Everything You Need To Learn Maori
Māori is an official language of New Zealand, spoken by about 160,000 people. It’s in the Polynesian branch of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which includes Hawaiian and Tongan.
The language belongs to the Eastern Polynesian subgroup, which means it shares many linguistic similarities with other Eastern Polynesian languages, such as Samoan and Tahitian.
Māori is considered to be endangered, with many children now growing up as native speakers of English. However, there is a strong and growing effort to preserve Māori culture and language through immersion preschools, increased funding for the language, and revitalization programs in schools and community organizations.
As such, you’ll find a small number of resources for learning the language, though not as many for practicing your skills.
Maori Language Learning Books
Your first stop when learning the language should be getting yourself a good Māori course book. You’ll get the basics of the language and learn to use grammatically correct Māori, while learning to build your own sentences.
A Māori-English dictionary will make a world of difference during your studies. You’ll need quick access to a good reference book for looking up all the new words you encounter, and for seeing how they’re used in a number of different contexts.
Maori Children’s Books
Reading children’s books in Māori should be your first priority, once you’ve got the basics of the language down.
Māori kids’ books are great for beginners as they’re written in simple, accessible language, and won’t overwhelm new readers. You’ll strengthen your Māori reading comprehension and your overall command of the language.
You’ll eventually want to expand your Māori library to include some Māori books for older readers. This is where you’ll gain the greatest benefit, as your vocabulary will increase tenfold, and you’ll get more comfortable with how the language looks and feels in a natural context.