Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Aotearoa–land of the long white cloud

Tēnā koutou!

It’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori—Māori Language Week.

My grasp of te reo is poor. I know a few phrases, a smattering of words, a couple of waiata (songs). But I’m always eager to pick up new vocabulary and phrases. I love languages. They speak to a culture’s values, and reveal some of its history.

I also enjoy finding the similarities between languages—phrases and sayings that reveal truths that transcend culture and geography.

For example, check out these Maori proverbs:

E mua kaikai, e muri kai huare.
Early arrivals have the pick, but late comers may only get spittle.
Doesn’t that remind you of ‘The early bird gets the worm’?

Waiho ma te tangata e mihi, kia tau ai.
It would be better to let others praise.
Sounds like ‘Don’t blow your own horn’ to me.

Mauri mahi, mauri ora; mauri noho, mauri mate.
Industry begets prosperity (security); idleness begets poverty (insecurity).
Bears a striking resemblance to ‘Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’.

He manako te koura i kore ai.
Crayfish are scarce when they are expected.
To me, that says ‘Don’t count your chickens before they hatch’.

Have a great week everyone!

Haere rā!