KINETA BOOKER explains why it’s important for adults to learn te reo Māori.
It seems like it’s second nature to my child to incorporate te reo Māori in his everyday chat. It’s what he hears and learns at school, and at daycare before that.
But for me, growing up in South Canterbury in the 1980s, and moving to Christchurch in the 90s, there wasn’t a great deal of te reo at my primary schools, if at all?
Māori Language Week, Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, has just finished for another year, and with its theme: Kia Kaha te Reo Māori – Let’s make the Māori language strong, it’s really inspired me to make a commitment to learn. I want to be a role model for my son, showing him that even though I finished my five years of tertiary education years ago, it doesn’t make me want to stop learning.
Where to start?
My son’s school has a te reo Māori word of the week, te kupu o te wiki. It’s sent each Monday on the school app,and we’re encouraged to use it in conversation at home. If you don’t speak any te reo at home, it’s such a great way to introduce it into your family. You can sign up for your own word of the week, kupu o te wiki, or word of the day, kupu o te rā, by registering at: kupu.maori.nz
There are some great online resources for those who can’t get into a night school or classroom, to learn.
Reobot is a fun way to learn conversational reo. Why not send Reobot a Facebook message and see what happens! facebook.com/tereobot
Māori Language Net has a series of podcasts which teach grammar, as well as colloquialisms to use in everyday conversations. maorilanguage.net/speak-maori
Te Whanake is a great free online resource for independent learning and interaction. tewhanake.maori.nz
Te Wānanga o Raukawa has a free 20-week online course. wananga.com
Good luck, kia waimarie!