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SAY IT IN TE REO

By Jim Webber

Don’t know what to say in our other official language?
Speaking Maori is a skill waiting to be learned by most non-Maori. And by many Maori, too, although there are many more speakers of “Te Reo Maori” (the Maori language) today than, say, 40 years ago, thanks to good learning programmes.
Here are a couple of simple greetings to get you interested:
“Kia ora”
“Tena koe”
“Kia ora” (kee-ah awra) is the universal, all-purpose Maori greeting — and more: It can mean “stay well”, “thank you” and “helllo” in an informal way.
If you bump into a couple of friends you can say “kia ora kia ora” in a friendly way. If someone does something for you, give them a “kia ora” to say thanks for that.
Tena koe” (ten-ah-kaw-e [with the “e” as in “egg”]) is a more formal “helllo”.
It is a greeting. It means “greetings to you”, and it is a beginning for a whole raft of specific greetings, such as “tena koe e hoa” (“greetings, friend”) and “tena koe e Hemi” (“greetings, Hemi”).
Practise with these two! Any time you meet someone you know, say “Kia ora” or even “kia ora e hoa” or “kia ora e Fred“.
Or, if you’re introduced to a Maori, then feel safe and correct in saying “Tena koe” or “tena koe e koro” (if he is an elderly male).

Lesson No 2……….more

Lesson No 3 ………more

Maori Proverbs

Updated 18th November 2009

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