Te reo vocab - 500 words

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about te reo

  • te reo is one of the official languages of new zealand
  • ncea = national certificate in educational achievement (new zealand)
  • nzqa = new zealand qualification authority
  • level 1 = year 10 (circa 15 yr old learners)
  • level 2 = year 11 (circa 16 yr old learners)
  • level 3 = year 11 (circa 17 yr old learners)
  • for details on te reo maori ncea achievement standards [goto nzqa.govt.nz]


te reo 500 words all new Zealanders should know

te reo english
the marae
hui meeting, conference, gathering
marae the area for formal discourse in front of a meeting house; or the whole marae complex, including meeting house, dining hall, forecourt, etc.
haere mai welcome! enter!
nau mai welcome!
tangihanga funeral ceremony in which a body is mourned on a marae
tangi short (verbal version) for the above; or to cry, to mourn
karanga the ceremony of calling to the guests to welcome them onto the marae
manuhiri guests, visitors
tangata whenua original people belonging to a place, local people, hosts
whaikorero the art and practice of speech making
kaikorero speaker
kaiwhai korero speaker
haka chant with dance for the purpose of challenge (see other references to haka on this site)
waiata song or chant which follows a speech
koha gift, present (usually money, can be food or precious items, given by guest to hosts)
whare nui meeting house; sometimes run together as one word – wharenui
whare whakairo carved meeting house
whare kai dining hall
whare paku lavatory, toilet
whare horoi ablution block, bathroom
concepts
aroha compassion, tenderness, sustaining love
ihi power, authority, essential force
mana authority, power; secondary meaning: reputation, influence
manaakitanga respect for hosts or kindness to guests, to entertain, to look after
mauri hidden essential life force or a symbol of this
noa safe from tapu (see below), non-sacred, not tabooed
raupatu confiscate, take by force
rohe boundary, a territory (either geographical or spiritual) of an iwi or hapu
taihoa to delay, to wait, to hold off to allow maturation of plans, etc.
tapu sacred, not to be touched, to be avoided because sacred, taboo
tiaki to care for, look after, guard (kaitiaki: guardian, trustee)
taonga treasured possession or cultural item, anything precious
tino rangatiratanga the highest possible independent chiefly authority, paramount authority, sometimes used for sovereignty
turangawaewae a place to stand, a place to belong to, a seat or location of identity
wehi to be held in awe
whakapapa genealogy, to recite genealogy, to establish kin connections
whenua land, homeland, country (also afterbirth, placenta)
people and their groups
ariki male or female of high inherited rank from senior line of descent
hapu clan, tribe, independent section of a people (modern usage – sub-tribe); pregnant
iwi people, nation (modern usage – tribe); bones
kaumatua elder or elders, senior people in a kin group
ngai tatou a term for everyone present – ‘we all’
pakeha this word is not an insult; its derivation is obscure; it is the maori word for people living in new zealand of british/european origin; originally it would not have included, for example, dalmatians, italians, greeks, indians, chinese
rangatira person of chiefly rank, boss, owner
tama son, young man, youth
tamahine daughter
tamaiti one child
tamariki children
tane man/men, husband(s)
teina/taina junior relative, younger brother of a brother, younger sister of a sister
tipuna/tupuna ancestor
tuahine sister of a man
tuakana senior relative, older brother of a brother, older sister of a sister
tungane brother of a sister
wahine woman, wife (wahine: women, wives)
waka canoe, canoe group (all the iwi and hapu descended from the crew of a founding waka)
whangai fostered or adopted child, young person
whanau extended or non-nuclear family; to be born
whanaunga kin, relatives
components of place names
au current
awa river
iti small, little
kai in a place name, this signifies a place where a particular food source was plentiful, e.g., kaikoura, the place where crayfish (koura) abounded and were eaten
manga stream
mania plain
maunga mountain
moana sea, or large inland ‘sea’, e.g., taupo
motu island
nui large, big
o or o means ‘of’ (so does a, a); many names begin with o, meaning the place of so-and-so, e.g., okahukura, okiwi, ohau
one sand, earth
pae ridge, range
papa flat
poto short
puke hill
roa long
roto lake; inside
tai coast, tide
wai water
whanga harbour, bay
greetings
e noho ra goodbye (from a person leaving)
haere ra goodbye (from a person staying)
haere mai welcome! come!
hei kona ra goodbye (less formal)
kia ora hi! g’day! (general informal greeting)
morena (good) morning!
nau mai welcome! come!
tena koe formal greeting to one person
tena korua formal greeting to two people
tena koutou formal greeting to many people
tena tatou katoa formal inclusive greeting to everybody present, including oneself
body parts
arero tongue
ihu nose
kaki neck
kauae chin (also kauwae)
kopu womb
mahunga (also makawe) hair (always plural, indicated by nga [the, plural]); also head
manawa heart
niho teeth
poho chest (also uma)
puku belly, stomach
raho testicles
ringa hand, arm
toto blood
tou anus
turi knee (also pona)
tutae excrement, ordure
u breast (breast-milk is wai-u)
upoko head
ure penis
waewae foot/feet, leg/legs
holidays and anniversaries
tau-hou new year
parairei pai good friday (also paraire)
aranga easter sunday
ra maumahara ki nga hoia o aotearoa me ahitereiria anzac day
ra whanau o te kuini o ingarangi queen’s birthday
matariki beginning of maori new year, pleiades
kirihimete christmas
a-tau annual
hararei holiday
whakata rest
whakanui celebrate
koha present
hana koko father christmas
hakari feast
days, months and seasons
rahina; mane monday
ratu; turei tuesday
raapa; wenerei wednesday
rapare; taite thursday
ramere; paraire friday
rahoroi saturday
ratapu sunday
kohitatea january
hui-tanguru february (also pepuere)
poutu-te-rangi march
paenga-whawha april
haratua may
pipiri june
hongongoi july
hereturi-koka august
mahuru september
whiringa-a-nuku october
whiringa-a-rangi november
hakihea december
raumati summer
ngahuru autumn
takurua winter
koanga spring
the marae
whakatau visit
manuhiri visitor, guest
paepae speakers’ seats (for both visitors and hosts)
hui meeting, conference, gathering
marae complex that includes meeting house, dining hall, forecourt, etc.
tangihanga funeral ceremony in which a body is mourned on the marae
tangi shortened version of tangihanga. also means to cry or to mourn
karanga the protocol of women calling guests onto the marae
manuhiri guests at or visitors to the marae
tangata whenua hosts, local people, ‘people of the land’
kaikorero speaker, one who makes a speech
haka chant with dance for the purpose of challenge
waiata song or chant which follows a speech; can be a haka
koha gift, present. usually money, can be food or precious items, given by guests to hosts
whare nui meeting house, big house for communal gathering, sleeping house
whare whakairo carved meeting house
whare kai dining hall, eating place; often used for meetings
wharepaku ‘small house’; ablution block, toilets and shower room
whare horoi bathroom
greetings
nau mai welcome
e noho ra farewell (from a person leaving)
haere mai welcome! enter!
haere ra farewell, goodbye (from someone staying)
hei kona ra farewell, goodbye (less formal)
ka kite see you again, see you soon (informal)
kia ora hello, hi, greetings; term of acknowledgement or thanks
tena koe formal greeting to one person
tena korua formal greeting to two people
tena koutou formal greeting to more than two people
morena good morning
ata marie good morning
pomarie goodnight or good evening
tena tatou katoa formal inclusive greeting that includes the speaker
protocols, roles, emotions and characteristics
aroha compassion, tenderness, sustaining love
ihi power, authority, essential force
mana authority, power; influence, reputation
mauri hidden essential life force, or a symbol of this
noa safe from tapu (see below), non-sacred, not tabooed
tino rangatiratanga the highest possible independent chiefly authority, paramount authority
whaikorero art and practice of speech-making
manaakitanga respect for hosts or kindness to guests
taihoa to delay, to wait, to hold off to allow maturation of plans, etc.
tapu sacred, not to be touched, to be avoided because sacred, taboo
tiaki to care for, look after, guard
kaitiaki guardian, trustee
taonga treasured possessions or cultural items; anything precious
raupatu confiscate, take by force
wehi to be held in awe
families and people
whanau family
matamua first-born
potiki youngest
papa father
whaea mother
tamaiti child
tamahine daughter
tipuna or tupuna ancestor
wahine woman, wife
tamaiti whangai adopted child
tuakana older brother of a male
tuakana older sister of a female
teina younger brother of a male
teina younger sister of a female
tungane brother of a female
tuahine sister of a male
kuia old woman
koroua, koro old man
whanaunga blood relation
kaumatua elder of group
whakapapa family tree, genealogy
whangai fostered or adopted child
tane man, husband
tamariki children
tama son, young man, youth
rangatira person of chiefly rank, boss, owner
pakeha people of european origin, non-maori
ngai tatou a way of referring to everyone present
iwi people, nation: modern usage, tribal bones
hapu clan, tribe or sub-tribe, to be born
places
taone-nui city
huarahi road, highway
waitangi national celebration of the treaty of waitangi; ‘weeping waters’
rohe boundary, the territory (geographical and/or spiritual) of an iwi or hapu
turangawaewae a place to stand, a place to belong to, a seat or location of identity
whenua land, homeland, country (also afterbirth, placenta)
te reinga point at northern tip of new zealand
kaitaia far north town with dalmatian settlers
paihia idyllic tourist place in far north, next to waitangi
hokianga early maori explorers used harbour as place to return to
whangarei city in far north near oil refinery
akarana auckland
tamaki makaurau auckland
waikato river and district south of auckland
tainui tribal confederation of waikato people
rangiriri historic redoubt in waikato
ngaruawahia home of the tainui king tuheitia
kirikiriroa hamilton
ahuriri napier
hauraki tribe to the east of waikato
tauranga bay of plenty city, home of ngati ranginui and ngai te rangi
rotorua tourist city with natural hot pools and maori cultural activities
taupo town at northern end of large central north island lake of the same name, which is often pronounced incorrectly
turangi town at south end of lake taupo. home of ngati tuwharetoa.
kawhia west coast settlement where the tainui waka landed
turanga gisborne
heretaunga hastings
whakatane town in the eastern bay of plenty
whanganui town and river
taranaki mountain to the west
tongariro mountain of central north island
ruapehu mountain of central north island
papa-i-oea palmerston north
paraparaumu town in southern north island; often pronounced incorrectly
te awa kairangi hutt valley
te whanganui a tara wellington
te moana o raukawa cook strait
whakatu nelson (to stand and make a speech)
waiharakeke blenheim (place where flax grows)
kaikoura town named for its abundant crayfish
otautahi christchurch; the river avon
otepoti dunedin (place situated at a corner)
aoraki mt cook (sky piercer)
te waipounamu south island
rakiura stewart island
te ara a kiwa foveaux strait
te tai poutini west coast of the south island
wharekauri chatham islands
rekohu chatham islands
manapouri lake and hydro scheme in the south island
wanaka lake in the south island
wakatipu lake in the south island (place to rebuild tribal strength)
ruapuke two hills; two prominent features on an island
kaiapoi to swing food
arahura path of discovery
waitaki weeping waters (ngai tahu dialect)
waitangi weeping waters
moeraki a place to sleep by day
oamaru place of the god maru
timaru cabbage-tree shelter
motueka woodhens in a grove of trees
temuka a fierce (hot) oven
omarama place of light
hokitika return directly
o or o means ‘of’ (so does a, a); many names begin with o, meaning the place of so-and-so, e.g., okahukura, okiwi, ohau
numbers
tahi one
rua two
toru three
wha four
rima five
ono six
whitu seven
waru eight
iwa nine
tekau 10
tekau ma tahi 11
rua tekau 20
iwa tekau 90
iwa tekau ma iwa 99
kotahi rau 100
iwa rau 900
kotahi mano 1000
natural world
au current
awa river
maunga mountain
puke hill
hiwi hill
moana sea, or large inland ‘sea’, e.g., taupo
mania plain, stretch of land
pae ridge, range
papa flat
roto lake; inside
wai water
whanga harbour, bay
motu island
repo swamp
manga stream, creek
one sand, earth at the beach
wai-hirere waterfall
ngaru wave (in water)
tomo cave or hole in ground
ngahere forest
arawhata bridge
koraha desert
awa-awa valley
pari cliff
ahua o te rangi climate
waipuke flood
whakahukapapa freeze
makuku damp
hukapapa frost
huka snow
pahekeheke slippery
hukarere sleet
aniwaniwa rainbow
ngatata landslip
titiro ki te ngatata look at the landslip
patapata ua raindrop
kua heke te patapata ua the rain is falling
makariri cold
kei te makariri au i am cold
sport
whutuporo (rugby) football
riki rugby league
hau paoro golf
whana poikiri– soccer (association football)
neti poro netball
hoki hockey
pahiketeporo basketball
iwi
kahungunu ki wairarapa iwi
kahungunu ki heretaunga iwi
ngati porou iwi
whanau a apanui iwi
whakatohea iwi
ngai tuhoe iwi
ngati awa iwi
ngati tuwharetoa iwi
kahungunu ki wairoa iwi
tainui iwi
ngapuhi iwi
ngati whatua iwi
hauraki iwi
taranaki iwi
whanganui iwi
ngati raukawa iwi
muaupoko iwi
rangitane iwi
toa rangatira iwi
kai tahu iwi, also known as ngai tahu
te tauihu tribes of the northern south island
waitaha early south island tribe
te taurapa tribes of the southern south island
government organisations
te tahuhu o te matauranga ministry of education
te papa atawhai department of conservation
te manatu aorere ministry of foreign affairs and trade
whare paremata parliament
whare koti matua supreme court
te taura whiri maori language commission
te papa tongarewa national museum in wellington
te puni kokiri ministry of maori development
food and drink
kai food
e kai command to eat
inu drink
e inu command to drink
hoko buy (as in buy ice cream)
riwai potatoes (also taewa)
miti meat
heihei chicken
miti poaka pork
ika fish
ika me te riwai fish and chips
hua whenua vegetables
hua rakau fruit
hua manu egg (also heki)
pekana bacon
tohi toast
totiti sausage
miraka milk
kirimi cream
huka sugar
tiamu jam
pata butter
tihi cheese
aporo apple
arani orange
panana banana
pea pear
kapu cup
karaehe glass
naihi knife
pune spoon
pereti plate
pouaka hukapapa refrigerator
umu stove
hiakai hungry
kei te hiakai au i am hungry
hiainu thirsty
kei te hiainu au i am thirsty
body parts
paparinga cheek (on face)
makawe hair
rae brow, forehead
kauae chin
mahunga head
upoko head
matimati finger
manawa heart
niho teeth
poho chest
puku belly, stomach
arero tongue
ringa hand, arm
toto blood
kanohi face
turi knee
pona knee
whatu eye
ihu nose
kaki neck
taringa ear
waewae foot, feet, leg, legs
shops, buildings, rooms, etc.
poutapeta post office
toa hokomaha supermarket
peke bank
wharemiti butcher
kaihoko rongoa chemist
kemihi chemist
toa hoko miraka dairy
toa hua rakau fruit shop
wharepukapuka library
whare runanga boardroom
wahi kai cafeteria
wharehui conference room
whare kihini kitchen
ararewa lift
wahi whakatau reception
tari office
pataka storeroom
transport
pahi bus
tereina train
teihana station
waka boat
motuka car
paihikara bicycle
taraka truck
tarakihana tractor
waka noho caravan
waka-rererangi aeroplane
other useful words and phrases
te koretake hoki how useless!
iti small, little
poto short
nui large, big
roa long
tomokanga gateway
waharoa gateway
mihini mahana heater
koti mahana warm coat
whakamau tou koti mahana wear your warm coat
koti ua raincoat
potae ua rainhat
whakamau tou potae ua wear your rainhat.
hei aha atu don’t worry.
hiamoe sleepy, tired
kei te hiamoe au i am tired
akuanei soon, in a while
oma run
e oma to run
rere fly
e rere to fly
hikoi walk
peke jump
e peke command to jump
karakia prayer
komiti committee
kaitono applicant
kaiawhina assistant
hoamahi colleague