He Whakamarama: A full self-help course in Maori (4e) : 9781442531093

He Whakamarama: A full self-help course in Maori (4e)

Published by
Pearson New Zealand
In stock
Title type
Book + Disk

He Whakamārama is a full course in everyday Māori language.

Aimed at students of all ages and backgrounds, it features

  • A concise but comprehensive approach in one volume
  • Straightforward explanations with numerous examples
  • A logical sequence to allow rapid progress
  • Revision exercises to reinforce and confirm understanding
  • Classic photos by Gil Hanly

Readers are encouraged to make use of the accompanying CD and its additional material as follows

  • Oral Practice (Lesson 26 spoken by Maiki Sherman)
  • Flashcards
  • Audio practice set (2 audio files spoken by Philip and Titoko Whaanga)
  • Two eTexts: He Tuhituhi Māori (a study of Māori texts by well-known writers) and Ngā Kupu (grammar explained)
Table of contents

Foreword by Sir Peter Tapsell
Preface to the 2012 edition
A note on Māori pronunciation

 1 Nouns, Articles, Adjectives
 2 Verbless Sentences
 3 Verbs (I), Nominal Particle (I), Pronouns
 4 Verbs (II), Sign of the Agent, Nominal Particle (II)
 5 Prepositions (I): ‘i’, ‘ki’
 6 Compound Adjectives, Compound Verbs, Relative Clauses (I)
 7 Prepositions (II): ‘i’, ‘kei’, ‘hei’
 8 Possession (I)
 9 Possession (II)
   Passage for translation (I)
10 Adverbs (I)
11 Adverbs (II): ‘mai’, ‘atu’
12 Relative Clauses (II)
13 Numbers, Money, Time*
14 Local Nouns, Complex Prepositions
15 The Emphatic Agent
16 Comparisons, Degrees, Intensives*
17 Imperatives*
18 The Subjunctive ‘kia’, the Verb Signs ‘ana’ and ‘e’
19 Miscellaneous Words and Phrases*
20 Verbal Nouns
21 Interrogatives*
   Passage for translation (II)
22 Neuter Verbs 
23 Elliptical Use of Adverbs, Unusual Verbs
24 The Particle ‘ai’
25 Negatives*
26 Oral Practice

Te ara whakamua = The way forward
Answers to exercises

*These lessons may be read at any time, so that you may become gradually familiar with their contents, but all other lessons should be studied in the order given – they have been carefully designed so that the examples do not contain anything not already explained in earlier lessons.

New to this edition

Preface to the 2012 edition

There have been many developments relating to te reo Māori in the twenty or more years since He Whakamārama became available to those drawn to learn this unique language of Aotearoa. The Kōhanga Reo movement is now well established in all areas. There are Kura Kaupapa Māori schools and a range of institutions providing tuition at differing levels of Māori language. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori has coined many new words relevant to the complexity of modern activities.

There is one aspect of the language that has not changed. That is the arrangement of the words into the right order and in the right relationship to each other for the sentences we speak or write to have the meaning we intend. What has not changed, and will not change, is the grammar of the Māori language.

However there is a lost generation of Māori people entitled by birthright to the Māori language. That they do not have it is no fault of theirs. The requirements of daily living forces them into the constant use of English. This teaching material, easy to follow, will be a help to them.

As the title of this book makes clear, He Whakamārama is a book of explanations. They deal with every vital element of how Māori sentences are formed; systematically set out so the points that are presented flow in a logical sequence from one to another. With this book and CD you can learn a lot of Māori every day, in your own time, and wherever you may be.

The way in which a language, other than the student’s mother tongue, is learnt could be said to develop in four stages. First is to be aware, or be made aware, of what must be learnt. Next is to learn it. Then it should be checked that it has been learnt correctly. Lastly the knowledge is put into practice. The lessons, exercises and flashcards in this package have all been designed to cater for those aspects.

The objective is to build up a mental stock of correctly formed Māori sentences, which then become models for forming many other correct sentences. This process goes hand in hand with a continuing increase in your vocabulary.

You do not need to have any previous knowledge of grammar to make full use of He Whakamārama, Ngā Kupu Whakamārama and He Tuhituhi Māori . It will be all explained as we move from one point to another. Explanation is the key to understanding. Teaching is explaining.

The difficulties we encounter when we start to learn Māori are not due to complexity; they are due to the different way in which a thought concept is to be expressed. Our own thinking will gradually adjust to this, and the different idiom will start to feel quite natural to us.

Fortunately, this first impression of unusualness will be greatly offset as we move into our study by the exceptional regularity of the Māori language. The way the language is arranged, with such clear consistency and with great economy of words, reveals the intellectual brilliance of its originators, ngā tipuna Māori .

Any difficulties te reo may challenge us with must be directly faced. Avoidance of them, or unnecessary increase in the time taken over them, will not make it any easier to reach a satisfactory level of understanding. You must press on.

The points explained in the first twelve lessons are absolutely vital and must all be brought to a state of ready response. This is the minimum functional amount of the language.

In the lessons following them other forms are explained which occur less frequently but nevertheless represent some of the most characteristic features of Māori . It is important to understand their use. Your understanding of these points, and your overall progress, can be easily checked by doing the exercises at the end of each lesson.

One of the final lessons, Lesson 21, concentrates on all the forms of question, each with its appropriate answer form. These sentence patterns will allow you to initiate basic conversation in Māori or respond to questions put to you in Māori .

The Māori language is a unifying means of communication and good interrelationship among all of us. It is a taonga of national concern and interest, a gift handed down to us from ‘ngā tipuna Māori o ngā rā o mua’, ‘the Māori ancestors of former times’. It was surely meant to include everyone, and those who are fortunate enough to know te reo, to whatever extent, should do the very best they can to help and encourage those who do not have that advantage.

The author of this book is just ‘he kaitiaki o te reo’, ‘a custodian of the language’, until those who choose to do so take up the knowledge.

All te reo Māori described here has been handed down to us by generations of Māori , and all I am doing is helping to pass on to you as effectively as I can the knowledge that has been given to me, over a lifetime of interest, by fine Māori people who you yourself will never be able to meet, and by books you will never read. 

This edition contains a wide range of material, of different types. Modern technology has enabled out-of-print material to be again available to the student. A considerable amount of spoken Māori is included, and the flashcards provide concentrated practice and social interaction.

When I was young, kaumātua and kuia would freely tell people anything they wished to know about things Māori , with much pride, and received a lot of respect for doing so. That’s what all who know Māori must do.

An increasing knowledge of Māori language will provide a link for you with ngā tipuna rongonui, ngā tangata whenua o Aotearoa nei.

E hoa mā – kia manawanui, kia ora.
Nāku, nā tō koutou hoa,
John Foster

Author biography
John Foster has taught evening classes in Māori for many years in Rotorua. The principles used and explained in this book and on the accompanying CD have been thoroughly tested and refined in the classroom, in homes and at marae and provide a full and detailed learning programme.
Sample Pages

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