Challenges ahead as interest

in Māori dialects grows

As more and more Māori reclaim their language, many are growing curious about the rangi or dialect of their own iwi, but for some, this is proving challenging.

Iwi from different regions often have their own distinct sounds and phrases. Take Ngāi Tahu, who drop the 'ng' sound for a 'k': Aoraki, not Aorangi. Or Tūhoe, with wānana, not wānanga.

Jeremy Tātere MacLeod (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne) recently finished a PhD on dialectology.

"A lot of people get caught up on words, [but] dialect is about sound, it's about pronunciation, it's about accent, as well as words and grammatical variation," he said.

A great deal of te reo Māori is the same across the motu, with dialects often subtle place markers for where a person comes from. There is variation and some are stronger and more distinctive than others, but there is one intelligible language across the land.

Link to article: Challenges ahead as interest in Māori dialects grows | RNZ News


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