Pidgin

Hawaii Pidgin English is a type of creole English.  It is an amalgamation of English, Portuguese, Japanese, Filipino, and Chinese words that were mixed together as a way for the plantation immigrants to communicate with each other in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Pidgin has a distinct rhythm to it, and the inflection is very different from regular English.

The writers of Hawaii Five-0 have adapted it a bit to fit the show and play to a global audience.  Full blown pidgin would definitely go over the heads of people who live outside of Hawaii.  The pidgin (referred to as “bird”) of Hawaii Five-0 is pretty contrived…any local will tell you it’s pretty painful to listen to.  Here’s a sampling of comedian Augie T, who incidentally played the helicopter pilot in 104, “Lanakila”.  Another classic example is 70s comedian Rap Reiplinger.

Daniel Dae Kim pulls it off the best so far, given his six years here filming Lost, while the rest of the cast try to pull it off.  Hopefully the script writers and consultants can get the pidgin to fit better into the show.

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One Response to Pidgin

  1. hawaiiobsessed says:

    oh my goodness, so ridiculously funny! Love it! Wish they could integrate the pidgin better in the show. Did you see the one of the guy doing Obama speaking pidgin. Oh my. He did a really good impression!

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