Maori Language Week

Tena Koutou. Greetings to all

This coming week we are celebrating Maori Language Week. The special focus this year is using Maori language to support our Olympic athletes: ākina te reo. Each week we can learn a phrase and use it. The phrase for the first week is: kia kaha e hoa ma! Let’s go team! Be strong. Do well.

Tomorrow morning, July 4th, a big parade will be held to celebrate Maori language week. The parade will start at Parliament at 11am and move to Te Papa Tongarewa. Thousands of people are expected.

Why do we need Maori Language week? Te reo (Maori language) will die if we don’t do something to keep it alive. The 2013 census showed that only one in four Maori adults can speak some te reo Maori but only 11% can speak it well. Only 2% of non-Maori can speak te reo. Among Maori, the most proficient speakers are aged over 75 so the future for the language is not good. On the other hand, more young people are learning the language through kohanga reo (pre-school) and Maori language schools. The census showed that 15% of Maori children under 15 could speak te reo. Maori TV and the many Maori radio stations give us a chance to hear te reo spoken.

Listen to Maori Language Week 2014 for more on this topic.

Vocabulary

• focus – centre of attention (compare: focus on a camera)
• Te Papa Tongarewa – the national museum; the Maori words mean ‘container of treasures’
• census – official count of people
• proficient – good ability






3 Comments

  1. Toyota Quang Binh

    My brother recommended I might like this website.
    Thanks!

  2. I’m not sure it will “die”. The number of speakers may decrease. It might become even more endangered. This whole death and survival language is quite interesting.

  3. You are right that it is interesting. It’s a complex issue.

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