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Do Māori Made Easy with me: Week one – pronunciation

She’s not a teacher or a fluent speaker – she just wants to practise te reo Māori with you! Join Leonie Hayden as she works through the first four weeks of Scotty Morrison’s Māori Made Easy thanks to Penguin Random House NZ (buy it here).

Kia ora e te whānau, welcome to MME with me! I know a lot of us have this little green book on our shelves. Maybe you bought it and never got round to opening it? Or you started the exercises but life took over. It happens!

Many of us have a bit of extra time on our hands over the next four weeks so why not take it down off the shelf again?

Each day in MME is a 30-minute challenge that includes written and spoken exercises. I’ll read through some of the words with you and you can also hear Scotty Morrison’s lovely dulcet tones here.

I’m not a teacher. My te reo level is probably best described as intermediate beginner. I just wanted to do these exercises with you as a student of te reo myself and frankly, to give us all something productive to do over these next four weeks. I’ll be reading and sharing some of my thoughts. Please share your thoughts with me too at / @sharkpatu on Twitter / @leonie_hayden on Instagram. © This reading of Māori Made Easy was made possible with the generous support of Penguin Random House New Zealand. Buy Māori Made Easy here and at all good bookstores.


E tata tapahi, e roa whakatū
Procrastination is the thief of time.

Today we’re looking at vowel sounds. The five short vowels are a, e, i, o, u.

According to MME:

a – pronounced like the ‘a’ in ago

e – pronounced like the ‘e’ in egg

i – pronounced like the ‘i’ in ink

o – pronounced like ‘aw’ as in ‘ahwk’.

u – pronounced like the ‘u’ in ‘flute’.

Once you put a macron or tohutō over the top – ā, ē, ī, ō, ū – you get a long vowel sound. It’s important to pronounce the long and short vowel sounds correctly, as adding the wrong emphasis can change the meaning of the word.

keke – cake

kēkē – arm pit

Do NOT get those mixed up.

The written exercise is to find the definitions  of the words we just practised, listed below. I obviously just said a lot of them in the video above. Write down as many as you can remember and use Māori Dictionary to help you find the others.

Pōwhiri or Pōhiri

Congratulations you just completed day one!

As well as doing this with me, you can sign up for Toro Mai and learn with real teachers! They’re free online te reo Māori and tikanga Māori lessons created by Stacey and Scotty Morrison.

I mean, how cute is that. (Image: Massey University)

Other online resources can be found at the bottom of this list of classes.

Māori Made Easy is published by Penguin Random House New Zealand.

The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
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