Ma ka pūkaʻina Ka Wai Ola i hoʻopuka ʻia ma Iune 2019, hōʻike ʻia e ke Keʻena Equality and Access to the Courts o ka Māhele Hoʻokolokolo o ka Mokuʻāina ʻo Hawaiʻi, ke kākaʻikahi o nā māhele ʻōlelo ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ma nā ʻAha Kaʻapuni a pau o ka pae ʻāina. ʻŌlelo ʻia, he ʻeono wale nō māhele ʻōlelo i kū i ka hana māhele ʻōlelo ma nā ʻaha hoʻokolokolo; ʻekolu ma Hawaiʻi mokupuni, ʻelua ma Kauaʻi, hoʻokahi wale nō ma Maui, a ʻaʻohe mea ma Oʻahu.
I kēia makahiki hoʻi, ua wehe ʻia ka papa māhele ʻōlelo ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi mua loa i papa hoʻokolohua na ke Keʻena me ke Koleke ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ʻo Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani, e hua mai ai kekahi mau māhele ʻōlelo hou aku e kōkua ma nā ʻaha hoʻokolokolo. Ua hoʻomaka ka papa ma 6 Kepakemapa 2023 a na Kaliko Beamer Trapp i aʻo. ʻAʻole wale nō hoʻi i aʻo ʻia ke ʻano o ka ʻōlelo e hoʻopuka ʻia ma ka ʻaha hoʻokolokolo, he aʻo a aʻoaʻo hoʻi kāna i nā loina ʻaha hoʻokolokolo me nā hana a lawena kūpono e pono ai ka māhele ʻōlelo ʻana.
He nui a lehu nā loina a kuleana hoʻi e hoʻopaʻa ai ka māhele ʻōlelo a he mau hōʻike hoʻi e hoʻokō ai i ʻike ʻia ka paʻa o ia ʻike. Ma muli o ia, ua pono nō hoʻi e kālele ma luna o ia mau mea i ʻike nā moho māhele ʻōlelo i ke koʻikoʻi o ia hana me ka pono o ka māhele ʻōlelo ʻana no ke kaiāulu ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.
I ka laupaʻi ʻana o ke kaiāulu ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, pēlā ana paha ka piʻi ʻana o ka pono o nā māhele ʻōlelo ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. ʻOiai hoʻi, he koina na ke Kumukānāwai ka hoʻolako ʻana o ka Mokuʻāina i nā mea e pono ai ka hoʻokolokolo kaulike ʻana, he kū ʻole i ke kānāwai ka maopopo ʻole o ke kanaka i hoʻopiʻi ʻia i ke kumu o kona hoʻokolokolo a hoʻopaʻi ʻia. No laila, he manaʻolana hoʻi ko ke Keʻena e ulu ana ka nui māhele ʻōlelo ma ka pae ʻāina i ola maoli nō hoʻi ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi me ke kaulike ma ka ʻaha hoʻokolokolo.
In the June 2019 issue of Ka Wai Ola, the Office of Equality and Access to the Courts (“OEAC”) for the Judiciary of Hawaiʻi reported on how few certified Hawaiian language interpreters there are in all judicial circuits throughout the state. It was stated, at the time, that there were only six certified Hawaiian language court interpreters in the courts; three on Hawaiʻi island, two on Kauaʻi, one on Maui, and none on Oʻahu.
This year, the first experimental class for Hawaiian language court interpreters was launched by OEAC and Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, to train more Hawaiian language interpreters who could assist in the court system. The class started on Sept. 6, 2023, and was taught by Kaliko Beamer Trapp. The course not only taught the language and terms used in the courts, but also educated the interpreter candidates on the rules of court, proper court protocols and ethical matters when providing interpretation in court.
There are many rules and responsibilities for the interpreter to learn, and many tests to demonstrate that the interpreter candidate possesses the requisite knowledge. Therefore, a focus on these various topics in the class was necessary so that the interpreter candidates would appreciate the significance of this work and the necessity of interpreters to the Hawaiian language speaking community.
This article was originally published in the February 1, 2024, edition of Ka Wai Ola. NHLC partners with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to publish an article in Ka Wai Ola each month that responds to community questions. You can access this article on the Ka Wai Ola website here.
Ask NHLC provides general information about the law. Ask NHLC is not legal advice. You can contact NHLC about your legal needs by calling NHLC’s offices at 808-521-2302.