Translating this site into Te Reo Māori

14 September 2019

I’m pleased to say that my online instructions for Weaving a Flower from New Zealand flax are now available on this website in te reo Māori as Ko te raranga i te putiputi. For several years I’ve been wanting to translate, firstly, the instructions pages and then the whole website into te reo Māori, but it hasn’t been an easy thing to get going.

My feeling is that following the step-by-step illustrations for weaving projects, while reading the instructions in te reo Māori, is a fun and useful way of learning te reo Māori. I’ve certainly found it’s working for me and, as an older student of te reo Māori at 66 years of age, I need all the help I can get!

I’ve learned quite a lot of Māori words through my work with flax weaving over the years and found that the combination of my love of weaving with my learning of te reo Māori gives a synergy to my ability to learn. I’m glad to say that I can now string some sentences together that relate to weaving. For example, “E hia nga whenu?” when I want to know the number of strips for weaving a certain piece, or “He aha te tae o te waitae?” when I want to know the colour of a dye. By the way, I didn’t record the name of the dye I used in this kete whakairo, which I do these days as it’s a very useful source of information.

The main problem with getting my website pages translated is the shortage of Kaiako Te Reo Māori, (Māori language teachers), and the people I’ve approached over the past few years, although willing to assist, just didn’t have the time to dedicate to translating even one page. And as my te reo Māori journey is just beginning, I’m not anywhere near the stage of being able to translate the pages myself.

Luckily, Harata Simmonds, Kaiako Te Reo Māori, agreed to translate this first page. I’d like to continue the translating project and wonder if there are any people who’d like to take part. This isn’t a paid position as I fund the website myself through my flax weaving workshops (although the majority of the profits go to charity), but you would be acknowledged on the page that you have contributed to, along with koha.

It was raranga that brought me to the desire for learning te reo Māori, and I would like to acknowledge the welcome and acceptance to the weaving group that I received from Lesley Gray at Te Āwhina marae when I moved to Ngatimoti last year, which gave me the inspiration to learn te reo Māori.

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Also, check out earlier comments received on this blog post when it was hosted on my original website.

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