The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Professional & Organisational Development Unit
Home Waikato Home > Professional Development > Māori Pronunciation Staff + Student Login

Māori Pronunciation

Start with basic pronunciation to learn all the phonetic sounds in te reo (the Māori language). You can use this basic knowledge to then correctly pronounce any Māori word or phrase. The only complication is understanding where to place the stress in a word. The extended examples (names of people, placenames, mihi and karakia) can assist you to get a feel for this.

All Māori words and most particles (i.e. grammatical words) contain a stressed syllable. The stressed syllable is never more than four morae from the end of a word. Main stress usually lies on the first long vowel. If there is no long vowel, the syllable containing a diphthong is stressed (for some speakers this rule is any non-final diphthong). If there is no long vowel or diphthong within the last four morae, then the earliest syllable is stressed. These rules are general guidelines and there are words which are stressed in less predictable ways. Also in natural speech word boundaries can sometimes be blurred resulting in changes in stress patterns. Carefully listening to fluent speakers is the best way to get a feel for where to place the stress.

Learning basic mihi and karakia is very useful if you are called on, for instance, to start a meeting or greet visitors, so you can demonstrate the commitment we have to te reo Māori and tikanga Māori.

If you have speakers connected to your computer please make sure they are turned on.
If you have determined that it is not a speaker or sound volume issue then your browser may not be suitable for playing these soundbites. Please change to an HTML5 compliant browser - such as the latest version of Google Chrome (which is the preferred browser recommended by the University). Internet Explorer is particularly poor at properly loading all the sound files.


1. Basic Pronunciation

Click the letters to hear the sound

Vowels (note the macron over a vowel makes it longer)

a e i o u
ā ē ī ō ū

Consonants + Vowels

ha he hi ho hu
ka ke ki ko ku
ma me mi mo mu
na ne ni no nu
nga nge ngi ngo ngu
ngā ngē ngī ngō ngū
pa pe pi po pu
ra re ri ro ru
ta te ti to tu
wa we wi wo wu
wha whe whi who whu
whā whē whī whō whū

Dipthongs

- ae ai ao au
ea - ei eo eu
ia ie - io iu
oa oe oi - ou
ua ue ui uo -
Top

2. Mihi - Greeting and Farewells

Click to hear the phrase

Greetings

Tēnā koe Hello (to 1 person)
Tēnā kōrua Hello (to 2 people)
Tēnā koutou Hello (to more than 2 people)
Kia ora Hi / Thank you
Ngā mihi Greetings
Mōrena Good morning
Ata marie Good morning
Ngā mihi o te pō Goodnight

Farewells

Haere rā Goodbye (to someone leaving)
E noho rā Goodbye (to someone staying)
Hei kōna rā See you later
Ka kite anō See you again
Top

3. Karakia - Blessings

Before eating
E te Atua
Whakapaingia ēnei kai
Hei oranga mō ō mātou tinana
Me ō mātou wairua hoki
Āmine
    translate
To start and/or end a meeting
Kia tau ki a tātou katoa
Te atawhai o tō tātou Ariki
A Ihu Karaiti
Me te aroha o te Atua
Me te whiwhinga tahitanga
Ki te Wairua Tapu
Ake, ake ake, āmine
   translate
To start a meeting alternative
Whakataka te hau ki te uru
Whakataka te hau ki te tonga
Kia mākinakina ki uta
Kia mātaratara ki tai
E hī ake ana te atakura
He tio, he huka, he hauhū
Tīhei Mauriora
   translate
Top

4. Placenames

Click to hear the phrase

Waikato Pirongia
Ngaruawahia Tauranga
Taupiri Rotorua
Kirikiriroa Whakatane
Te Awamutu Tirau
Otorohanga Taupo
Whaingaroa Putaruru
Karioi Tokoroa
Ngahinapouri Kawhia
Te Kuiti Te Aroha
Matamata Mangakino
Taumarunui Te Puke
Top

5. Staff Names

Click to hear the name

Pou Temara Hokowhitu
Hine-iti-moana Hori Manuirirangi
Te Kahautu Hemi Whaanga
Haki Tuaupiki Roa
Moe Pania
Enoka Te Taka
Tineka Wanakore Tapiata
Rangihurihia Henare
Ihaka Pihama
Herearoha Papahuia
Matangaro Paerau Ihaia
Himiona Tainui
Tuti Nikora Maui
Top

6. Waiata - Songs

Ko Te Whare Wananga o Waikato
Ko Te Whare Wananga o Waikato e tu mai nei
‘Ko te Tangata’ te tohu
Tihei mauri ora !!
Waikato te iwi; Waikato te awa;
Taupiri te maunga; Tainui te waka.
Ko Te Whare Wananga o Waikato e tu mai nei
Ko te tino kaupapa he hora matauranga ki te ao.
KOKIRI!
   translate
Top

This page has been reformatted for printing.