ʻŌlelo Hawai‘i

The University of Hawaiʻi is an indigenous-serving institution in Hawaiʻi, and correct spelling and display of Hawaiian language is essential for UH websites and publications. Consult appropriate resources to ensure proper orthography, especially diacritical marks: the ʻokina (also called a glottal stop) or vowels with kahakō (also called a macron). The ʻokina is a specific punctuation mark, and not a single quotation mark, accent grave or “tick mark.”

Online Display

Screenshot of the language dropdown menu for Apple operating systems.
Hawaiian language option enabled in the menu for Mac.

Depending on the device, software or app, there are different ways to correctly input ʻokina or kahakō. It is not recommended to cut and paste from another document or the internet, as the character may not display correctly. For further assistance, contact the ITS Help Desk.

When working on in HTML, it is possible to code ʻokina and vowels with kahakō using a numeric string escape sequence.

  • ʻokina—ʻ
  • Ā—Ā
  • ā—ā
  • Ē—Ē
  • ē—ē
  • ī—ī
  • Ī—Ī
  • Ō—Ō
  • ō—ō
  • Ū—Ū
  • ū—ū

Displays as Mānoa


Displays as Hawaiʻi (with aria-label)

<span aria-label=”Hawaii”>Hawai&#699;i</span>

Words with ʻokina marked up still require aria-label tags for accessibility.

HTML Conversion Tool

The numeric string escape sequence can be generated automatically by using the Hawaiian Language HTML Conversion Tool. This web tool will add the appropriate HTML to Hawaiian words provided they already have diacritical marks. Putting “Hawaiʻi into the tool will give you <span aria-label=”Hawaii”>Hawaiʻi</span>, but just typing in “Hawaii” will give you “Hawaii.”