In meeting with the wonderful artist/scholar Laura Ruby today, we were talking about how the Hawaiians, once exposed to the concept of literacy by the missionaries, set about very quickly to write down their legends, stories, and practices in Hawaiian, and that written Hawaiian became an important means of cultural transmission in the mid-1800s. It wasn't until quite a bit later that English began to supercede Hawaiian.
I found a poem fragment today in an article on Friel:
from "Mise Eire" by Eevan Boland
a new language
is a kind of scar
and heals after a while
into a passable imitation
of what went before.
Outside History. New York: Norton, 1990. 78-79, qtd. in "It's the Same Me, Isn't It?': The Language Question and Brian Friel's Translations". By: Baker, Charles, Midwest Quarterly, Spring 2000 (41.3).