When it comes to visiting New Zealand, one thing which we believe makes a truly unforgettable tour, is being able to experience the culture in the most authentic way possible. With the Maori language becoming more popular, one way which you can do this is by interacting with locals in their traditional language. Currently, just over a fifth of New Zealanders can speak Maori, however with more schools and initiatives encouraging people to learn their native language, you’re more likely than ever to come across locals who will be using Maori, so why not join them?

How to learn Maori language

The good news is that learning the Maori language can be broken down into a logical structure. In the same vain as the English language, there are five vowel sounds: a e i o u (‘a’ as in ‘car’, ‘e’ as in ‘egg’, ‘i’ like the ‘ee’ in ‘tee’, ‘u’ like an ‘o’ in ‘to’). Again, not unlike English, there are then eight consonants: ‘h’, ‘k’, ‘m’, ‘n’, ‘p’, ‘r’,’t’, and ‘w’ – plus ‘wh’ (pronounced in the same way as our ‘f’) and ‘ng’ (sounding the same in English).

Maori words

With the information above in mind, if you’d like to learn Maori language, we can help you by providing you with good-to-know Maori basic words and the Maori common words that could come in handy on your holiday.

Kia ora – Hello

Kia ora tatou – Hello everyone

Tena koe – Greetings to you (said to one person)

Tena koutou – Greeting to you all

Manuhiri – Guests, visitors

Haere mai – Welcome

Nau mai – Welcome

Kei te pehea koe? – How’s it going?

Kei te pai – Good

Tino pai – Really good

Haere ra – Farewell

Ka kite ano – Until I see you again (Bye)

Hei konei ra – See you later

Koha – Gift, present (given by guest to hosts)

Whare paku – Lavatory, toilet

If you won’t have chance to learn Maori before you visit New Zealand, why not write down these useful words and bring them with you so that you can learn to speak Maori while you’re surrounded by the country’s enchanting Maori culture? Good luck!