How to edit and use Hawaiian common names?

Is there any way to edit names that are already there other than to add a duplicate yourself? Many Hawaiian taxa already have the Hawaiian names listed on the taxon page, but they never show up by default even when Hawaii is selected as your place. I assume this is because the place isn’t linked. There also isn’t any way to select Hawaiian as a primary language to use for common names even though it’s listed for the names themselves. The result is that a lot of things have names listed that sound rather absurd to someone in Hawaii, where the Hawaiian or pidgin names are widespread in English usage.


welcome to the forum :)

Names already entered into the database can only be edited by a site curator or the person who entered them. This restriction unfortunately had to be added to prevent edit wars about names that were plaguing the site. If you see something that needs editing, please flag the taxa.

There is no way to set a language to show for names. There is an open feature request to do this. You have to either choose the place to prioritize or a language into which the site is translated at which point that becomes the default choice of names. The place setting takes priority over your interface language, so for instance I have my use names from place set to Canada, but usually run the site in Danish. For most species where entered I see the Danish name but if something is set as a name to use in Canada, that will show.


This post is not directly related to your question, but you should probably read it anyway as it has to do with searching for Hawai’ian common names on the site.

Search is tricky and we do it differently in different places. For example, I’m planning on just not indexing the ʻokina for some fields in the search index, which means ʻalae , 'alae , and alae will all return Fulico alai , but not necessarily at the same position in the results, and a search for ʻalae may not return it as the top hit even though it’s an exact match.


As someone who grew up in Hawaii, I agree. Right now the best thing to do would be to add the name and associate the name with Hawaii, which is what I just did for If you go to Account Settings and choose “Hawaii” for your common names place, you’ll see * ʻomilu*. Obviously that’s not great for new users, but it’s tough to cover all of these types of situations.


Yeah that’s what I’ve been doing for some things, but it seems like a lot of unnecessary work when someone already went through the trouble of listing them under Hawaiian language but they can’t actually be displayed anywhere.

There’s a topic about this issue here:

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