25 Nov Why I Wanted To Learn Te Reo Māori – And Why I’m Grateful I Did it
Sometimes you don’t plan much before you dive in, but then you couldn’t be happier that you did it.
I am already a multilingual person, but I still have the desire to learn new languages. Isn’t it just special when you can talk to people in their own language?! Recently, on the advice of a friend, I enrolled in a Reo ora course to learn Te Reo Māori.
The truth is that my friend Nicole, who lives in New Zealand, recommended that I move there for my higher education. Nonetheless, as Te Reo Māori is one of the official languages of the country, I decided to first master the fundamentals of it before I landed here. So, a few months back, I enrolled in an online Reo Ora course because it was my only viable option for learning it at home. It’s all thanks to my Reo Ora trainer that I had such a great time doing such a challenging task as learning a new language.
Learning is a positive thing. Learning creates new opportunities for a better career. It is advantageous if we consider learning a new language because it increases our chances of success.
If one’s overarching inspiration involves listening, speaking or cultural aspects, watching videos can be a significant factor in the learning process too. Thanks to Reo Ora’s useful virtual language program. To help you remember what you’ve learned, it incorporates relevant quotes from the culture along with interactive subtitles and review questions.
As my future day-to-day goals were connected to the language, my desire to learn every lesson was nearly automatic. I made a notebook and set regular goals for myself. And believe me, there’s a lot of satisfaction in being able to cross them off your list.
Having lived in New Zealand for almost five years, my friend Nicole is fluent in the Te Reo Māori language. This gave me an advantage. Interacting with a fluent Māori speaker helps in the learning process.
I’ve discovered that dedicating even a little bit of time each day—say, a half-hour—can prove to be significantly more productive than setting up a few hours once a week for a class or a study session. When you use a language regularly, you are less likely to forget your lessons and find yourself considering what you are learning and how you may use it frequently throughout the day.
As I was dedicated to the Reo Ora course, I eventually found myself looking for more ways of using the language. I changed the language settings of all social media platforms to Te Reo Māori to grasp it better. Consuming news, podcasts, and entertainment content in your target language rather than your native tongue offers learning incentives and a more immersive language experience.
Thanks to the Reo Ora course, my mind has been going a mile a minute guessing Māori phrases at night, avoiding the urge to look things up, when I should be going to sleep.
Because of the online courses by Reo Ora, I am now fluent in the Te Reo Māori language. It definitely has given me an edge in settling into this new country. I am more confident while interacting with the natives, I do not have to think twice before going out, and I actually feel like I can belong here.
Some of the benefits I see after learning the Te Reo Māori language are-
In today’s multicultural and modern world, learning a second language is a certain strategy to edge over competitors in the job market. Being Māori-fluent has the special selling proposition that I will now be at a competitive edge over those who just speak one language.
Additionally, this may be a huge asset in helping me get employment in fields like trade deals and international relations. I can now work in the fields of translation, education, foreign correspondence, immigration, hospitality, intelligence, and human resources.
Social and political growth
Speaking of travelling abroad, learning a language has social and political benefits as well. For instance, in the college I entered, I developed my communication abilities and my ability to interact with other people.
This gave me the chance to discover New Zealand’s culture and make friends with people I would not have otherwise met. In addition, as I studied more about other cultures, I became more accepting of diversity and overall more open-minded.
Participating in language exchange is another important element of learning a language. This was highly social and helped me develop a good perspective.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that talks in real life differ greatly from those learned in a classroom. This is why it’s important to pick a course that will enable you to interact with people in the real world. The tactics practised by the experts at Reo Ora were to give their learners a real-world learning experience, which greatly helped me.
New Zealand is a country of breathtaking mountains and gorgeous fairy-tale towns. Independent travel became much easier thanks to the capacity to converse in Māori. Now that I have a rudimentary grasp of the local tongue, exploring new areas of the nation is safer and simpler.
Travel experience is priceless since it allows anyone to become more accepting of other people’s languages, cultures, communities, conventions, values, and belief systems. I am developing into a more well-rounded person as I learn more about the world and experience it more.
Arts, Literature, and Science
You open up a whole new world of writing in the arts, literature, and sciences when you learn a new language. You can study journals and theories in their original form, go to a foreign language theatre, read original poetry, and appreciate the classics in other languages. This gives you the chance to explore the humanities and sciences in their original context, which is always a different experience from a translation or adaptation.
I will always be thankful to Reo Ora for helping me learn this immensely beautiful language in such a short period of time. No amount of gratitude can express my love for this language which quintessentially multiplied after I read the book published in the Māori language- Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna / Listen to Your Ancestors (English–Māori Bilingual HB) by Darren Joseph.
This book changed my life. What’s more amazing is that I would not have been able to enjoy it better, had I read its English translation. Because the real meaning gets lost in translation.
Music, TV, and Movies
Likewise, one can start to take pleasure in second-language music, television, and movies. You won’t believe how interesting and natural it is to encourage language learning when you have access to entertainment in your target language.
The conversation and message can be understood more thoroughly and effectively when watching TV and movies without dubbing or only using subtitles. Understanding the original language increased my enjoyment and overall comprehension of the film and music, even though using subtitles is not a bad thing and can be very helpful.
Additionally, watching TV episodes, and movies, and listening to music in a different language increased my cultural awareness of New Zealand.
While New Zealand cinema is primarily perceived for its Hobbits and Orcs, its genres go further than fantasy films and into broad categories. Although the majority of the industry’s production consists of dark and sombre movies, New Zealand has also created a handful of well-liked Māori-centric movies. Some of these films are adaptations of outstanding Māori authors who were also inspired by Māori culture and history. The movies stand out because they merge Māori culture with the struggles of indigenous people who continue to battle for their rights as Tangata Whenua, or people of the land, and for their civil liberties.
The 2002 film Whale Rider is one of my personal favourites. I mean- WOW.
From what I have noticed, what started as a ‘needful’ thing to do for settling in a new country, I cannot express how learning a new language can change a person.
One has the chance to forge deeper relationships through language practice, and these connections could lead to life-altering encounters or even lifelong friendships. My partner serves as the ideal illustration of this. Thanks to my command over the Māori language, I am connecting better with her, her family and her culture. Whether it is a religious festival or the way they interact with one another, I get to experience the intricacies of their culture because I ‘understand’ them.
Learning the language has a deeper dimension that is connected to what I think it means to be a New Zealander. My experience in te reo Māori (the Māori world) is having an impact on both my relationships and my fundamental identity.
It has helped me to explore their whakapapa (ancestry). It got me to contemplate my connection to the place I call home currently. It has made me feel more like a part of this foreign country. It has made me more accepting of others and given me hope that I may someday integrate into New Zealand society.