Kia ora, lovely LMB blog readers! It's our privilege to live in a land rich in culture and one of the most beautiful aspects of this nation is the Māori language. My personal journey is in its infancy but what better way to ignite it than by celebrating Māori Language Week.
Mark Your Calendar: September 14th, 12 PM
Everyone from Aotearoa and beyond, to join us in celebrating te reo Māori on September 14th at 12 PM. At this moment, let's pause, reflect, and engage with te reo Māori in any way we can. Whether you choose to kōrero [speak], waiata [sing], pānui [read], or explore in your own unique way, make sure it's in te reo Māori. This special moment marks a significant event in our history—the presentation of the Māori Language Petition to Parliament in 1972, which ultimately led to the creation of what we now know as Te Wiki o te Reo Māori [Māori Language Week]. By participating, we pay homage to the past, celebrate the present, and prepare for the future of te reo Māori.
Learning Te Reo Māori: Making It Accessible
Learning a new language can be a transformative and enriching experience, but we understand that not everyone has the time, resources, opportunity or courage to attend formal classes, whether in person or online. There are numerous ways to learn te reo Māori that fit into your schedule and lifestyle, here are 4 resources you can utilize to begin your te reo Māori journey:
1. Te Aka Māori Dictionary
- This invaluable resource provides definitions, examples in context, and pronunciation audio for te reo Māori words and phrases. It's perfect for looking up meanings, checking spelling, and mastering correct pronunciation.
- Available online [free] and as an app for both Apple and Android devices
- Kupu developed by Spark, is a picture-to-te reo Māori translation app. Simply take a picture, and Kupu will use image recognition to identify objects and provide their Māori translations. It's a user-friendly app that's great for learning new words on the go.
- Download the app for both Apple and Android devices.
3. Waiata Reo Māori Playlist
- I've playing this all week - music plays a crucial role in language learning by training your ears to recognize sounds and rhythms. Listening to waiata [songs] in te reo Māori immerses you in the language's pronunciation and tone. The Waiata Anthems album features well-known songs translated into te reo Māori, and Spotify offers a playlist of 100 waiata in te reo Māori, providing hours of language exposure.
- A playlist full of New Zealand's finest contemporary waiata reo Māori, curated by Te Māngai Pāho and NZ On Air
- Waiata Anthems
4. Activity Books for Kids
- Celebrate Māori Language Week with your children by engaging in simple activities that teach them Māori words and phrases. You can download two free activity books from Te Papa for kids, one focused on pronunciation and the other including word searches, crosswords, colouring pages, and stories.
- Download these free resources online
Te reo Māori is a taonga [treasure] that enriches our lives and connects us to the cultural tapestry of Aotearoa. By exploring these resources and participating in Māori Language Week, you're not only honoring the language but also becoming part of its vibrant, ever-evolving journey. Join with me in embracing the beauty of te reo Māori.