HRID Treehouse


Living and Working in Hawaii

So you want to live in Hawaii?

Are you dreaming of living and working in paradise? Moving to Hawaii, or coming to Hawaii to work, is an awesome experience, as challenging as it is fun! Hawaii is a world apart from the Mainland, with a rich culture and a diverse people that will present you with many new things to learn, people to know, and new experiences to enjoy.

Hawaii is a melting pot in the truest sense. Because of our unique history, there are many cultural groups that have blended together to represent the Local culture we know today. For example, the local Pidgin language, or Hawaiian Creole English, is the historic result of several language groups coming together to work on the Hawaiian plantations of old, in the mid- to late-1800s. In lieu of a shared language, Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Portguese, and other ethnic groups developed a shared pidgin languagethat is still prevalent today as our local Pidgin. Sometimes misunderstood to be broken English, Pidgin is not "low-class" or "uneducated' -- the most eloquent and articulate speaker may turn to you one day and say, "Ho! We go Rainbow Drive-In fo' da' kine. You like try come?"

If you are called on to interpret that, you'll need to know what "da kine" means! As important as it will be to learn local signs, it is equally as important to learn these local phrases. The book, Pidgin to Da Max by Douglas Simonson, Pat Sasaki, and Ken Sakata is a fun resource that can help you learn some local phrases. Another important language aspect to consider is the use of Hawaiian in everyday life. Hawaiian phrases come up at every occassion -- not to mention our street signs. Learning how to accurately pronounce and spell Hawaiian words is integral to working well in Hawaii. There are many Hawaiian language CDs and MP3s available to help you hone your knowledge. Once you are here, you can find free classes at libraries and community centers that focus on common sounds, words, and tricks for pronunciation.

Hawaii's rich history and cultural traditions are another treasured part of our community. Events surrounding our kings and queens, sacred locations, and the overthrow are all well known to the locals. Although these things are not necessarily part of your everyday interpreting experience, these are topics that are dear to the Hawaiian community and essential to one's understanding of the Islands. Learning the history of the area and the importance of local events will give you a greater insight into local culture and values. A Modern History of Hawaii by Ann Rayson, and Things Hawaii, by Carrie Ching are two resources to read about the history of Hawaii's people and the foundations of the community as we know it today. We also recommend that you become a member of the Hawaii State Library System once you relocate, and start plying your local librarian for additional resources! Not only will your librarian be able to steer you in the right direction -- chances are they will be happy to talk story with you, too.

Hawaii is a beautiful place to visit and an even more lovely place to live. If you have more questions about living and working in Hawaii, please contact us at HRID and we will roll out the welcome wagon! Also, please check out these resources on relocating to the state of Hawaii's Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism for more information about schools, childcare, motor vehicle registration, accommodations, and more.

Would you like to know more? Contact the HRID Welcome Wagon for additional resources.

A hui hou kakou! Until we meet again!

PO Box 12200
Honolulu, HI 96828
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