Language : Language And Language

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Language Oh Language

“The history of HCE has inspiring accounts of resourcefulness, intellect, and competence that both reflect and sustain local Hawaii culture.” (Kanae, np)

There is no other place in this world like Hawaii. There is a mixture of nationalities and languages

that have made our islands the unique and special place it is. One of the most important components in

a culture is language. Language is used to communicate daily among multiple ethnic groups. In

Hawaii, many members of these ethnic groups have created their own “broken English” that closely

resembles Pidgin to communicate in their daily lives at work, in business, and within their own family

units. A place and time can dictate the kind of language that is spoken by an individual or group of

people, and place and time can also influence the development of a language in attempting to adapt

within a new community.

Papa Shen, my father in law, has faced and continues to face some challenges with language since

leaving his native country to make Hawaii his new home. Papa Shen was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He

came over to American Samoa on a Taiwanese fishing boat. It was not in his plans to stay, but he did.

He lived in American Samoa for about 8 years before deciding that he and my husband would move to

Hawaii. While in American Samoa, he learned some of the Samoan language and some English words

through his relationships with his Samoan friends.

Papa Shen

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