Today was the start of an exciting chapter in my life – my first lecture as a student learning te reo Māori! Smiling faces greeted me, the door to the Runanga was open and I took a seat next to a student I had met earlier in the day. It was all very exciting!
As a first lecture, we covered a fair bit of admin stuff – what to expect during the course, how tutorials work, assessment information and what we can do, as students, to maximise our learning potential. The opportunities are there for each of us and we need to be ready to embrace them.
During the session, we sang. Each lecture begins and ends with a karakia and waiata (and, funnily enough, a guitar is the first thing you see when you walk into the lecture room). It really is a fun way to learn a new language and new vocab. The two waiata we learned today were ‘Purea Nei’ by Hirini Melbourne, and ‘Ahakamana‘. I think there are a few variations on ‘Ahakamana’ and our version was slightly different to the one I’ve linked too, but you get the idea. We started off slowly, then got faster as we went through. It teaches you about pronunciation, which is a huge part of the journey into learning a new language.
We also learned about greetings, from ‘kia ora’ to ‘tēnā koe’, telling someone our name ‘Ko Tracy taku ingoa’ or ‘Ko Tracy au’, and asking someone how they are ‘Kei te pēhea koe?’ and giving a simple response ‘Kei te pai’. Through this introductory exchange, we learned two new phrases that came about from questions other students had:
1. How do we ask someone what their name is? (rather than telling them our name first off)
2. How do we say ‘nice to meet you’ after the exchange?
Ko wai tō ingoa?
Who is your name?
Ko wai = who and tō ingoa = your name. I learned that sometimes Māori does not translate well to English, so in English you might ask ‘What is your name’ though in Māori it would be more correct to say ‘Who (rather than What) is your name?’
Pai te tūtaki ki a koe
Nice to meet you
Pai = nice/good, Tūtaki = to meet or encounter, ki a koe = with/to you.
Some other phrases we learned today were:
Tēnā koa = Be happy / please
Kia ora = Thanks
Aroha mai = Sorry
Kei te tika tēnei? = Is this correct?’
We covered so much more than what I’ve mentioned here and I’m really looking forward to the next lecture 🙂