Data inspires pride for Pidgin, the language of Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Data inspires pride for Pidgin, the language of Hawaii

Image: Hawaii News Now (File) Image: Hawaii News Now (File)

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
Associated Press

MILILANI, Hawaii (AP) - Recent census data that included Pidgin as a language Hawaii residents speak at home has sparked pride. It also got people talking about its use and the stigma that limits its wider acceptance in the state.

For generations, people have been speaking Pidgin, which borrows from the languages of the Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese and other workers who toiled in sugar plantations.

Local comedian Andy Bumatai has been making daily Pidgin videos that have resonated with those who grew up in Hawaii and are homesick for the sounds of the language.

Pidgin has long been perceived as a form of bad English.

Some see the census numbers as recognition for the language, though the U.S. Census isn't in the business of recognizing languages. Census officials have been counting Pidgin since 1990.

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