MAORI VOWEL SOUNDS
A vowel can be long or short. It is these small changes in sound that change the meaning of a word.
a Short a as in "around", long a as in "cart"
e Short as in "get", long as in "bed"
i 'ee' sound, short as in "beat", long as "sheep"
o 'aw' sound, short as in "awesome', long as in "cork"
u short as in "put", long "oo" sound as in "shoot"
When you see a Maori word with two or more vowels together, you say each vowel but run them together. All Maori syllables end in a vowel.
DIGRAPHS ( double consonants)
There are two to learn, and since there are different schools of thought on how they 'should' be pronounced, I'm just going to tell you how they are pronounced by the majority of New Zealanders.
wh as a soft 'f' e.g. whenua sounds like 'feh-noo-ah'
ng as 'n' e.g. place-name Ngawha sounds like 'Nah-fah'
MAORI SOUND FILES
Here are a few English words and phrases, spoken in Maori. Click on the Maori words to hear them spoken.
( NB: My Windows Media Player messes up the recorded sound when played the first time, but is fine when played thru again. So if the same thing happens to you, just click the arrow to hear the sound again).
Hello Kia ora
Good bye Haere ra
Good bye ( from the person leaving) E noho ra