Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) is here and it’s the perfect time to get more involved in your community by learning a bit more about Aotearoa’s second official language.
Last week, we gave you a few tips on how to promote te reo in your workplace. But there’s no reason why you should stop learning about Māori culture once you leave the office.
Because Z is for New Zealand, here are a few easy ways to experience Māori culture and te reo when out and about in your community. If you’ve never tried te reo before, don’t worry! It’s all about giving it a go, and you’ll soon find that people are happy to try speaking it with you.
Rima (five) ways to make the most out of te Wiki o te Reo Māori
1. Get out and about
To gain some real exposure to the wonders of te reo, grab the whānau or some friends and go see a Māori performance or kapa haka. Contact your local museum, music venues, council, Iwi radio station or marae and ask if they know about any Māori events happening in your area. The Māori Language Commission lists major Māori events and promotions on its website, so that’s a good place to start.
2. Turn on the telly or radio
Māori Television has plenty of awesome shows, docos and movies in te reo. See how much you can follow and write down any words you don’t understand so you can learn them later. Prefer the wireless? Iwi radio stations are still going strong, so you can tune in and listen to others speak te reo when you’re driving, walking to work, doing the washing up and going about your day.
3. Kōrero Māori
Speak te reo as much as you can. Use it to greet, thank and say goodbye to people you meet in everyday life. It’s an easy way to use te reo and you’ll be surprised by how many people know the language too! Try it at work, in stores, on the phone, with friends and whānau, and mix it into your English and any other languages you speak. Easy phases to begin with are kia ora (Hello/Thanks/Good luck!) and ka kite anō (See you again).
4. Take a class
Want to really up your game? Find a class in te reo through your local university, community organisation, school or marae. One of the best things about a language class is you’ll meet other like-minded people who you can kōrero Māori (speak Māori) and practise with. Or, if you’d prefer to teach yourself, there are some great online Māori language courses on Māori Language.net and the Toku Reo website.
5. Organise a feed
Kai brings everyone together. Organise a hangi, BBQ or boil-up with your local community or workplace. Have a chat to a local community organisation like your nearest church, scout club, bowling club or marae, and see if they’re keen to host it. If everyone chips in, it’s an easy and fun way to have a big feed and get to know one another better. It’s also another great excuse to practise your te reo with everyone!
Z love getting behind Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and making a real effort to learn a waiata and practise new words. Learning a new language is never easy, but if you get stuck in and give it a go, you’ll be speaking Māori in no time.
Want to test out your te reo? If you visit any Z site in Wellington during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and order a kawhe (coffee) in Māori, the staff will try to respond back to you in te reo. So start practising now!