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Maori Pronunciation and the Evolution of Written Maori

Maori Pronunciation

page 3

Maori Pronunciation

The incorrect pronunciation of Maori place names will inevitably cause the extinction of the Maori language.

School teachers will find this chapter most helpful when struggling with the Maori names with which they come in contact during school lessons. The public generally will also find the study of this booklet most beneficial.

The European population of Maoriland, known to the Maori of old by the beautiful name of Aotea-roa, will be fulfilling a duty by studying this booklet, because the danger to the life of the Maori language will be minimised very appreciably; and the destiny of the Maori and his language depends on the Europeans' attitude towards both. It would be a tragedy to cause the death of the page 4 language so euphonious and pleasing to the ear.

The Maori, particularly, will be very grateful to the educationists who are endeavouring to save the Maori language by insisting on correct pronunciation; and the Maori will always beseech the Europeans to save the Maori language from extinction. One very patent way to help to save the language is to learn how to pronounce it correctly.

Students of this booklet are advised to get assistance from, and practice with, a Maori linguist when possible.