Te Reo Maori, the Maori language is one of the three official languages of New Zealand. The other two are English and sign language. When early settlers arrived in New Zealand they needed to learn Maori in order to trade for the materials. Over time, as more settlers came, a need for a written indigenous language arose and in the beginning of the 19th century a written Maori language was developed.

Examine the sites that are available to decide which is best suited to the way you learn. Some will have video so that you can hear and see the Maori being spoken. There are pronunciation guides, vocabulary lists and lessons on the written language. You may find that you will use two or three sites regularly for your studies.

Read the following letters: A, E, H, I, K, M, N, NG, O, P, R, T, WH, W, and U. This is the Maori alphabet. It consists of 10 consonants and five vowels. It's important to be able to pronounce the alphabet when learning to sound out the Maori words just as you did when you first learned English in school.

Study common phrases such as kia ora for hello or ata marie for good morning online as well. Whether you need just a little or to study the language fully, you can make a good beginning for free on the Internet.

Watch videos on some of these sites so that you can hear how the letters of the alphabet and words are pronounced as well as seeing how the lips form to create the sounds. For some students, seeing as well as hearing is helpful in the study of language.

Look up Maori translations of English words online so that you can see them spelled and learn to pronounce them. Dictionaries will contain from 10,000 to 20,000 words and as with any language, even fluent speakers don't know all of them.

Practice speaking conversational Maori online as well. Speaking the language aloud along with recorded questions and answers is a common method of studying language on a tape or in front of a video.

Continue your study on a regular basis, making time daily to listen, read and speak the Maori language. Build your vocabulary taking note of words and how they form phrases. There are many words in the Maori language which are used in New Zealand's English.

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  • In studying any language, how quickly you learn is a combination of your natural ear for foreign language as well as the time you put into it. Don't be discouraged if it seems you'll never remember the words or get your lips to form the sounds. All of this comes with practice.

Things Needed

  • Computer
  • Internet access

About the Author

Joan Mansson has been writing original puppet plays in her capacity as a librarian for over 20 years. She took several workshops with Woodstream Writers and studied with the Children's Institute of Literature. Mansson holds a Master of Library Science from Rutgers University and a Bachelor and Master of Arts from New Jersey City University.