, pidgin isn’t in the same league as recognized foreign languages taught in academia such as French, Spanish, Russian, German, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Ilokano, Samoan, Tongan, Micronesian and many more languages heard in Hawaii.
So this Post began when I friend thanked me for sharing a Youtube about Shaolin philosophy which he wanted to say he was familiar with and teaches some to those principles in his class.
I replied in short, “In the cosmos, there is no coincidence.“
My friend replied: “Roger That”.
“Roger that dates back to US radio communication as early as 1941, based on then-use of the given name Roger in the US military phonetic alphabet for the word for the letter R. Here, the Roger stands for the initial R in “(Message) received.”
Feeling upbeat and in a little philosophical mood, I added in broken Pidgin: “Az why all da asteroids look da same Brah!
Wen you in da cosmos, kinda hard ‘fo spock wat da speck is no?
Sooo dey all get puka face, so we can tell’em apart from da slick UFO space craft.
Az why no ‘mo coincidence in da cosmos.
In the real world far, far away “Pidgin” was invented in a far, far, away place from where I was born and raised which is Kaimuki, Oahu.
So let’s open the text books here.
By Nigerian definition: “The origins of Nigerian Pidgin English lie historically in trade contact between the British and local people in the seventeenth century. It is part of a continuum of English Pidgins and Creoles spoken other West-African countries such as Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Ghana.”
By Chinese definition: “Pidgin originated as a Chinese mispronunciation of the English word “business”. Following the first and second war from1839 to 1942, Pidgin English spread north to Shanghai and other treaty ports. Pidgin usage began to decline in the late 19th century when Chinese and missionary schools began teaching standard English.”
By Hawaiian definition: “Hawaiian pidgin evolved from the sugar industry (Plantation Owners) which began in the mid 1850’s on Maui. Immigrant workers came in waves from different countries to work in the sugarcane fields. … These new languages were thrown into the mix and is today what many locals speak on a daily basis – Hawaiian pidgin.”
By Hawaiian Magazine defintion, check this out: https://www.hawaiimagazine.com/content/38-hawaiian-and-pidgin-phrases-every-visitor-needs-know
So try check’em out and have some fun deciphering Hawaiian Pidgin words and making your own sentences and talk Pidgin!
Here are some outstanding Pidgin Youtube fun presented by well-known local Hawaii comedians: Andy Bumatai, and the late Rap Reiplinger. Please All Rights Reserved to Mr.Bumatai and Mr. Reiplinger coz I no like get da kine scoldings ‘k?
Andy Bumatai’s Daily Pidgin: Tourist Tips All Rights Reserved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKgSr6v9edA
Andy Bumatai’s Daily Pidgin #55: Pidgin Phrases All Rights Reserved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAnd0or250g&t=13s
Andy Bumatai’s Daily Pidgin #76: Cockaroach Horror Stories All Right Reserved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_oHRlwmeJM
Andy Bumatai’s Daily Pidgin #77: Roach Stories and Hana Hou All Rights Reserved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlYRAjr036I
RAP’s HAWAII (2003) This one is back-to-back 50-minutes of fantastic fun so get your popcorn ready ‘k! All Rights Reserved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ2buwdisnY