Maori language in Hawaii

According to a news item I found today, it’s possible to study the Maori language at the University of Hawaii. The Maori courses, which are taught at the Manoa campus, are popular with Hawaiian students, who are interesting in Maori because it has many similarities with the Hawaiian language and they are curious to find out what it’s like. They are also interested in other Polynesian languages.

Another article I came across today compares the Cree, Hualapai, Maori, and Hawaiian indigenous language programs. The writer describes common components and problems of implementation, and concludes that successful programs need to link language and culture, need written teaching materials, and need community support and parental involvement.

Hualapai, a.k.a Walapai, is spoken in parts of Arizona, in case you’re wondering.

This entry was posted in Hawaiian, Language, Maori.

3 Responses to Maori language in Hawaii

  1. AR says:

    That’s interesting. Hawai’ian is closely related to Marquesan and Tahitian and a bit farther related to Maori. I always wondered how much Hawai’ians and Maoris could understand each other. Captain Cook had used a Tahitian to translate when he arrived in Hawai’i.

  2. BG says:

    From looking at the UDHR Maori and Hawaiin don’t look mutually intellegible. As a random guess I would say it would probably be something like the similarity between English and Swedish.

  3. Nongandwong says:

    Not quite as distant as English and Swedish. They only look very different because of the consonant changes.
    Maori K = Hawai’ian ‘
    Wh = H
    NG = N
    R = L
    T = K

    After knowing that, hundreds of Maori words (about 70% of the vocabulary) are the same as Hawai’ian

    tangata = kanaka (person)
    waka = wa’a (boat)
    whare = hale (house)
    atu = aku (away)

    The vowels usually correspond one-to-one, and that is why the mutual intelligibility of both languages will be higher than between English and Swedish