Learn Maori

Maori is the indigenous language of New Zealand and an official language alongside English. Maori speakers know it simply as ‘te reo’ - ‘the language’. It is most closely related to Tahitian and Cook Islands Maori, and less closely to other Polynesian languages such as Hawaiian. The language started to go into decline after WW2 but revitalisation efforts, including providing education in Maori, mean that it has never become extinct.

Learn Maori with uTalk
Planet Earth

Where Is It Spoken?

New Zealand

People Talking

Number Of Speakers

50,000

Family Tree

Language Family

Malayo-Polynesian

Arrow facing left to cycle backwards through text
Arrow facing left to cycle forward through text

Fun facts about Maori

Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand, means ‘land of the long white cloud’.

We borrow the word 'kiwi' from Maori.

Maori has two sets of possessive words, for example, 'my' is either 'tāku' or 'tōku'. The difference is that the first is used with things that we can control according to the Maori world view: children, husbands, wives, machines not used for transport, pets, money, tools, food, actions. And the other is used with things beyond our control: parents, siblings, friends, lovers (not spouses), feelings, transport, shelter, buildings, medicine, clothes and parts of the body.

Over 30 million people have started speaking a new language with uTalk

Treasure

Over 2500 words and phrases, across 60+ topics covering everyday situations

Native Speakers

Practise speaking and compare your pronunciation with native speakers

Games

Game-based learning is fun and intuitive