This is Maori Language week, from July 27th to August 2nd. Every year, for the last 30 years, we have celebrated Maori Language week. This is the time to learn Te Reo Maori. You can learn 100 Maori words from the website: www.koreromaori.co.nz
Maori is an official language in New Zealand. Some MPs use Maori when they speak in Parliament so they need an interpreter. Government departments often translate English notices into Maori.
In the early 1970s, many Maori were worried that their language would die out. When the old people who could speak the language died, Maori were worried that nobody would be able to speak the language. They organized Kohango Reo – language nests – for small children to learn Maori from old people. Children and their parents have been learning Maori from the old people for the last 30 years.
We now have many Kohango Reo, some Maori language schools, Maori radio and Maori TV. But it is not all good news. It is hard to keep another language alive when most people speak English. This week is about using Maori in the community to keep the language alive.