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Aloha! If you have a loved one far away and you want to express how much you miss them in Hawaiian, you’ve come to the right place. Knowing how to say ‘I miss you’ can help strengthen your bond with friends and family in the islands.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Hawaiian phrase for ‘I miss you’ is “Ua makemake au iā ʻoe”. This literally translates to ‘I want/desire you.’

The Importance of ʻOhana in Hawaiian Culture

The importance of family

Hawaiian culture places a strong emphasis on the concept of ʻohana, which refers to the extended family and the deep sense of connection and unity within it. In Hawaiian, the word ʻohana means family, but it encompasses much more than just blood relations.

It includes close friends, neighbors, and anyone who is considered part of the extended family. ʻOhana is not just a biological concept, but a spiritual and cultural one as well.

The meaning of ʻohana

In Hawaiian culture, ʻohana is seen as the foundation of society. It is a reflection of the belief that everyone is interconnected and that each individual has a role and responsibility within the family unit.

The concept of ʻohana emphasizes the importance of unity, cooperation, and support among family members. It is a deeply ingrained value that is passed down through generations, and it forms the basis of Hawaiian social structure and relationships.

ʻOhana is not limited to immediate family members. It extends to include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even close friends. In Hawaiian culture, these extended family members are often referred to as hanai, which means adopted or chosen family.

Hanai relationships are highly respected and cherished, as they reflect the strong sense of community and interconnectedness within Hawaiian society.

Staying connected across distances

In today’s globalized world, it is common for family members to live in different parts of the world, separated by great distances. However, the value placed on ʻohana in Hawaiian culture means that staying connected is of utmost importance.

Hawaiian families use various means to stay connected despite the physical distance. Modern technology, such as video calls and social media, has made it easier than ever to bridge the gap between loved ones.

Platforms like FaceTime, Skype, and Meta allow family members to see and hear each other in real-time, fostering a sense of closeness and togetherness.

Additionally, Hawaiian families often make an effort to gather together for important celebrations and events. Family reunions, weddings, and birthdays are occasions where relatives from near and far come together to strengthen the bonds of ʻohana.

These gatherings not only serve as a means of staying connected but also allow for the sharing of stories, traditions, and cultural practices, ensuring that the Hawaiian heritage is preserved and passed on to future generations.

How to Say ‘I Miss You’ in Hawaiian

When you’re away from someone you care about, expressing your feelings is important. If you want to say “I miss you” in Hawaiian, the phrase you’ll need is “Ua makemake au iā ʻoe“.

This beautiful phrase captures the longing and affection you feel for someone who is not with you.

Breaking down the grammar

To understand the phrase “Ua makemake au iā ʻoe”, let’s break it down:

  • Ua: This word indicates the past tense, so it adds a sense of longing that you’ve been missing the person for some time.
  • makemake: This word means “to desire” or “to want“. By using this word, you express your deep longing and desire to be with the person you miss.
  • au: This is the pronoun “I”, indicating that it is you who is feeling the longing and desire.
  • iā ʻoe: This phrase translates to “for you“. It shows that the person you miss is the recipient of your longing and affection.

Putting it all together, “Ua makemake au iā ʻoe” is the perfect way to say “I miss you” in Hawaiian.

Other ways to say ‘miss’

While “Ua makemake au iā ʻoe” is the most common way to say “I miss you” in Hawaiian, there are other phrases you can use to convey a similar sentiment:

Phrase Meaning
Ke kaunu aku nei au iā ʻoe I am yearning for you
Ke aloha aku nei au iā ʻoe I am sending love to you
Ke mihi aku nei au iā ʻoe I am apologizing to you (for not being with you)

These phrases provide different nuances of missing someone and can be used depending on the context and the level of emotion you want to convey.

So the next time you’re missing someone and want to express your feelings in Hawaiian, remember the phrase “Ua makemake au iā ʻoe”. It’s a beautiful way to let someone know that they are missed and cherished.

When to Use ‘I Miss You’

Expressing that you miss someone is a powerful way to communicate your feelings and maintain a strong connection with your loved ones.

Whether it’s your family, friends, or significant other, there are different situations where saying “I miss you” can be meaningful and bring you closer together.

Reconnecting with friends and family

Life can get busy, and we often find ourselves caught up in our own daily routines. However, it’s important to take the time to reconnect with the people who matter most to us.

Saying “I miss you” to friends and family members you haven’t seen or spoken to in a while can help to strengthen those relationships.

It shows that you value their presence in your life and that you’re thinking about them even when you’re apart.

During times apart from your significant other

Long-distance relationships can be challenging, but expressing how much you miss your significant other can help bridge the distance. Saying “I miss you” lets them know that they are always on your mind and that you are longing for their company.

It creates a sense of reassurance and reminds them of the love and connection you share, even when you can’t physically be together.

When you can’t be there for important events

Life sometimes throws us curveballs, and we may find ourselves unable to attend important events or milestones in our loved one’s lives.

Whether it’s a graduation, birthday, or a special achievement, saying “I miss you” in these instances shows that you genuinely wish you could be there to celebrate with them.

It conveys your support and love, even from a distance, and helps maintain a sense of closeness despite the physical separation.

Remember, saying “I miss you” is not just about the words; it’s about the emotions and intent behind them. So, don’t hesitate to express your feelings and let your loved ones know how much they mean to you.

After all, a simple “I miss you” can go a long way in strengthening bonds and maintaining meaningful relationships.

Tips for Native Pronunciation

If you want to impress your loved ones by saying “I miss you” in Hawaiian, it’s important to master the native pronunciation.

Hawaiian is known for its unique sounds and musicality, so here are some tips to help you nail the pronunciation:

Vowel sounds

Hawaiian has a limited number of vowels, and they are pronounced differently than in English. To achieve the correct pronunciation, it’s important to pay attention to the following:

  • The vowel “a” is pronounced as “ah in “father”.
  • The vowel “e” is pronounced as “ehin “bed”.
  • The vowel “i” is pronounced as “eein “see”.
  • The vowel “o” is pronounced as “oh in “go”.
  • The vowel “u” is pronounced as “oo in “too”.

By mastering these vowel sounds, you’ll be well on your way to pronouncing Hawaiian words accurately.

Stress and inflection

In Hawaiian, stress and inflection play a crucial role in pronunciation. Unlike English, where stress is often placed on the first syllable, Hawaiian words have stress on different syllables.

To get the pronunciation right, it’s important to listen carefully and mimic the stress and inflection patterns of native speakers.

For example, when saying “I miss you” in Hawaiian, the word for “miss” is “nāu”. The stress falls on the second syllable, so it is pronounced as “NAH-oo”.

Paying attention to these subtle details will make your pronunciation more authentic and natural.

Listening to audio examples

One of the best ways to improve your pronunciation is through listening to audio examples. Hearing how native speakers pronounce words and sentences can greatly enhance your understanding and help you mimic their intonation and rhythm.

There are several websites and resources available where you can listen to audio recordings of Hawaiian words and phrases. One such website is, which offers a variety of audio examples for language learners. By regularly listening to these recordings, you’ll become more familiar with the sounds and nuances of the Hawaiian language.

Remember, practice makes perfect! Don’t be afraid to practice out loud and seek feedback from native speakers or language tutors. With time and dedication, you’ll be able to say “I miss you” in Hawaiian with confidence and native-like pronunciation.

Alternative Ways to Express Missing Someone

Alternative Ways to Express Missing Someone

When you’re missing someone, finding the right words to express your emotions can be a challenge. Luckily, there are alternative ways to convey your feelings and let that special person know how much they mean to you.

In this article, we’ll explore different approaches to saying “I miss you” in Hawaiian that go beyond the literal translation. So, let’s dive in and discover creative ways to express your longing for someone in the Aloha State!

Using Imagery and Metaphor

One powerful way to express missing someone is through imagery and metaphor. In Hawaiian culture, nature holds deep symbolism and is often used to convey emotions.

For example, you could say, “I feel like a wave crashing on the shore without you“, to illustrate the immense impact their absence has on you.This metaphor paints a vivid picture and conveys the intensity of your longing.

By using the beauty of Hawaiian landscapes and natural elements, you can tap into the evocative power of language and express your emotions in a unique and heartfelt way.

Describing Feelings and Memories

Another approach to expressing missing someone is by describing the feelings and memories associated with their presence.

Hawaiian language is rich in emotion-related words, and by incorporating them into your message, you can create a heartfelt and nostalgic expression.

For instance, you could say, “Every day without you feels like a hōʻeha – a deep longing that lingers in my heart“. This not only conveys your longing but also provides a glimpse into the depth of your emotions.

By using descriptive language and drawing upon shared memories, you can create a powerful and personal message that truly captures your feelings.

Planning for the Next Reunion

While expressing missing someone is important, it’s also essential to focus on the future. One way to do this is by planning for the next reunion. In Hawaiian culture, ohana (family) and hoaloha (friends) are highly valued, and coming together is celebrated.

So, instead of solely dwelling on the distance, you can express your eagerness to be reunited by saying, “I can’t wait for our next aloha ʻaina – a joyful gathering where we can create new memories together“.

By highlighting the anticipation of being together again, you can infuse your message with hope and excitement, showing that even though you miss them now, you are looking forward to the future.

Remember, expressing your emotions is a personal and intimate experience. These alternative ways to say “I miss you” in Hawaiian can serve as a starting point, but it’s important to tailor your message to your individual relationship and the person you’re missing.

So, embrace the beauty of the Hawaiian language, tap into your creativity, and let your feelings shine through!


The Hawaiian language has a beautiful way of expressing sentiments like missing someone we care about. While ‘ua makemake au iā ʻoe’ is the direct translation for “I miss you”, you can also get creative with Hawaiian words and phrases to convey your feelings.

The most important thing is communicating openly with family members and friends – even from afar, your ʻohana ties remain strong. Aloha!

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