Translation Process and Methodology

Hawaiian Language nūpepa (newspapers) are a treasury of knowledge that document and provide insight to practices, traditions, and knowledge of old Hawaiʻi. We look to our nūpepa as an integral component in directing and educating both the community, and the research team, in our understanding of wai.

The Institute of Hawaiian Language Research Team (IHLRT) spearheaded the translations, led by Puakea Nogelmeier, ʻAnoʻilani Aga, and graduate students Uʻilani Au and Kilika Bennett.  Approximately 80 articles were translated in the process of studying Puʻuloa and Kona. We sat down with ʻAnoʻi to understand and document the complexity behind translating nūpepa, and the methods used to obtain relevant ʻike:

1. Start with “water” and “fresh water”
2. Create a list of possible search terms
3. Search Papakilo Database for search terms
     –   If Papakilo does not have content, search
     –   If content cannot be found, search for an original copy from a collection.
4. Create a spreadsheet with hits from each search term

5. Filter hits into categories (e.g. articles, advertisements, pages)
6. Go through each article to ensure the content is relevant to research

For a wahi (place)-based focus, the following methods were used:
7. Transition from general search terms to place-based search terms
8. Turn to physical maps for place-based search terms
–  Obtain older maps with appropriate place names that match place names in nūpepa
9.  Search Papakilo/nūpepa/collections with appropriate place names

After obtaining relevant articles and information:
10. Meet with researchers to determine what translations and/or study areas are most appropriate for their needs.
11. Translate pertinent articles and provide summaries and references
12. Maintain accurate citations; distribute for public use and record

Read more about the IHLRT’s translation work HERE (link to download PDF)