Expanding Hawaiian Language Domains Through Pop Culture Literature


The recent release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Hawaiian demonstrated the enthusiasm and engagement of Hawai‘i locals–Hawaiian speakers and non-Hawaiian speakers alike–in the Harry Potter universe fandom. It also demonstrates an approach to Hawaiian literature expansion where 1) Hawai‘i’s youth (and former youth) determine what books they would like to have in Hawaiian; 2) the desire of youth to engage in fandom in Hawaiian in all of fandom’s various aspects, including books, film, and cosplay; 3) gaps in supply and genres of Hawaiian language literature are satisfied through translation; 4) despite a general minimal proficiency norm in Hawaiian across the Hawaiian Kingdom, the populace would like to see more such mainstream genres made available in Hawaiian; and 5) such titles made available in Hawaiian excite, stimulate and support enthusiasm for reading as a leisurely activity in which language proficiency and creative thinking expand as driven by interest in the material read.