As soon as outlawed by pākehā (non-Māori) New Zealanders, te reo Māori is at present one in all Aotearoa New Zealand’s three official languages (together with English and New Zealand Signal Language). Travellers to New Zealand will discover it’s used in all places: on radio and tv reveals, in newspapers, on Auckland buses…. that’s only for starters. Even New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden is bringing her daughter up bilingual. This is how one can be taught extra about te reo Māori earlier than a go to to NZ.
The significance of te reo Māori
The indigenous language of New Zealand, te reo Māori has lent new phrases and ideas to on a regular basis English, mixing right into a uniquely Kiwi vernacular. Past kia ora (good day), different well-liked phrases pepper conversations like aroha (love), kai (meals), mana (the non secular high quality of an individual or object) and whakapapa (your family tree; the place you come from).
Extra considerably, Māori ideas which have taken root within the nationwide consciousness are additionally partly chargeable for New Zealand’s popularity as one of the stunning and pleasant locations on the planet to dwell, or go to. Kaitiakitanga (guardianship or safety) will imply its pure atmosphere is sorted now for future generations; manaakitanga (hospitality) sees New Zealanders being exceptionally pleasant to guests, so long as they do the appropriate factor; and anybody can turn into whānau (prolonged household). For non-Māori folks, whānau is a bit like ‘my folks’ – past your loved ones, these buddies with whom you could have kinship and shared values, but additionally reciprocal tasks.
Get to know te reo Māori
Te reo Māori is a melodic language, with Polynesian roots. Individuals from Southeast Asia say the vowel and consonant sounds are acquainted: if you happen to’ve spent any time on Indonesian language studying you might be forward of the sport. Romance language audio system even have little bother announcing new Māori phrases, particularly these with Italian, Portuguese or Spanish language abilities (roll these Rs!).
Different guests have recommended it sounds a bit like a mash-up of Finnish and Japanese, so if you happen to’ve had a dabble in both of those, chances are you’ll be in for a nice shock in the case of attempting to make use of some Māori. Eager to be taught extra? There are a number of methods you possibly can be taught te reo Māori, by way of apps, on-line or by taking a course in New Zealand.
You’ll be able to be taught te reo Māori
If you wish to be taught Māori nouns for on a regular basis objects obtain the app Kupu, which works a bit like Shazam however for issues moderately than songs. On-line, Māori Dictionary has a useful translator if you wish to search for a brand new Māori phrase – you’ll discover them in all places in New Zealand from menus to newspapers. Lookup You Tuber Mari Johnson, who has revealed a useful a video on that all-important pronunciation.
Understanding Māori place names
On the bottom you’ll see New Zealand has a mixture of English and Māori place names, although there’s all the time speak of returning the colonial names to the originals. Tūranganui-ā-kiwa sounds a lot better than Poverty Bay (a area on the east coast of the North Island named by Captain Cook dinner). Work has additionally been executed – and is ongoing – to appropriate signage in order that they embody macrons (the horizontal line above a vowel) to point the proper vowel sounds.
Getting pronunciations proper has not all the time been a priority for New Zealand’s pākehā inhabitants, and admittedly some nonetheless discover it a bit disconcerting to be advised they’ve been calling their city by the improper identify their complete lives… There are pockets of resistance to alter, and it’s worthwhile to know in a single’s enthusiasm to get it proper, that there’s a sure degree of disgrace (and pleasure) that many individuals want to beat to have the ability to get on board with the a extra bi-cultural Kiwi future. Taupō, for instance, feels like ‘toe-paw’, not ‘towel-poh’ – however you’ll little question hear a number of pronunciations whenever you’re on the bottom (which may typically make for some complicated conversations).
Understanding just a few key Māori phrases may also shed some poetic gentle on New Zealand place names: Waikaremoana is the Sea (moana) of Rippling (kare) Waters (wai); Rotorua means the Second (rua) Lake (roto). Different high descriptions to be taught are awa (river), mangō (shark), maunga (mountain) and nui (large). And naturally Aotearoa, the Māori identify for NZ, is most frequently translated as ‘Land of the Lengthy White Cloud’.
The story of te reo Māori’s survival was solely attainable by way of the tenacity of New Zealand’s indigenous folks. The result’s the chance now to attach with a tradition wealthy with music, tune, dance, and storytelling – to not point out a depraved sense of humour – that makes NZ all of the extra fascinating as a journey vacation spot. For per week in September annually the entire nation places in an additional effort to make use of extra language throughout Māori Language Week. That is the way you convey again a language that was as soon as susceptible to disappearing.
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