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City launches “Word on the Street” campaign to update street signs on O‘ahu

HONOLULU – In recognition of Mahina ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language Month) the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts (MOCA) is highlighting history, culture, and language by shining a light on Honolulu’s street signs. Use of modern diacritical markings in our street signs is inconsistent and, at times, names of people and places are spelled incorrectly or misuse the ʻokina and kahakō. It is vital that we move toward Hawaiian language parity with English, as both are official State languages.

To that end, MOCA is engaging public support and kōkua in taking inventory of our street signs through a crowd-sourced social media project called “Word on the Street.” The goal is to solicit our community’s help in identifying and cataloging street signs that require updating. We are asking the public to take a look at the streets signs where they live, work, and play. Do you notice a misspelling? A missing or missplaced ʻokina or kahakō? MOCA wants to know.

To participate, individuals can snap a photo of a street sign and upload it to the Mayor’s Office of Cultural and the Arts’ Instagram @hnl_moca and hashtag #WordOnTheStreet – to share their findings. The City will be logging all submissions and creating a master inventory – with the help of culture and language experts – to update spellings of Honolulu’s streets. This updated inventory will then be used in the creation of future signs and in commissioning of replacement signs.

“So much of our history is held in our place names, so it is important for us to assure those names are respected and utilized correctly,” said MOCA Executive Director Makanani Salā.

For more information, comments, or questions – please send via email to:

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