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Mispronunciation of Māori place names a problem of epidemic proportions

January 19, 2020

A frustrated vent posted to Facebook about pronunciation of Maori
place names has gone viral. And while it’s nothing new, South African born Hana Botha says correct pronunciation
is a conscious choice. Hania Douglas reports. Maori have long been criticising
those who botch up Maori words, but recently several non-Maori
have jumped on board. While she’s no lone ranger, Hana Botha, who has just joined
the battle, says that while there are many
excuses for the phenomenon, they really are just excuses. The video has over 170,000 views
and has been shared many times, but not all the comments
on the video are positive. In an effort to join the battler, DoC has launched an app to
support correct pronunciation. It’s to help tourists, and anyone else for that matter,
in pronouncing Maori words, place names and animal names
because Maori names and te reo Maori
deserve that respect. Botha is still on her journey
to learn te reo Maori, but she believes that a bit
of respect could go a long way in helping
this epidemic. And what’s the harm in putting
in a bit of effort to get it right? Hania Douglas, Te Karere.


  • Reply Shinzenbi January 17, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Bravo to this young lady, I applaud the effort she is taking to wilfully lay ignorance aside and embrace a big part of what it means to be a New Zealander, by paying Te Reo respect by actively seeking to pronounce the words properly instead of holding to a superiority complex that instead embraces ignorance. Well done!

  • Reply Oliver Li February 1, 2017 at 3:33 am

    when you talk about Germany do you say deutchland? Do you say españa or Spain? When you say Paris, do you make the s silent? If not why the double standard?

  • Reply captain Cracker October 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Same old garbage.

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