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Useful language for the classroom

Welcoming

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Nau mai Welcome
Haere mai Welcome
Greeting

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Tēnā koe Hello (to one person)
Tēnā kōrua Hello (to two people)
Tēnā koutou Hello (to more than two people)
Kia ora Hi
Mōrena Good morning
Ata mārie Good morning
Ahiahi mārie Good afternoon
Pō mārie Good evening - Goodnight
... tamariki mā ... children
... e tama mā ... boys and others
... e hine mā ... girls and others
Kei te pēhea koe? How are you? (to one person)
Kei te pai Fine
Farewelling

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Kua hoki au I’m off
Ka kite anō See you again
Hei konā rā Goodbye for now (said by someone leaving or on the phone)
Hei konei rā Bye/See you later (said to someone leaving)
Hoki pai atu! Safe return!
Haere atu rā Bye (said to someone who is leaving)
Introducing

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Ko Mere tēnei This is Mere
Ko wai tō ingoa? What’s your name?
Ko Hōne It’s Hōne
Nō hea koe? Where are you from?
Nō Kāi Tahu From Kāi Tahu
Nō te Tai Tokerau From Northland
Expressing surprise

Maori vocabulary

English translation

E kī! Well, well!
E kī rā! You don’t say!
Nē? Is that so?
Nē rā! You don’t say!
Āe mārika! How about that!
E hika mā! Oh, boy!
Taukiri e! Surprise!
Auē! Oh, no! Oh dear!
Congratulating

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Tino pai! Great stuff!
Tino pai rawa atu! Excellent!
Ka pai! Well done!
Ka rawe! How lovely!
Mīharo! Wonderful!
Extending good wishes

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Kia ū All the best
Ngā mihi mō tō huritau Best wishes for your birthday
Commiserating

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Ka aroha hoki! You poor thing!
Aroha mai! I’m so sorry!
Offering

Maori vocabulary

English translation

He aha māu? What would you like?
Thanking

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Kia ora Thanks
Kia ora koe! Thank you!
Aroha ana! Thank you!
Commenting on the weather

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Te makariri hoki o te rangi! It’s really cold!
Tino pai te rangi, nē rā? Lovely day, isn’t it?
Clarifying

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Kua mārama? Understood?
He aha te kupu Māori mō ...? What is the Māori word for ...?
Kua mutu? Finished?
Suggesting

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Me tīmata tātou? Shall we start?
Me haere tāua Let’s go (that is, you and I)
Me hoki koe ki te kāinga You should go home
Me whakarongo koutou You should listen
Me kōrero koe ki a ia You should speak to him/her
Me kai tātou Let’s eat
Expressing likes and dislikes

Maori vocabulary

English translation

He pai ki a au te heihei I like chicken
Kāore e pai ki a au te ika I don’t like fish
Approving

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Ātaahua! Beautiful!
Ka mau te wehi! Awesome!
Commanding

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Titiro (mai) Look (this way)
Huri mai Turn this way
Huri atu Turn away
Kōrero Speak
Whakarongo mai Listen here
E tū Stand
E noho Sit down
Kia tau Be still, Settle down
Kōrero Māori mai Speak to me in Māori
Kimihia Look for it
Whakahokia tēnei pukapuka Return this book
Kia rua ngā kape Make two copies
Kawea atu ki waho! Take it outside!
Haere ki waho Go outside
Ināianei tonu Right now
Kia tere! Be quick!
Kaua e pēnā! Don’t do that!
Kaua e kōrero! Be quiet! Don’t talk!
Kaua e wareware Don’t forget
Turituri! Be quiet!
Hoihoi Be quiet
Tīkina Fetch
Taihoa Wait
Rārangi mai Line up here, near me
Rārangi atu Line up over there
Rārangi ki waho/roto Line up outside/inside
Horoia ō ringaringa Wash your hands
Whakamaua tō potae Put on your hat
Tangohia ō hū Take off your shoes
Hoatu ki ... Give to ...
Huakina te kūaha Open the door
Katia te kūaha Shut the door
Kuhu mai ki roto Come inside
Haere mai ki konei Come over here
Kohia te rāpihi Collect the rubbish
Hoki mai ki roto Come back inside
Hoki atu ki tō tūru Go back to your seat
Whakapaingia te rūma Tidy the room
Kia takitoru, takiwhā rānei Form groups of three or four
Helping

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Mā mātou e horoi ngā rīhi We’ll wash the dishes
Māku e āwhina I’ll help
Māku e whakaweto ngā raiti I’ll turn off the lights
Māku e kati te kūaha I’ll shut the door
Negating

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Kaua e tuku rāpihi i konei Don’t dump rubbish here
Kāore anō ia kia tae mai She/He hasn’t arrived yet
Kāore a Pita i konei Pita isn’t here
Kāore i te pai It’s no good
Ehara ko au It’s not me
Ehara nāku It’s not mine
Warning

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Kia tūpato! Be careful!
Kaua e hīkoi i runga i te karaehe Don’t walk on the grass
Kaua e kuhu/puta Do not enter/exit
Kaua e kai hikareti Don’t smoke
Kaua e huakina/katia Don’t open/shut
Kaua e tū ki konei Don’t stop/stand here
Kaua e kaukau Don’t swim
Agreeing and disagreeing

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Ka pai ngā kai, nē? The food’s lovely, isn’t it?
Āe. He kai reka Yes. It’s delicious food
He reka ngā ārani, nē rā? The oranges are sweet, aren’t they?
Kāo, he kawa kē! No, they’re sour
Ka tika! True! Correct!
Karekau! No!
Ehē! No!
Kei te hē tēnā That’s wrong
Kāore au e whakaae I don’t agree
Kāore au e mōhio I don’t know
Aua I don’t know
Expressing possibility

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Kei te ngaro pea ia Maybe she’s/he’s absent
Encouraging

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Kia mau! Hang in there!
Kia kaha! Be strong, keep going!
Kia manawanui! Be stout-hearted!
Kia toa! Be brave!
Ka taea e koe! You can do it! (said to one person)
Homai te pakipaki Let’s clap
Questioning

Maori vocabulary

English translation

Ko wai? Who?
He aha? What?
Kei hea? Where?
Kei hea tō ...? Where’s your ...?
Ko wai tēnā? Who is that?
He aha tēnā? What is that?
Kei hea ia? Where is she/he?
Kei hea koe? Where are you? (to one person)
Ko wai te ingoa o tērā kaiako? What’s that teacher’s name?
Kei a wai ...? Who has got ...?
Kei a koe tō pukapuka? Do you have your book?
Nā wai tēnei pukapuka? Whose is this book?
Nā wai ēnei pukapuka? Whose books are these?
Kei te pīrangi koutou ki te haere ki te kaukau? Do you want to go swimming? (to three or more people)
Miscellanous

Maori vocabulary

English translation

E tangi tonu ana te tamaiti The child’s still crying
Kua haere kē ia She’s/He’s already gone
Kua pau katoa ngā pihikete The biscuits are all gone
Kua reri ngā kai The food’s ready
Kei te mā aku ringa My hands are clean
He tiamu tāku hanawiti My sandwich is a jam one
Kua katia te kūaha The door’s been shut
Māku e kati te kūaha I’ll shut the door
Kei te mate ia She’s/He’s ill
Nāku tēnei pukapuka This book’s mine
E haere ana mātou ki te whare pukapuka We’re going to the library
Kei te kai ngā manuhiri The guests are eating
He reka ngā kai katoa All the food is delicious
Ka waea mai ia āpōpō She’ll/He’ll phone you tomorrow
E koa ana ia She’s/He’s happy
Kua reri? Ready?
Kua reri koutou (katoa)? Are you (all) ready?
He moemoeā! You’re dreaming!
Te uaua hoki! That’s hard!
Kua pau taku hau I’m tired
Aroha ana! Tough!
Kua hemo! I’ve had it!
Kaitoa! Serves you right!
Kāti That’s enough

You’ll find more expressions you can use in your classroom in Promoting Positive Attitudes to Māori Language in the Classroom, which is available on the website of the Māori Language Commission.

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