Māori Language

Te Reo Māori, as used in the Earthcore series

Pronunciation guide:
Each vowel has only one possible sound.
a as in far
e as in fetch
i as in feed
o as in fog
u as in food

When two vowels come together, a dipthong is created. 
Every syllable ends with a vowel.
A macron such as ā indicates a longer vowel. 
“Wh” can either be an “f” sound or more like the English equivalent. “Ng” is as you’d expect except that we also use it at the beginnings of words. 
Examples: 
Whakarewarewa: fa-ka-reh-wa-reh-wa
Ngongotaha: ngo-ngo-ta-ha



ae
aye, yes

e hoa ma
my friends (addressing them)

Hinemoa and Tūtānekai
historical inhabitants of Rotorua

hongi
greeting in which foreheads are pressed together, to share breath

iwi
tribe

ka pai
good!

kai
food

kaitiaki
guardian

karanga
a call or chant, especially of welcome

kaumātua
elder

kei te pēhea koe?
how are you?

kererū 
wood pigeon

kia ora
hello / thank you

kia tere
hurry up

kino
bad

Kiwi
A New Zealander, after a native bird

koro
grandfather / elder

koru
fern frond, symbol of new life

kuia
grandmother / elder

Kuirau
central city park in Rotorua

kūmara
sweet potato, in gold, orange, red or purple varieties

mana
personal or spiritual power

manaia
a type of spirit guardian that lives in water

mānuka
the New Zealand tea tree, known for its honey

Māori
the original people of New Zealand

Māoritanga
Māori culture, history and protocol

marae
the centre of a Māori community

Matamata
town north of Rotorua, home of film sets

moa
tall, flightless extinct bird

mokopuna (“moko”)
grandchild, young person

Mokoia
island in Lake Rotorua

ngā mihi
thanks

Ngongotaha
dormant volcanic mountain to the west of Lake Rotorua

Ohinemutu
Māori village within Rotorua (central), a highly active thermal area

Owhata
eastern suburb of Rotorua

pakaru
broken, exhausted

Pākeha
non-Māori person

Papatūānuku
the Earth Mother

piupiu
flax skirt
Pōhutu
geyser in Rotorua that erupts about once per hour

pōwhiri
formal Māori welcoming ceremony

pūkeko
blue swamp hen

Rangitoto
largest volcano in the Auckland area

Rotorua
City built in a geothermally active caldera

Tāmaki Makaurau
Māori name for Auckland

tangata
person / people

tangata whenua
people of the land (local tribe)

taniwha
spirit being, mythological creature

tapu
sacred, taboo

Tarawera
volcano near Rotorua that erupted in 1886

Te Arawa
Māori tribe of the Rotorua area

Te Ngae
a main road in Rotorua

Te Reo
the Māori language

tēnā koe/kōrua/koutou
hello to you (singular/dual/plural)

tēnei / tērā
this / that

tieke
saddleback (bird)

tohunga
Māori priest

tūī
type of songbird

Utuhina
stream entering Lake Rotorua from the southwest

Waimangu
the volcanic valley forming part of the Tarawera eruption rift

wero
challenge laid down before a pōwhiri can begin
Whakarewarewa
Māori village within Rotorua (south), a highly active thermal area

Whakatāne
town on the coast to the northeast

whakatau
less formal type of welcoming ceremony

wharekai
dining hall of a marae

wharenui
meeting house of a marae, where guests sleep

wiri
fluttering hand movement used in dance

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