Kia ora! Greetings to learn for Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori, Maori Language Week

By Rhonwyn Newson

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The theme of this year's Maori language week is 'Te Kupu o te Wiki' - 'The Word of the Week'. This is part of the underlying theme of Maori Language Week, 'Arohatia te Reo - cherish the language'.

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the establishment of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori (the Maori Language Commission).

There are 100 Maori words every New Zealander should know, according to New Zealand History online. Today, we will list greetings. To view the full list, visit New Zealand History online.

E noho ra Goodbye (from a person leaving)

Haere ra Goodbye (from a person staying)

Haere mai Welcome! Come!

Hei kona ra Goodbye (less formal)

Kia ora Hi! G'day! (general informal greeting)

Morena (Good) morning!

Nau mai Welcome! Come!

Tena koe Formal greeting to one person

Tena korua Formal greeting to two people

Tena koutou Formal greeting to many people

Tena tatou katoa Formal inclusive greeting to everybody present, including oneself

Pronunciation

The following English equivalents are a rough guide to pronouncing vowels in Maori:

- a as in far
- e as in desk and the first 'e' in where; it should be short and sharp
- i as in fee, me, see
- o as in awe (not 'oh!')
- u as in sue, boot

There are fewer consonants, and only a few are different from English:

'R' should not be rolled. It is pronounced quite close to the sound of 'l' in English, with the tongue near the front of the mouth.

'T' is pronounced more like 'd' than 't', with the tip of the tongue slightly further back from the teeth

'Wh' counts as a consonant; the standard modern pronunciation is close to the 'f' sound. In some districts it is more like an 'h'; in others more like a 'w' without the 'h'; in others again more like the old aspirated English pronunciation of 'wh' ('huence' for whence)

'Ng' counts as a consonant and is pronounced like the 'ng' in 'singer'. It is not pronounced like the 'ng' in 'finger', i.e., Whangarei is pronounced Far-n(g)ah-ray (not Fong-gah-ray); Tauranga is pronounced Tow-(to rhyme with sew) rah-n(g)ah (not Tow-rang-gah).

- nzherald.co.nz

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