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Useful Māori phrases

A collection of useful phrases in Māori, a Polynesian language spoken in New Zealand.

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See these phrases in any combination of two languages in the Phrase Finder. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

Guide to abbreviations: inf = informal, frm = formal, sg = singular (to one person), dl = dual (to two people), pl = plural (to three or more people).

English te Reo Māori (Māori)
Welcome Haere mai
Nau mai
Hello (General greeting) Kia ora
Kia ora rā kōrua (dl)
Kia ora koutou (pl)
Tēnā koe (sg/frm)
Tēnā kōrua (dl/frm)
Tēnā koutou (pl/frm)
How are you? Kei te pēhea koe?
Reply to 'How are you?' Kei te pai
Long time no see He roa te wā kua kitea
What's your name? Ko wai tōu ingoa?
My name is ... Ko ... ahau
Where are you from? Nō hea koe?
I'm from ... Nō ... ahau
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Kia ora
Ata mārie
Mōrena
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Kia ora
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Kia ora
Good night Pō mārie
Goodbye
(Parting phrases)
E noho rā (said by person leaving)
E haere rā (said by person staying)
Hei kona rā (inf)
Good luck! Kia waimarie
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Mauri ora!
Kia ora!
Have a nice day Kia ora
Ata mārie
Mōrena
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Kia mākona
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Kia pai te haere
Yes Ae
No E kao
Maybe Tērā pea
I don't understand Kaore au e mārama
Aroha mai
Please speak more slowly Tēnā koa*, āta kōrero
Please say that again Tēnā koa, kōrero mai anō
Please write it down Tuhia
Tuhia koa
Do you speak Māori? He reo Māori tōu?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Āe, he iti
How do you say ... in Māori? He aha te kupu Māori mō ...?
Excuse me Arohaina mai
How much is this? He aha te utu?
Sorry Arohaina mai
Mō Taku Hē
Thank you usually expressed through rising intonation or
Kia ora
Where's the toilet / bathroom? Kei hea te wharepaku?
This gentleman will pay for everything Mā tēnei tāne ngā mea katoa e utu
This lady will pay for everything Mā tēnei wahine ngā mea katoa e utu
Would you like to dance with me? Ka Pīrangi koe ki te kanikani tahi tāua?
I love you Kei te aroha au ki a koe
Get well soon Kia piki te ora
Leave me alone! Haere atu!
Help! Āwhina!
Fire! Ahi!
Stop! Kāti!
Be careful! Kia Tūpato!
Be quiet! Turituri!
Call the police! Waea atu ki te Pirihimana!
Christmas greetings Meri Kirihimete
New Year greetings Ngā mihi o te tau hou
Ngā mihi o te tau hou ki a koutou katoa
Easter greetings Ngā mihi o te Aranga
Birthday greetings Rā Whānau ki a Koe!
Congratulations! Nga mihi!
One language is never enough Kore rawa e rawaka te reo kotahi
My hovercraft is full of eels Kī tōnu taku waka topaki i te tuna

*Note: Tēnā koa (please) is not absolutely necessary in these phrases. Your tone of voice can express the same thing.

Translations and corrections by Tamati Taylor, Fern Jenkins and Carla Rikihana

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

Information about Māori | Phrases | Numbers | Family words | Tower of Babel | Learning materials

Links

Other collections of Māori phrases (some with audio)
http://www.korero.maori.nz/forlearners
http://www.maorilanguage.net/phrase_drills/
http://www.maori.org.nz/kotereo/ http://www.day12.com/phrasebook_maori.htm

Phrases in Polynesian languages

Hawaiian, Māori, Niuean, Rapa Nui, Samoan, Tahitian, Tokelauan, Tongan, Tuvaluan

Phrases in other languages


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