Page 1 of 6

Ko Te Marae Reo Maori - The Maori Language Marae

Posted: 2004-12-10, 1:43
by Ariki
Kia Ora Koutou Katoa,

This thread is for all of those who are interested in learning how to speak the Māori language of Aotearoa (NZ).

It is an Eastern Polynesian language in the Austronesian family of languages. It is related to Lea Fakatonga (Tongan,, a Western Polynesian language), reo Māohi (Tahitian), `ōlelo Hawai`i (Hawai`ian), Cook Islands Māori and Vānanga Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Pascuense).

The Māori language uses 15 letters, 5 vowels (which can be lengthened) and 10 consonants. The language employs the most ancient consonant sound in Polynesia in some of the various dialects, the letter 'wh'.

My people, the Māori, come from all over the Pacific, from Tahiti, Sāmoa, Tonga, Tuamotu, Hawai`i, Rapa Nui and various other places. The closest related living language is Cook Islands Māori, and the closest related dead language is Moriori. Settlement of Aotearoa began in 500 A.D. and continued for a thousand years as people fled their various homelands or left in search of new lands and adventures.

It is possible for speakers of NZ Māori to communicate with speakers of CI Māori, however, both are generally considered two distinct languages.

It is an official language of Aotearoa (the indigenous language).

The Māori language is a language based on being euphonic (as Tongan is). That is, it is based on sounding pleasant to the ear of the listener and speaker. Every consonant has a vowel following it (with the exception of 'ng' and 'wh') meaning that there are no consonant clusters.

Those who are interested in studying te reo Māori need only to leave a message. Do join us, and let's learn the Māori language together.

Kia pai tō koutou rā

(may your day be pleasant!)

*marae - traditional gathering area for Polynesians for important activities.

Posted: 2004-12-11, 0:27
by Raza
Could I just ask you, riki to explain abit on the ethnic and language situation in New Zealand. I understand that something like a third of NZ's population is Maori or a mixture Maori and other ethnic groups. But out of those who identify themselves as Maori or indigenous New Zealanders, how many are able to converse in Maori or have some knowledge of it?

Also, what sort of programs are being taken place in New Zealand to maintain and create awareness in general of the Maori language in New Zealand.


Posted: 2004-12-11, 2:17
by Ariki
There are 180,000 speakers of Māori, with a further 100,000 who understand the language to some degree.

Programs such as those being offered by Te Wānanga O Aotearoa are being offered to educate people about the language see

You can receive an education entirely in the Māori language from pre-schools (called Kohanga Reo, Language Nests) to Kura Kaupapa Māori all the way to university levels.

The only thing that prevents your average tauiwi (foreigner) from knowing reo Māori is that they don't actively seek out to learn it (and surprising as it is, te reo Māori is the only language that is recognised in law as being an 'official' language, as English is only a defacto language). That is, it's only the laziness to learn the language from the tauiwi staying in NZ is what prevents them from learning (as all Māori language courses are offered for free at community colleges, and the arareo program offered by Te Wānanaga O Aotearoa is also free).

*Te Wānanga O Aotearoa = The University of New Zealand. Set up by Māori, for Māori and Tauiwi alike with a Māori approach to education.

Posted: 2004-12-11, 2:26
by projetdefleur
I think I'll keep a watch on all the polynesian language threads that have been started :) they all seem so interesting!

Posted: 2004-12-12, 6:55
by Melime
Kia ora. :)

I'm interested. Being from NZ, I can manage number, colours, and basic pronounciation. :) (We had lessons at primary school, but they weren't done in a very organised fashion). I've also looked at a grammar book a bit, and the way the language is arranged is fascinated.

Plus, now we have Maori television, I'd actually have occasion to hear the language. :)

Posted: 2004-12-12, 6:57
by Ariki
Kia Ora Melime,

are you pākehā/tauiwi? or tangata māori (polynesian)? Just curious :)

Nō whea mai koe? Where are you from?

aroha nui

nā Riki

Posted: 2004-12-12, 11:21
by Junesun
I'm also very interested. Count me in!

Posted: 2004-12-12, 20:17
by E}{pugnator
Oops, forgot to say that I'm interested ;) .

I've been interested in Polinesian languages for long, but didn't have any opportunities to learn them. Maaori is my priority, but I'll keep an eye at the other threads as well.

Posted: 2005-01-10, 8:57
by Ariki
Tēnā Koutou Katoa

Nō Ngāti Whānaunga rātou ko Ngāti Pāoa ko Ngāti Apakura au,
Ko Moehau rāua ko Taupiri ngā maunga
Ko Waihou rāua ko Waikato ngā awa
Ko Tainui te waka

He mihi potopoto tēnei ki a koutou,

Nau mai hāere mai ki kōnei

Nō reira

Tēnā koutou tēnā koutou tēnā koutou katoa

How to make the macrons 'appear'
1/ To make the macrons appear, make sure you change the board style to "redIce", click here
2/ The following codes will add the line above the vowel -
Ā = &# 256; (with no spaces between the # and the first digit)
ā = &# 257;
Ē = &# 274;
ē = &# 275;
Ī = &# 298;
ī = &# 299;
Ō = &# 332;
ō = &# 333;
Ū = &# 362;
ū = &# 363;

Tohutō (macrons) are important as they mark vowel length. A vowel with a macron is pronounced twice as long as a vowel with no macron.

I just want to say for those of you who are reading you've just taken the first big step to learning another language. I want you to know what you are doing is notable and honourable and the Māori people will love you for it.

I want this group to be a Kōhanga Reo, a language nest. That is, a place where we can all learn and value what each of us has to share.

I will be acting as the kaiako (instructor, teacher) for these lessons.

As for homework, feel free to submit homework to my pm box or publish them here for everyone to see....either way I'll mark it :).

To begin....

The letters are

A, E, I, O, U (the vowels, which can be lengthened)

H, K, M, N, NG P, R, T, W, WH (the consonants)


This is pronounced the same as the ng in singer (without the si or the er part).

The 'wh' is a soft 'f' sound, and not the hard 'f' sound heard in English.

Pronunciation Guide

All consonants are how you would pronounce them in English, however, the 'r' is pronounced as an 'r/d' sound and not a 'r/l' (rolled Japanese r) nor is it trilled as in Spanish. P is more of a p/b sound and the t can be pronounced as a 'ts' depending on which vowels follow it. However, an English pronunciation of p and t is ok, but not as good as the real 'Māori' one .

The vowels are pronounced as you would pronounce them in Spanish, Japanese, Hawai`ian, Tahitian, Tongan etc.

A = Ah
E = Eh
I = EE
O = AW
U = OO

You can remember the pronounciation by this silly sentence -

Ah they eat walls too?

Each lesson will consist of a dialogue, with a Māori and an English version, as well as explainations of what each part of it means. Following the dialogue there will be a vocabulary list, and some homework exercises.


Waka : Tēnā koe, ko wai tōu ingoa?
Riu : Tēnā koe, ko Riu tōku ingoa, ko wai tōu ingoa?
Waka : Ko Waka tōku ingoa, nō hea koe?
Riu : Nō Rarotonga au, nō hea koe?
Waka : Nō Rapa Nui au, kei te hiakai koe?
Riu : Kāo, kei te hiawai au
Waka : Haere mai ki roto
Riu : Kāo, Kei te haere atu au ki te umu i te oneone, e haere koe?
Waka : Āe, e haere atu au ki te umu
Riu : Ka kite anō au i a koe i reira, kia ora rā
Waka : Āe, ka kite anō au i a koe hei reira ā te ahiahi nei, kia ora rā.

Waka : Hey, what's your name?
Riu : Hey, my name is Riu, what's yours?
Waka : My name is Vaka, where are you from?
Riu : I'm from Rarotonga, where are you from?
Waka : I'm from Rapa Nui, are you hungry?
Riu : No, but I'm dying for water
Waka : Come inside,
Riu : No thanks, I have to go to the umu at the beach, are you going?
Waka : Yes, I'll be going to the umu
Riu : I'll see you again there, see you
Waka : Yes, I'll see you again there this afternoon, bye.

kia ora/ tēnā koe (to one person)- greetings

What is your name?

Ko wai tōu ingoa?

Ko Ariki tōku ingoa.

Ko wai tōu ingoa mōkai Tāne Ariki??

Ko Riki tōku ingoa mōkai.

Where are you from?

Nō whea/hea koe?

I'm from Aotearoa (The North Island)

Nō Aotearoa au.

Pēhea - How

To say how are you in Māori you say -

Kei te pēhea koe? How are you?

You might reply -

Kei te pai au - I'm good
Kei te kino au - I'm bad
Kei te tino kino au - I'm really bad
Kei te tino hiakai au - I'm really hungry

If you want to ask a group of people how they are, you say -

Kei te pēhea koutou katoa?? How are all of you?

What if you wanted to say 'this morning/afternoon/tonight/today'?

You would say -

Kei te pēhea koe i te ...(time).... nei


Kei te pēhea koe i te awatea nei?

How are you this midday (no English equivalent).

He Kupu Hou - New Words

Kia Ora - Hi, bye
E, tēnā koe - Hey, greetings
Koe - you (singular)
Kōrua - you two (dual)
Koutou - you (plural)
Au/hau/wau - I/me
Katoa - All
Auē - Interjection of sadness
Kaiako - Teacher
Māori - Polynesian
hiakai - Hungry
hiawai - Thirsty (for water)
Koa - Joy, happy
Ātaahua - beautiful
Matenga - death, sickness
ata - morning
awatea - midday
ahiahi - afternoon
pō - night
noho - sit
tomo - enter
Haere mai - welcome
tika - correct
mea - thing
Ināianei - now
Ākuanei - soon
Āe - yes
Kāo - no
Ingoa - name
Ingoa mōkai- nickname
Pai - good
Kino - bad
Tino kino - really bad
Pēhea - how

Homework -

To maintain what you learn, it's important for you to do this part, as it allows you to put in to practice what you have learnt from the lesson. Please present these to the class.

1/Pretend you live in Hangaroa, and you have met a stranger on the other side of town, attending to their garden and you want to say hello. Start up a conversation with this stranger, ask how they are and where they are from.

2/Play the part of the stranger. Invite the person you played before in to your house and show them Polynesian hospitality. It's not what you have to offer, it's how you offer it.[/color]

Posted: 2005-01-10, 21:52
by bluechiron
Here's my attempt. I tried to combine the two assignments, so I hope it makes some sense.

So far I cannot figure out the macrons (I don't have an extended keyboard to use the tricks you suggested) but I'll work on it. It's going to look ugly, but I doubed the macron vowels.

A: Ataaahua ahiahi, ko wai toou ingoa?
B: Teenaa koe, ko Juan teeku ingoa, ko wai toou?
A: Ko Linda tooku, noo whea koe?
B: Noo Manila au, noo whea koe?
A: Noo Hangaroa au. Ko wai toou ingoa mookai?
B: Ko Juanito. Peewhea koe?
A: Pai, (but) whiawai au.
B: Tapoko mai! Haaere mai, noho mai. (gives water)
A: (thank you). Kia ora raa.

Posted: 2005-01-11, 19:07
by E}{pugnator

Could you provide a literal word-by-word translation for each sentence, besides the correct one?

Are there articles in maaori, and which are they?

Posted: 2005-01-12, 6:30
by Guest
Kia Ora,

Um as for the literal translation I'll think of putting that in future lessons, but for now, I think the correct English form should be enough.

In learning a language naturally you should mimic what a fluent speaker says. If I give you the literal translations it will only serve to confuse you because I haven't explained particles yet.

And yes, Māori uses articles. I call them the 'THE' words. They will be gradually introduced.

Trust me, Māori translated literally in to English sounds and looks funny.

Um, if you can't make the macrons appear, do as bluechiron1 suggested, double them. Many older Māori publications use the double vowel system.

Just a little note also, everyone has one week to submit answers then I will I correct them (as necessary). Each month there will be three structured lessons and one lesson will be general conversations.

I will be covering the grammatical aspects as time goes on.

Posted: 2005-01-12, 12:57
by Luís
As for the macrons...

You can go to and download SC Unipad, which is a Unicode editor. You can use it to type all kinds of languages. The good thing about it is that it comes with virtual keyboards. This means that if you select the Russian keyboard option, and press the A on your keyboard, you'll get ф, which is the corresponding Cyrillic letter on a Russian keyboard (not the corresponding letter to Latin A, but on the keyboard). It doesn't come with a Maori keyboard though... but the good news is you can make your own keyboard layouts! So, I grabbed a US keyboard layout and added the macrons. So, in this version I made, if you want to type ā, all you need to do is type (Right) ALT+ A, ē is (Right) ALT+E and so on...
After you install the editor, just download the "Polynesian" keyboard from hereand load it to your editor. Then you can start typing easily and when you're finished, just copy paste the result to the forum, which is fully Unicode compliant. I hope this helped :)

Posted: 2005-01-12, 13:30
by Car
I was wondering yesterday if it would be possible to type the macrons with Unipad and now you come up with this. :) Thanks!

A little test: āēūīō

Posted: 2005-01-16, 14:25
by E}{pugnator
My attempt (I don't really have a clue how to do it)

- Kia ora! Kei te pēwhea koe?
- Kei te pai au. Kei te pēwhea koe?
- Kei te pai au. Nō whea koe?
- Nō Auckland au. Nō whea koe?
- Nō Rarotonga au. Kia ora!
- Kia ora!

- Kei te whiawai koe?
- Āe, whiawai au.
- Hāere mai ki roto.
- Kia manuia.

Posted: 2005-01-17, 5:25
by projetdefleur
I sent this as a PM to riki, but here's what I did for the HW. I did single-sided conversations, and it seems I may have been the only one :oops:

"Kia ora! Kei te pēhea koe?"
"Kei te pai au. Ko wai tōu ingoa?"
"Ko Ian Tuten tēku ingoa. Nō hea koe?"
"Nō Hangaroa au."
"Āe, kia ora!"

"Hāere mai, koe tomo mai! Ināianei, koe noho mai! Koe matewai?"
I'm not sure what else to say in this one :P

Posted: 2005-01-20, 4:01
by Ariki
Kia Ora Anō!

This is the second lesson for those of you who wish to learn how to speak te reo Māori. These lessons are designed
to help learn how to speak basic Māori. The lessons will always have a 'he kupu hou' (new words) section that will help
add more words to your vocabulary for the homework exercises. There are also two short sections on articles and tense markers.

Just some corrections on the homework....

These corrections are meant to serve as a basis for all of you to learn from your mistakes and to move on. All the submissions were well done!

A: Ataahua ahiahi......

I'm not sure what you meant by ataaahua ahiahi....But I'm sure you meant kia ora/tēnā koe i te pō nei? Good evening?

Just a word on macrons - make sure you type in the right number combination, others words like my (tāku) will come up as tēku. And yes, even I the kaiako am having troubles with getting them to come up properly too.


And yes, single sided conversations are ok!

The correction below is how you would say it in Māori. Due to the limited vocab and the fact that I haven't gone through tenses yet, all the submissions so far have been good

"Hāere mai, koe tomo mai! Ināianei, koe noho mai! Koe matewai?"

Haere mai, tomo mai koe! noho mai! Kei te matewai koe?

(not sure what you meant by inā to elaborate? plus your post got deleted by accident...aroha mai! sorry!)

Lesson 2

Ko Te Umu/Hāngi- The Umu / Hāngi

Riu : Kia ora koe e hoa,
Waka : Kia ora
Riu: E hoa, noho mai
Waka : Kei hea te kai?
Riu : kei te tunu tonu rātou i te kai
Waka : He aha tā rātou e tunu ana?
Riu : He kūmara, he hōiho, he poke, he kau hoki tā rātou e tunu ana!
Waka : E reka!
Riu : Kei te mōhio koe i te wā e hoa?
Waka : Kāore au e mōhio ana i te wā
Riu : Kua haere kē koe ki te whare hoko?
Waka : Kāo, he aha ai?
Riu : Ā, e mateinu ana au.
Vaka : Kua haere kē atu a Hine ki te whare hoko, kei te hoko mai ia he inu
Riu : Ka pai! Me hoki mai ia ākuanei
Waka : Ira! E tae ia ākuanei
Riu : He tamāhine ātaahua ia
Waka : Āe, tokotoru āna tamariki
Riu : Auē
Hine : Tēnā kōrua, ānei ngā kai me ngā inu.
Waka : Kia ora
Hine (ki a Riu): Nō hea koe?
Riu : Nō Rarotonga au, nō hea koe?
Hine : He tangata māori au o te whenua nei. Ko wai tōu ingoa?
Riu : Ko Riu tōku ingoa, ko wai tōu ingoa?
Hine : Ko Hine tōku ingoa.

Riu : Hey friend!
Waka : Hey!
Riu : Friend, sit by me
Waka : Where is the food?
Riu : It's still being cooked
Waka : What are they cooking?
Riu : They are cooking kണmara, horse, poke and cow too!
Waka : Nice!
Riu : Do you have the time?
Waka : Nah, I don't have the time
Riu : Have you already gone to the shop?
Waka : Nah, why is that?
Riu : Ah, I'm thirsty
Waka : Hine has already gone off to the shop, she's buying some drinks
Riu : Good! She must return soon
Waka : There! She will arrive soon
Riu : She's a beautiful looking lady
Waka : Yeah, she's got three children
Riu : Aue
Hine : Greetings you two, here's the food and the drink (Waka)
Waka : Thanks
Hine (to Riu): Where are you from?
Riu : I'm from Rarotonga, where are you from?
Hine : I'm a native from this island. What is your name?
Riu : My name is Riu, what is your name?
Hine : My name is Hine

Verb Phrases

Māori is a VSO language - Verb - Subject - Object. For example = E haere(verb) atu ana ahau(subject) ki te tāone (town) = I'm(subject) going(verb) to town(object)

Very rarely do you hear sentences in SVO. VSO is the preffered order in Māori and Rapa Nui.

Tense Markers

I (simple past)
E (simple future, imperative)

e.g. I kaukau ia i te awatea nei = He/she swam this midday
I kai = ate, i noho = sat
E hoki mai ia āpōpō = He/she will return tomorrow
E kai = will eat, e noho = will sit

Kei te (present tense) e.g. kei te haere atu au ki reira = I'm going to that (previously mentioned) place
E....ana (present tense continuous, past tense continuous) e.g. e kaukau ana au = I'm swimming, e kaukau ana au inananhi = I swam yesterday
Kua (recent past tense, to have, has, had) e.g. kua kōrero atu au ki te kaiako = I have spoken to the teacher

Kia (command) = kia wawe! be quick!
Me (weak imperative) = me kai koe - you should eat
E noho! = Sit !


The articles in Māori are fairly simple and easy to learn. We will start with the basics (te, ngā, a and he)

Te (definitive, number, non-person, class) = the (singular) = te hua manu(the egg)
Ngā (definitive, number, non-person) = the (plural) e.g. ngā hua manu = the eggs
A (definitive, non-number, person) = no English equivalent, used before first names e.g. he nui a Aroha = Aroha is big
He (infinitive, non-number, non-person) = a, some e.g. he hua manu= an egg, some eggs

1/ Translate the following

A)I haere mātou ki te whare o te tamatoa ko Manu Koa. I inu wai mātou.

B)Āpōpō, e tangi mai ngā manu i te ata

C) E Pua! Whakarongo mai ki tōu whaea!

2/ Write up a short passage asking where (whea/hea) things are (present tense = kei). You may need to refer to the dialogue in this lesson to get ideas.

He Kupu Hōu
kē = already
rāua = they (dual)
rātou = they (plural)
ika = fish
kūmara = sweet potato
hōiho = horse
maika = banana
kau = cow (English borrowing)
reka = sweet, delicious, nice (of taste)
Mōhio = to know
Wā = Time
Kai = food
whare hoko = shop
hoko = to buy, to sell, to trade, to barter
ākuanei = soon
wahine = female
tāne = male
matua = father (parent)
whaea = mother
whenua = land, placenta
tamaiti = child
pai = nice, lovely, good
himene = hymn
whanga = bay, harbour
kia ora = thankyou
āpōpō = tomorrow
hua manu = egg
kiko = meat
oneone = beach
rama = torch
noho = to sit, stay, live
kai = to eat

Posted: 2005-01-21, 12:42
by E}{pugnator
Kia ora!

I have news. I have bought the book Beginner's Maori from K. T. Harawira and I liked it a lot, especially for its price and the way it introduces grammar. As you may know, riki, it doesn't mark the long vowels, so I'd like to know if I can start posting the maaori words and sentences here so you can tell me where the macrons are.

Keen to learn!

Posted: 2005-01-27, 22:22
by Steren
Kia Ora koutou katoa!

I've been looking around for online Maaori language resources for a while now when i happened upon this. I'm really interested in learning, i'm English with no actual links to Aotearoa or Maaori culture, but i'm very keen to learn. I hope it's ok if i join in with these lessons? I've had a go at the first homework set, i'm not sure if it's right but here goes!

Lizzie: Tēna koe, kei te pēwhea koe?
Rawiri: Tēna koe, kei te pai au. Ko wai tōu ingoa?
Lizzie: Ko Lizzie tōku ingoa. Ko wai tōu?
Rawiri: Ko Rawiri tōku ingoa.
Lizzie: Nō whea koe?
Rawiri: Nō Rapa Nui au, nō whea koe?
Lizzie: Nō Hanagaroa au.

Rawiri: kei te whiakai koe?
Lizzie: āe, kei te tino whiakai au.
Rawiri: Hāere mai ki roto.
Lizzie: Kia ora.
Rawiri: Kei te whiawai koe?
Lizzie: Kao, kei te pai au.

There you go, the macrons are showing up on my computer so i hope they do when i post this!

Lizzie :D

Posted: 2005-02-10, 0:35
by ego
Kia ora

Riki asked me to tell you that he has been busy the past days but there will be a new class next week.