Pī‘āpā Hou Pī‘āpā Hou

Pī‘āpā Hou is an alternative alphabet for Hawaiian (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi) invented by Ben Norton. The name Pī‘āpā Hou means “new alphabet” in Hawaiian. It can also be used to write other Polynesian languages, such as Tahitian or Māori.

It is based on the Latin alphabet conventionally used for writing Hawaiian, and therefore includes kahakō (a macron which indicates long vowels) as well as the ‘okina (a phonemic glottal stop). However, the letters themselves were inspired by shapes found in nature upon the inventor’s first visit to the island of Kauai‘i.

Notable features

Pī‘āpā Hou alphabet

Pī‘āpā Hou scirpt

Sample texts

Sample text in Pī‘āpā Hou


Hānau kū'oko'a 'ia nā kānaka apau loa, a ua kau like ka hanohano a me nā pono kīvila ma luna o kākou pākahi. Ua ku'u mai ka no'ono'o pono a me ka 'ike pono ma luna o kākou, no laila, e aloha kākou kekahi i kekahi.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample text in Pī‘āpā Hou


I luna lā i luna
Nā manu o ka lewa
I lalo lā, i lalo
Nā pua o ka honua
I uka lā, i uka
Nā uku lā‘au
I kai lā, i kai
Nā i‘a o ka moana
Ha‘ina mai la puana
A he nani ke ao nei


Up, up above
Birds fly in the sky
Down, down
Flowers of the earth
Upland, up in the uplands
The grove of trees
In the sea, the sea
The fishes of the ocean
Tell the refrain
Of this beautiful world

A Hawaiian children's song. Source: https://www.huapala.org/Ke/Ke_Ao_Nani.html

A song in Hawaiian with subtitles in Pī‘āpā Hou

More information about Pī‘āpā Hou (PDF)

Fonts for Pī‘āpā Hou are available from:

Information about Hawaiian | Phrases | Numbers | Family words | Tower of Babel |

Constructed scripts by Ben Norton

Nortish, Pī‘āpā Hou, Wébaxu Ní

Constructed scripts for: Ainu | Arabic | Chinese languages | Dutch | English | Hawaiian | Hungarian | Japanese | Korean | Lingala | Malay & Indonesian | Persian | Tagalog / Filipino | Russian | Sanskrit | Spanish | Taino | Turkish | Vietnamese | Welsh | Other natural languages | Colour-based scripts | Tactile scripts | Phonetic/universal scripts | Constructed scripts for constructed languages | Adaptations of existing alphabets | Fictional alphabets | Magical alphabets | A-Z index | How to submit a constructed script


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