Hawaiian Wordle: Learn Hawaiian Words Every Day

Wordle became a worldwide sensation seemingly overnight. It got so big that the New York Times ended up buying it, and yes, we are worried about what this means. Luckily, many spinoffs of Wordle exist, including Airportle, created by Scott’s Cheap flights. My favorite, however, is Panga. Let me tell you all about it!

How Does Hawaiian Wordle Work?

In traditional Wordle, players can pick from 26 letters to form a five-letter word. But Hawaiian is an unusual language with only 13: eight consonants, one of which is the Okina (‘), or a glottal stop, and five vowels. However, Hawaiian also has a diacritical mark (kahakō) that can be applied to any vowel, changing its emphasis.

To make things even more confusing to us non-Hawaiian speakers, Panga has slightly different letters than we are taught in Hawaiian 101 classes. Since Keola Donaghy, the creator, has a Master of Arts in Hawaiian Language and Literature, I trust his approach is the best! 

What I love about Panga is that when you type a word and press ENTER, you see the English definition of the word.

If you guess wrong several times, it will offer a suggestion, which is incredibly helpful if your Hawaiian vocabulary is super basic.

This brings value to the game to non-native speakers. Even a beginner like myself can have some fun putting letters together and learning new words! If you wish to learn some more Hawaiian words to get better at Panga, try finding an online Hawaiian class or start learning Hawaiian on Duolingo.

I discovered Panga and learned about the impressive Keola Donaghty via the Hawaii Bulletin. If you are interested in Hawaii-based science, technology, startups, and entrepreneurs, I highly recommend subscribing! Every email I receive is a wealth of information. Mahalo, Ryan Kawailani Ozawa, for creating this one-of-a-kind platform!

Don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel, it is full of our adventures on Maui and more!


  1. Aloha kāua, mahalo for the kind thoughts. Yes, Māori has a different system, they use the ng and wh where we don’t and we have the ‘okina where they don’t. I have had some exchanges with the fellow who developed Panga. I’m using a totally different code bases (open source) for Hulihua, but both work very well. I have some improvements planned as soon as I have time to implement them. Mahalo again.


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