How Do You Say Computer in Hawaiiaiian?

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1995-08
Authors
Hale, Constance
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Wired USA
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If there was one watershed moment for the dying Hawaiian language, it must have come in 1983, when a study showed that only 32 students under 18 (most of them concentrated in remote hamlets of Kaua'i and Ni'ihau) were able to speak Hawaiian. Immediately after the study, a dedicated group of professors and activists - many of them now at the University of Hawai'i in Hilo - gathered in Honolulu to start plotting the great Hawaiian-language comeback. Step One: repeal the century-old law prohibiting the teaching of Hawaiian in public schools. Step Two: establish a system of public schools with Hawaiian-language immersion programs. Once the schools started opening, it came time to hoist the Hawaiian language into the techno age - hook, line, and SLIP connection. That's when NeSmith joined forces with Keiki Kawai'ae'a and Keola Donaghy. In computer networks the three found a new medium that used the oral and the textual as its currency, a medium perhaps better suited to an oral tradition than the book ever was.
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Leoki BBS, Hale Kuamoʻo
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5 pages
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copyright Wired Magazine 1995
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