Unicode on the Web

Hale Kuamo‘o began experimenting with Unicode on Kualono back in 1998, however, support for the Unicode technology in web browsers was not as strong back then. At this time, it is the only technology that we employ in order to properly display the Hawaiian language on the World Wide Web and in most other computer programs.

The table below shows the correct Unicode values for the ‘okina and vowel-macron (kahakō) combinations, as well as the HTML escape sequences used to represent these characters. It also displays the escape sequences that can be used to display the ‘okina and kahako if you have Hale Kuamo‘o's HI Fonts, as well as the character values for these within the Mac and Windows font sets.

Unicode Value Escape Sequence Unicode Character HI Font Character HI Font Escape Sequence HI Font Mac # HI Font Win #
U+0100 Ā Ā Ä Ä 128 196
U+0101 ā ā ä ä 138 228
U+0112 Ē Ē Ë Ë 232 203
U+0113 ē ē ë ë 145 235
U+012A Ī Ī Ï Ï 236 207
U+012B ī ī ï ï 149 239
U+014C Ō Ō Ö Ö 133 214
U+014D ō ō ö ö 154 246
U+016A Ū Ū Ü Ü 134 220
U+016B ū ū ü ü 159 252
U+02BB ʻ ʻ ÿ ÿ 216 255

It should be noted that the ‘okina appears in several locations in the Unicode spec. However, the correct character is the one that is shown above.

In order to use these characters and have the ‘okina and kahakō show properly, you also need to add the following line in the HTML header of every document:

<meta charset="utf-8">

This code lets the browser know that the page contains UTF-8 content.

Most contemporary web browsers support Unicode, however, browsers on older versions of the Mac and Windows operating systems may not display the language Hawaiian properly.