Kia Ora Māori Language Week, we meet again. A time for New Zealand to get behind an epic cause and help keep te reo Māori thriving in Aotearoa. If you’re a seasoned professional at dropping Māori words into your convos on the daily, then we salute you. If you’re a newbie looking to join the week-long party, we've got you covered with eight ways to get around Māori language and culture this September.
Here at Urban List we are proud to be Kiwis and love a good chat, so leveling up our kōrero seems like an opportunity too good to be missed. In true Urban List form we’re backing ourselves with four promises this week, and bringing you a list of insider tips so you can live your best Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.
So what are you waiting for? Fire up the group chat and let's tīmata!
Urban List New Zealand Are
#1 Shaking Up Our Socials
We've bookmarked the Māori Dictionary and are challenging our editor to shake up our pae pāpāho pāpori (social media) this week. We're swapping food for kai, mouth-watering for kakato and much more. Make sure to hit follow on our Facebook and Instagram to get your daily dose of te reo Māori in every social post this week.
#2 Introducing Our Team
To introduce yourself in Māori is less about a handshake and more about your heritage. A mihimihi (introduction) is all about your whakapapa, a term referring to people and places that are important to you. This week we’re swapping out our email signatures to introduce ourselves in Māori and getting around Pepeha, a beautiful website that helps you to craft your own introduction.
#3 Getting Around Macrons
Macrons are essential to how we pronounce te reo Māori—it is the subtle difference in how you emphasise a vowel sound. For example, A is simply pronounced 'Ah' whereas Ā is pronounced 'Ahh.' We've added macrons to the text on our site to ensure we are doing our part in contextually naming our Māori places and words appropriately. Bonus tip: to type with macrons on your phone or keyboard, hold down the vowel key and a set of macrons will appear above—the more you know right?
#4 Subbing Out Our Words On The Reg
To prove we know how to challenge ourselves beyond eating endless burgers, doughnuts and hunting down the latest and greatest, we’re personally committing to swapping out five words each and replacing them with their Māori equivalent all week long. Come at us emails, phone calls, texts and conversations—we're ready for you.
Here's How You Can Get Behind It
#1 Swap Out Some Kupu ā-Kaupapa (Words)
Join the cause and ka huri nga kupu e rima too. We’ve decided that five is the magic number for us but if you're feeling ambitious then go forth and do you. Google Translate works a treat for translating from English to Māori and vice versa, or check out our Instagram stories where we'll be sharing daily doses of te reo inspiration this week.
#2 School Yourself On Te Reo
We all remember learning te reo Māori at school, but it's time to raise the bar beyond 'mā is white' and enroll in one of the many te reo courses all over Aotearoa. Unitec offers up free evening classes, Wellington High School offer a discounted course for New Zealand citizens and the Institute of Canterbury have got you covered with short courses.
#3 Get Around The Festivities
In case you missed it, there is a series of hīkoi and hui popping up between September 9–15. If being immersed in our beautiful culture isn't enough to get you there then let us sweeten the deal by telling you that there are stalls, traditional food, activities and cultural performances happening all week long.
#4 Turn Up The Volume
Get online and pre-order yourself Waiata Anthems, a collaboration between some of Aotearoa's biggest artists and most iconic songs, all sung in te reo Māori. We’re just going to name drop Stan Walker, Six60, Sons of Zion, Bec Runga, Shapeshifter and Tiki Taane to name a few.
#5 Tautoko (Support) Local Initiatives
Get behind the people, brands and communities who are doing their part to support Māori Language Week. A like, comment and a share (or two) goes a long way in the online world—and let’s face it, these legends deserve it.
#6 Put A Name To The Object
Download Kupu here for iphone and here for Android which is sponsored by Spark and join the 120,000+ Kiwis who have been snapping and translating since it launched back in 2018. The app is powered by Google technology and knowledge from the Te Aka Māori Dictionary, letting you instantly translate photos of objects into te reo Māori. Now this is what they mean when they say 'a picture says a thousand words,' or in this case, one in te reo Māori.
#7 Switch Up Your Profile Photo
Swap out your social profile or cover photo for the duration of te wiki o te reo Māori to one of these free images thanks to Te Taura Whiri.
#8 Nail The Pronunciation
Let’s make a promise together to pronounce our Māori place names correctly. You may not get it right every time but no one is judging you for trying. Here’s a bit of inspiration from our friends over at Stuff.
Now go forth and live your best lives this week whānau. Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori!
What: Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
When: September 9–15, 2019 with Māori Language Day on September 14
Click here for more information about Māori Language Week