Learn Te Reo [Māori]

There are 15 distinct sounds within the Māori alphabet

Five vowels: a, e, i, o, u
Eight consonants: h, k, m, n, p, r, t, w
Two digraphs (two letters that combine to form one sound): wh, ng

Each vowel can be pronounced short or long. We use a macron (a bar appearing over a vowel to indicate it is lengthened during pronunciation) to indicate a long vowel – ā, ē, ī, ō, ū.
Combinations of vowels (diphthongs) are common. Examples of dipthongs are; au, ao, ea, ia, ou, oa

Short Vowel Sound
a As in are
e As in enter
i As in three
o As in or
u As in put
Long Vowel Sound
ā As in car
ē As in bed
ī As in sleep
ō As in pork
ū As in boot
Consonants Sound
r Pronounced as a soft ‘rolled’ r
t Somewhere between the sound of D and T
wh Is generally pronounced like an F
ng The sound is similar to the middle ng in singing.

Greetings, Thanks and Farewells

English Māori
Welcome / Come Hāere mai / Nau mai
Hello / Hi Kia ora
Formal greeting to one person Tēnā koe
Formal greeting to two people Tēnā kōrua
Formal greeting to many people Tēnā koutou
Good morning Morena
Good night Pō mārie
Goodbye [to those leaving] Hāere rā
Goodbye [to those staying] E noho rā
Goodbye [less formal] Hei kona rā
See you again / see you soon Ka kite
Thank you Ngā mihi


English Māori
Tribe Iwi
Family Tree Whakapapa
Elders Kaumātua
Family Whānau
Man / husband Tāne
Woman / wife Wahine
Mother Whaea
Father Pāpā
Child Tamaiti
Children Tamariki
European person Pākehā
School Principal Tumuaki

Buildings, Actions and Objects

English Māori
Meeting House on Marae Whare nui
Whare House
School Kura
Office Tari
Meeting / Conference Hui
Chant with dance / War challenge Haka
Prayer / Blessing / Grace Karakia
Song Waiata
Canoe Waka
Gift Koha
Water Wai
Food Kai

Commands and Expressions

English Māori
Yes Ae
No Kao
Stand E tū
Sit E noho
Talk Kōrero
Listen Whakarongo
Good Ka pai
Very Good Tino pai
Delicious Reke
Love Aroha
Be Strong Kia kaha
Great!  Fantastic! Tau kē!