How to learn the Māori language: 15 tips to learn about the Māori culture and language online

In this blog, we will know about the best tips to learn about the culture as well as the language of the Māori community.

1. Choose the best online course at Reo Ora

The curriculum and approach used by Reo Ora are outstanding. The best program to study the language is at Reo Ora, which was created by Dr Rpata Wiri, who is widely regarded as the leading expert on Māori language restoration and a scholar of the Māori language. Prevent yourself from committing silly mistakes as you learn the language via the best platform to learn. Moreover, the learners come through with more confidence and much better command over the language.

2. The greatest method for experiencing Māori culture is to go to a Marae

Maraes are tribal gathering places that provide exceptional chances for you to get to know the local Māori population and learn further about their tradition and heritage firsthand. Speeches and performances of traditional Māori singing and dancing are a few of the events you might see during maraes.

It is crucial to keep in mind that Maraes can only be reached via prearranged trips, so you can’t simply find one on a map and have a cab drop you off at it. The Māori people must first formally welcome you upon your arrival through the powhiri, a customary ritual. Guests are generally challenged by a Māori warrior in an act called a wero to begin the ceremony.

3. Develop your community

They most definitely weren’t playing a trick on you when they said there is power in numbers. Be with individuals who are going through the same thing as you or who can relate to you. When you first start coming to the gym, it doesn’t take long until you start hanging out with other gym rats and talking about exercises like the seated row, bench press, and calisthenics.

The Māori language has no differences when it comes to building your community. The people we select to be in our lives mirror who we are. Make time to interact with like-minded Māori Te Reo troops fighting for language revitalization, even if it’s just for an hour a week.

4. Always remember that the words never end with a consonant

Whenever a consonant appears in the Māori language, a vowel follows it (“ng” and “wh” are regarded as a single consonant). Therefore, no consonant is used to terminate a word.

One other thing to note is that, except when there is a macron on something like a distinct vowel, the focus is always placed on the initial vowel (syllable). The first vowel that is there with the macron is highlighted if there are multiple macrons. This is not always the case (an exception to this rule are the words with “whaka”).

5. Focus on the grammar of the Māori language

Focusing on the grammar of the Māori language will help you be fluent at a much pace. This will also help you in developing a stronger foundation. Having a strong foundation makes the learning journey easier.

6. Be open to unlearning wrong ways

Your brain has to work much harder to repair the muscle memory created by constantly hearing incorrectly pronounced Māori location names and words. There may be moments when you slip up and resume speaking a Māori word incorrectly, but kei te pai, simply correct yourself and continue.

Remember that it is part of your journey of learning Māori to unlearn all the wrong ways that you may pick up. So never feel hesitant and shy about it.

7. For Māori people, handshakes are not the customary way to welcome one another

While it may seem spontaneous to offer your hand and attempt a solid handshake when interacting with a new acquaintance, the Māori people do not greet one another in this way. Instead, they greet one another verbally. If you go to a gathering where you will be interacting with Māori locals, try to control yourself from shaking hands.

Instead, they employ the hongi, a much cosier and close-up salutation. In particular, the hongi involves two people breathing in together while pressing noses as well as foreheads to one another. It is intended to stand for the fusion of both souls.

8. Be aware of your learning potential

It takes a lot of dedication and sacrifice to learn about language and culture. Knowing how your learning experience will fit into your life and what adjustments or compromises you might need to make in order to ensure that it is a pleasant and meaningful experience is crucial.

So plan your journey of learning Māori as per your ability to learn. Make sure you also think about handling your daily chores easily while learning Māori language. It is okay if you want to take baby steps initially and gradually increase the load of learning more. This will help you smoothen your journey of learning Māori language.

9. Embrace mistakes that you make while learning

It’s a no-brainer that you are bound to make mistakes in your journey of learning Māori language and culture. So there’s no point in feeling guilty or ashamed while doing so. Just focus on learning and correcting your mistakes when you get to know about them.

Remember what matters is your will to learn, so as long as there is a will, there is a way. Soon you will find yourself doing much better and you will find your journey much simpler and more fun.

10. Māori traditional culture has always included the arts

Form and function were seamlessly incorporated in traditional Māori art. Things were created largely for functional or symbolic reasons. They represented spiritual beliefs in natural materials like wood, stone, bone, and flax, giving cultural belief structures a visual form and shape. The propensity for creating an object out of a single piece of materials greatly influenced how sculptures were shaped. The process of creating art was collaborative, even if the works of tohunga (skilled practitioners) were highly regarded.

11. Introduce yourself to Aotearoa’s colonial past.

Learn about the events leading up to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, their history, and the manner in which the Crown violated the terms of the treaty. In 2023, New Zealand’s history will finally be taught in schools there. Since colonial tyranny in Aotearoa occurred, many New Zealanders are unaware of it. For Tangata Tiriti, the non-Māori population of New Zealand, knowing this history might be helpful as they arrive at an understanding with the inequity at the core of our culture.

12. Introduce yourself with Tikanga Māori.

Tikanga Māori are customs or actions that are part of the Māori culture. People can better comprehend Māori culture and engage in behaviors that are proper for the culture by learning about tikanga. This in turn inspires confidence in those who encounter Māori and enter Māori environments. There are rules regarding food, how individuals should act in public areas, gathering locations, and their own residences.

13. Focus on pronunciation

Respect is demonstrated by learning how to speak Māori words correctly. If you make a mistake the first time, don’t worry; the important thing would be that you attempt. This will enable you to pronounce people’s names and place names in Māori with accuracy and assurance. It’s crucial to realise that in Te Reo, pronunciation reigns supreme. You may improve your pronunciation with in comfort and security of your own home using a variety of internet resources. Starting with the Māori vowels is a smart idea.

Place names like Whangamomona, Onehunga, and Ngunguru might be difficult to pronounce. But as soon as you learn how to pronounce Māori, all Māori names will come naturally to you.

14. Begin with simple words

It’s a common assumption that we need to master the most intricate verbs, nouns, and adjectives right away. However, that will happen in time. Instead of seeing studying Te Reo as a 100-meter sprint, think of it as a lifetime marathon. Make that first step in a marathon, which always begins with one, count! You may start by translating commonplace items you have around the house or business.

15. Always feel motivated to learn

There are numerous reasons to feel motivated to learn this language. It is a lovely language, and once you learn it, you’ll see how closely connected it is to nature. Learning this language will help you develop stronger ties to the natural world. You gain fresh viewpoints on life as a result. You gain a greater understanding of the culture by studying the language. A culture is defined by its language. And it has a lovely culture. Due to its extreme suppression, only 21% of Māori nowadays speak Te Reo fluently.


We have now reached the end of the blog, covering all aspects related to learning about the culture and the language. Māori people have a rich culture and language that can teach one a lot in life. Choosing the right teacher helps in better chances of succeeding in future; therefore you are recommended to use Reo Ora.