Nā @temihinga #tereo
It’s simple and really easy, just how I like it! You learn a new word or phrase in te reo Māori, like “manahau”, which means to be elated, be happy. Then you use manahau in a commonly used phrase and match it with an image that best encapsulates its meaning, (preferably with a furry, four-legged subject because, as we know, animals rule us all. Next you AddText it, download it and tweet it with the hashtag #tereo.
This is what I started doing about two years ago to promote te reo Māori in a positive way, normalising our language on social media where it can reach people that I would have otherwise never had got a chance to engage with. And it’s working. My virtual PRN — personal/professional reo network on Tīhau (Twitter) — are an eclectic bunch of educators, artists, media, politicians, and the socially conscious, but mostly importantly, many of them are passionate about learning and sharing te reo Māori knowledge.
I’m especially enjoying being part of someone’s te reo Māori journey, providing answers or ideas where I can, and reading their blogs, which are really useful to a lot of learners of a new language. PRNs like Director of ICT at St. Andrew’s College in Christchurch @samuelmcneill with his blog at korero.kiwi.
There are other Tweeps who I constantly interact with that impress me with their enthusiasm: @SolHenare @GrahamOliver8 @eMPOWERedNZ @FiNZ63 @macgibbons, to name a few.
The most common requests are for translations for hype words, proverbs, or messages that can easily side track a pedantic linguist like me for hours. I may refer Tweeps to various online resources, or create some of my own Kuputaka Reo Hangarau with input from a lot of PRNs. Sometimes, however, you just need to share the nonsensical pōrangi (craziness) like “ngelfie” to remind ourselves that learning a language is tough, but a crack up as well.
I’m totally all for those who are giving te reo Māori a go wherever they can, and the more public it is, the more normal it becomes. It’s definitely most appreciated, like the amazing efforts of the people at Whitebait Restaurant in Wellington.
And I’m always on the lookout for our official language. Reo spotting is better than the first sip of my morning trim flat white. Once spotted, it’s tweeted!
Here are some top online te reo Māori resources:
- He reo tupu, he reo ora for beginners.
- Ako for intermediate learners.
- Niupepa for all levels and a bonus for researchers and linguists.
One of my favourite te reo Māori bilingual web tools: The Māori Macron Restoration Service.
My latest fun online activity is to create a Rotarota Kūkara #googlepoetry by typing the first two words of a common sentence structure into Google search and see what te reo Māori poetry magic it creates.
Try yours out and tweet me with our hashtag #tereo. And that’s how I keep it reo on Tīhau.
Nāku nui nei me ngaku tīhau!