Hello my lovely GLNers, I hope the week is treating you well so far! Today I’ve got an interesting translation situation for you, all the way from Hawaii and thanks to Bill, one of our students!
It turns out that in Hawaiian the word “limu” can have a few different translations. Literally, it’s a type of seaweed, but according to Bill, Hawaiians have a much more romantic meaning for it. He explained to me that “Limu means ‘seaweed,’ but the Hawaiians eat many different kinds of seaweed. For example, lipoa, limu kohu, pahe’e, and lipalu. The famous hula song ‘Ka uluwehi o ke kai’ is about the characteristics of these different types of seaweed. However, this song is famous for ‘kao’na,’ or hidden meanings. The song praises the sexual attributes of different lovers and you will have to use your imagination by comparing the textures, fragrances, and colors of various seaweeds to the physical attributes of a lover.”
I never would have guessed! Here’s “Ka uluwehi o ke kai”…take a listen and think about what “limu” could translate to…if anything at all!