Interpreting King Kamehameha's speechUPDATED 11:07 PM HST Jul 31, 2013Video Transcript
Our story on restoration day has generated several phone calls and emails about the interpretation of King Kamehameha the third's speech. KITV4's Brenton Awa is here to explain ... Kenny -- there are several interpretations of the phrase. The city says that one of those is "the life of the land is RESTORED in righteousness" But a lot of callers didn't agree. SOT "UA MAU KE EA O KA AINA I KA PONO, TRANSLATED... " "THE LIFE OF THE LAND IS PERPETUATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS." SOT "THE LIFE OF THE LAND IS PERPETUATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS." SOT "THE LIFE OF THE LAND IS PERPETUATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS." SOT "THE LIFE OF THE LAND IS PERPETUATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS." Everyone we spoke with on the street knew that phrase -- with the keyword -- perpetuated. 223 - 229 "HAWAIIAN WORDS HAVE LOTS OF MEANINGS BUT THE CONTEXT FRAMES HOW YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORD." Puakea Nogelmeier is a professor of hawaiian language at UH Manoa. He's also a Hawaiian song writer. NATS BUS And the voice on the bus that pronounces all those Hawaiian street names ... That's him too. Nogelmeier says while the city's event dealt with the restoration -- the phrase does not. 637 "NEVER RESTORED, RESTORED IS SOMETHING, I MEAN THERE'S OTHER WORDS THAT WOULD FILL THAT SLOT." 650 "I'M NOT SURE WHERE THAT INTERPRETATION CAME FROM." Nogelmeier says that in 1843 King Kamehameha the third gave a speech to celebrate the return of sovereignty to the Hawaiian Kingdom. 209 - 220 "UA MAU IN THAT PHRASE, UA MAU KE EA MEANS EITHER IS PERMANENT, IS PERPETUAL, IS SALVAGED OR IS SOLID." The Mary Kawena Pukui Hawaiian dictionary says "the life of the land is PRESERVED in righteousness." Nogelmeier says theres many interpretations... 754 "TODAY WE INTERPRET IT AS THE WELL BEING OF HAWAII IS KEPT ALIVE OR KEPT GOING BY OUR GOOD BEHAVIOR." Nogelmeier says the original interpretation was the sovereingty of the land is ongoing because of righteousness. 741 "THE STANDARD INTERPRETATION IS THE LIFE OF THE LAND IS PERPETUATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS. SOMETIME'S THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO PEOPLE IN ENGLISH." The city says its fact finder got the original phrase from the Hawaiian newspaper at the time. It says the original phrase was E MAU ke ea o ka aina I ka pono. And one of the original translations was THE LAND IS RESTORED. It says the phrase was later changed when it became the state motto.