Saturday, October 14, 2006

Being Maori

This is from Hone Harawira's newsletter;

You know you're a Maori when ... you go to the ball with your cousin; a nice restaurant is an 'all you can eat' place; you visit the cuzzies, and someone's wearing the clothes you left behind last time; you have brothers or sisters with different mothers or fathers; you’re at a party, and your uncle turns the stereo off and starts playing the guitar; and your older brother makes you cry and you’re the one who gets a hiding for crying.

Maori and Pakeha are different IF we live by generalisations. Trouble is most people have become scared of admitting we are different because that seems to imply better or worse. I am quite happy with different, both having our strengths and weaknesses. But I would love to be able to understand the language.

I've long been interested in learning Maori. Started a course once but it wasn't quite what I had in mind being geared towards helping Maori speak Maori and based on quite rough conversational English. Now I have this new book which comprises short lessons and exercises. The trouble again is that I'm not convinced the author has a thorough understanding of English. That means that a given pronounciation, based on an English example, can be difficult to comprehend. I could be wrong.

Is there any interest out there in my posting some of the lessons? Perhaps one every two or three days? Anybody else want to pick up some more of the language?

I was with a Maori friend yesterday and we were watching a wood pigeon and she was grasping for the Maori word, "" I finished it for her. She too would like to learn te reo and believes it can be picked up to a passable level of comprehension in the space of a year.

There may even be a Maori speaker who reads this blog who could throw some light on any difficulties.

So, is there any interest?


Anonymous said...

There are regular Maori language lessons on Maori TV. It's much better to learn the language by hearing it than by reading it.

Berend de Boer said...

Who has time to watch TV? Yes, would like to pick up a bit of it as well. But I'm also concerned about the correct pronunciation.

English speakers make a mess of Maori, so you need a trustworthy course.