Maori Language – New Zealand Culture
The Maori are the indigenous, local people of New Zealand. When you visit New Zealand, you’ll notice that most of the cities and land marks are Maori in origin. So much of the rich Maori culture is immersed in every detail of New Zealand life, including its art, music, food, and traditions; it’s practically everywhere! If you listen carefully, you’ll even hear some of the locals who speak the Maori language; about 23%. The Maori language is considered to be a national taonga, or “treasure.”
The Maori Language Structure
While the long names might sound intimidating, the Maori language is actually very similar to English when it comes to consistent rules. Here’s a quick overview to get you started:
Maori vowel sounds:
A – “ah” E – “eh” I – “ee” O – “oh” U – “oo”
Maori Consonants that are similar to English:
H, K, M, N, P, R, T, and W
Unique Maori consonants that are a little different than English:
Wh – similar to an “f” sound and Ng – like the last part of “hang” except you can use it at the beginning of a word.
Where is the Maori language spoken?
The Maori language is spoken by some of the locals and also on many of the guided tours and cultural experiences all across the country. You might hear it on playing on the radio or on the TV. The Maori people usually quite social and hospitable, so if there’s something you don’t understand, you can always ask.
If somebody says to you, “Kia ora,” then you can say it right back to them. It means, “Hello!” To learn more Maori words, you can check out this link.