Cook Islands Māori
|Cook Islands Māori|
|Māori Kūki 'Āirani|
|Native to||Cook Islands, New Zealand|
|unknown (undated figure of 45,000)
13,000 in Cook Islands (2011 census)
Official language in
|Regulated by||Kopapa Reo|
rar – Rarotonga
pnh – Tongareva (Penrhyn)
rkh – Rakahanga-Manihiki
The Cook Islands Māori language, also called Māori Kūki 'Āirani or Rarotongan, is the official language of the Cook Islands. Most Cook Islanders also call it Te reo Ipukarea, literally "the language of the Ancestral Homeland".
Cook Islands Māori became an official language of the Cook Islands in 2003. According to Te Reo Maori Act, Māori:
- (a) means the Māori language (including its various dialects) as spoken or written in any island of the Cook Islands; and
- (b) Is deemed to include Pukapukan as spoken or written in Pukapuka; and
- (c) Includes Māori that conforms to the national standard for Māori approved by Kopapa Reo; (see external links).
- Rakahanga-Manihiki dialect;
- Penrhyn dialect (Tongarevan);
- the Ngaputoru dialects of Atiu, Mitiaro and Mauke;
- Aitutaki dialect;
- Rarotongan dialect; and
- Mangaia dialect.
The language is regulated by the kopapa reo created in 2003.
Writing system and pronunciation
There is a debate about the standardization of the writing system. Although the usage of the macron (־) te makaroni, and the glottal (') (/ʔ/) is recommended, most speakers do not use these two diacritics in everyday writing.
- Present only in Manihiki
- Present only in Penrhyn
- Present only in Manihiki and Penrhyn
|Close||i iː||u uː|
|Close-mid||e eː||o oː|
As with most South Pacific languages, classical descriptions are generally based on the system used for Indo-European languages, especially concerning grammatical classes. Today linguists try to avoid it, considering it a form of Eurocentrism, even if any such description is adequate.[clarification needed] Most of these examples are taken from Cook Islands Maori Dictionary, by Jasper Buse with Raututi Taringa edited by Bruce Biggs and Rangi Moeka'a, Auckland, 1995.
- you -2 or more- and I
- they and I
|Pronoun||Cook Islands Maori||English||Word-to-word and gloss|
|au||Ka 'aere au ki te 'āpi'i āpōpō listen||I'm going to school tomorrow.||(unaccomplished asp.)/ go / I / (prep. goal/destination) / the / learn / tomorrow|
|Ka 'ārote au inana'i, nō te ua rā, kua 'akakore au||I was going to do the ploughing yesterday, but gave it up because of the rain.||(unaccomplished asp.) / plough / I / yesterday / because (origin) / the / rain / day /(perfect asp.) / give up (litt. "do nothing") /I|
|koe||Kua kino iā koe tō mātou mōtokā||You damaged our car.||(perfect asp.) / bad / by / you /(possession)/we (exclusive) /car|
|Ko koe 'oki, te tangata tā te 'akavā e kimi nei||You are the person the police are looking for.||(subject marker) / you / also / the / man / (possession) / the / police / (progressive asp. with "nei") /look for/here and now.|
|aia||'Ea'a 'aia i 'aere mai ei||Why did he/she come?||why ('ea'a... ei) / he or she / (accomplished asp) / go / towards me /|
|Kāre 'aia i konei||He/she is not here.||(negation asp.) / he or she / (marking position) / here|
|Pronoun||Cook Islands Maori||English||Word-to-word and gloss|
|Tāua||'aere tāua !||Let us go!||go / we two (inclusive)|
|Ko tō tāua taeake tērā ake||Here come our friends.||(subject marker) / (possession) / we two (inclusive) / friend or relative of the same generation (brother, sister, cousin either sex) speaking, but not in laws./ that (deictic)/ a little time (or distance)away|
|we two, us two (he/she and I)||Ka 'oki māua ko Taria ki te kāinga listen||Taria and I are going back home.||(unaccomplished asp.)/ return / we two (exclusive) / with / Taria/ (prep. goal)/ the / home|
|To tāua taeake tērā ake||Here come our friends.||(subject marker) / possession / we two (exclusive) / friend / that (deictic)/ a little time (or distance away)|
|Kōrua : you two||'āe ! kua rongo kōrua i te nūti!||Hey! Have you heard the news?||hey (interj) / (perfect asp.) / hear / you two / (object marker) / the / news /|
|Na kōrua teia puka||This book belongs to you two.||(Possession) / you two / this (deictic) / book|
|Rāua : they, them (the two of them)||Tuatua muna tēia, ka akakite 'ua atu au kia rāua||This is a confidential matter, I shall only tell it to those two.||speak, speech / secret / this / (unaccomplished asp.) / reveal (make known) / only / away (from the speaker)/ I / (prep. ki+a)towards (someone)/ they two|
|No 'ea mai rāua ?||Where have the two of them been? / What have they been doing?||from / (time and space interr.) / (indicating progression of time towards present) / they two|
|Pronoun||Cook Islands Maori||English||Word-to-word and gloss|
|Tātou : We, us (you -2 or more- and I)||Ko'ai tā tātou e tiaki nei||Who are we waiting for?||Who (subject marker+identity interr.) / (possession) / we, all of us (inclusive) / (progressive asp.) / wait for / here and now|
|Kāre ā tātou kai toe||We have no more food.||(Negation asp.) / (possession) / we, all of us (inclusive) / eat, food / remain, remaining, the rest|
|Mātou : we, us (they and I)||Ko mātou ma Tere mā i 'aere mai ei||We came with Tere and the others.||(subject marker)/ we (exclusive) / with, and / Tere / (part used only after persons meaning those in company with / (accomplisshed asp.) / go / (movement towards speaker) / (emphasis marks)|
|Kua kite mai koe ia mātou||You saw us.||(perfect asp.) / see(towards speaker) / you / at someone (i+a) / we (exclusive)|
|Kōtou : (all of you)||E 'aere atu kōtou, ka āru atu au||You go on, and I'll follow.||(imperative asp.)/ go / (away from the speaker) / you all / (unaccomplished asp.) / follow / go / (away from the speaker) / I|
|Ko kōtou ko'ai mā i aere ei ki te tautai? listen||Who did you go fishing with?||(Subject marker) / you all / who (identity interr.) / in company with / (accomplished asp.) / go / (emphasis) / (goal/destination) / the / fishing|
|Rātou : they, them (more than two)||Kua pekapeka rātou ko Tere||They and Tere have quarrelled.||(perfect asp.)/ trouble / they all / (subject marker)/ Tere|
|Nō rātou te pupu māro'iro'i||They have the strongest team.||(Possession) / they all / the / team (litt. group of people) / strong|
|Tē... nei||present continuous||
Tē manako nei au i te 'oki ki te 'are 'I am thinking of going back to the house'
|Kia||Mildly imperative or exhortatory, expressing a desire, a wish rather than a strong command.||
Kia vave mai! 'be quick ! (don't be long!)'
'ē 'eke koe ki raro : you get down;
'Auraka rava koe e 'āmiri i teia niuniu ora, ka 'uti'uti 'ia koe : Don't on any account touch this live wire, you'll get a shock
|kāre||indicate the negation, not, nothing, nowhere||
Kāre nō te ua : It 'll not rain; Kāre a Tī tuatua : Tī doesn't have anything to say
|e… ana||habitual action or state||
E 'aere ana koe ki te 'ura : Do you go to the dance?:
|Ka||Refers prospectively to the commencement of an action or state. Often translatable by and English future tense or "going to" construction||
Ka 'īmene 'a Mere ākonei ite pō : Mary is going to sing later on tonight;
|Kua||translatable by an English simple past or a present tense (with adjectives)||
Kua kite mai koe ia mātou : You saw us;
Generally the ā category is used when the possessor has, or had, control of the relationship, is superior or dominant to what is owned or when the possession is considered as alienable. The ō category is used when the possessor has, or had, no control over the relationship, is subordinate or inferior to what is owned or when the possession is considered as inalienable.
The following list indicates the types of things in the different categories
- ā is used in speaking of
– Movable property, instruments,
– Food and drink,
– Husband, wife, children, girlfriend, boyfriend,
– Animals and pets,
– People in an inferior position
Te puaka ā tērā vaine : the pig belonging to that woman; ā Tere tamariki : Tere's children; Kāre ā Tupe mā ika i napō : Tupe and the rest didn't get any fish last night
Tāku ; Tā'au ; Tāna ; Tā tāua ; Tā māua…. : my, mine ; your, yours ; his, her, hers, our ours…
Ko tāku vaine teia : This is my wife; Ko tāna tāne tera : That's her husband; Tā kotou 'apinga : your possession(s); Tā Tare 'apinga : Tera possession(s);
- ō is used in speaking of
– Parts of anything
– Buildings and transport
– Parents or other relatives (not husband, wife, children…)
Te 'are ō Tere : The house belonging to Tere; ō Tere pare : Tere's hat; Kāre ō Tina no'o anga e no'o ei : Tina hasn't got anywhere to sit;
Tōku ; Tō'ou ; Tōna ; Tō tāua ; Tō māua…: my, mine ; your, yours ; his, her, hers ; our, ours …
Ko tōku 'are teia : This is my house; I tōku manako, kā tika tāna : In my opinion, he'll be right; Teia tōku, tērā tō'ou : This is mine here, that's yours over there
Pia : Polynesian arrowroot
Kata : laugh at; laughter; kata 'āviri : ridicule, jeer, mock
Tanu : to plant, cultivate land
'anga'anga : work, job
Pōpongi : morning
Tātāpaka : a kind of breadfruit pudding
'ura : dance, to dance
Tuātau : time, period, season ; ē tuātau 'ua atu : forever
'īmene : to sing, song
Riri : be angry with (ki)
Tārekareka : entertain, amuse, match, game, play game
Although most words of the various dialects of Cook Islands Māori are identical, there are some variations [to be completed]
|kāre||kā'ore, 'Ā'ore||E'i, 'Āore||Aita, kare||Kaua, Kare||kore||no, not|
|ma'ata||'atupaka||ngao||nui, nunui, ranuinui||kore reka||polia||big|
|matu, Pete||Ngenengene||Pori Pori||menemene||suesue||fat|
- Rarotonga at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Tongareva (Penrhyn) at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Rakahanga-Manihiki at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Since 1915, English had been the only official language of the Cook Islands
- In a sense of mutual intelligibility
- Tongarevan is sometimes also considered as a distinct language.
Dictionaries, learning methods and books in Cook Islands Māori
- Cook Islands Maori Database Project, An online project created to build a collection of Cook Islands Maori Words based on existing print dictionaries and other sources.
- Cook Islands Maori Dictionary, by Jasper Buse with Raututi Taringa, edited by Bruce Biggs and Rangi Moeka'a, Auckland, 1995.
- A dictionary of the Maori Language of Rarotonga, Manuscript by Stephen Savage, Suva : IPS, USP in association with the Ministry of Education of the Cook Islands, 1983.
- Kai Korero : Cook Islands Maori Language Coursebook, Tai Carpentier and Clive Beaumont, Pasifika Press, 1995. (A useful learning Method with oral skills cassette)
- Cook Islands Cook Book by Taiora Matenga-Smith. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies.
- Maori Lessons for the Cook Islands, by Taira Rere. Wellington, Islands Educational Division, Department of Education, 1960.
- Conversational Maori, Rarotongan Language, by Taira Rere. Rarotonga, Government Printer. 1961.
- Some Maori Lessons, by Taira Rere. Rarotonga. Curriculum Production Unit, Department of Education. 1976.
- More Maori Lessons, by Taira Rere. Suva, University of the South Pacific.1976
- Maori Spelling: Notes for Teachers, by Taira Rere. Rarotonga: Curriculum Production Unit, Education Department.1977.
- Traditions and Some Words of the Language of Danger or Pukapuka Island. Journal of the Polynesian Society 13:173-176.1904.
- Collection of Articles on Rarotonga Language, by Jasper Buse. London: University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. 1963.
- Manihikian Traditional Narratives: In English and Manihikian: Stories of the Cook Islands (Na fakahiti o Manihiki). Papatoetoe, New Zealand: Te Ropu Kahurangi.1988
- Te korero o Aitutaki, na te Are Korero o Aitutaki, Ministry of Cultural Development, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. 1992
- Atiu nui Maruarua : E au tua ta'ito, Vainerere Tangatapoto et al. University of South Pacific, Suva 1984. (in Maori and English)
- Learning Rarotonga Maori, by Maki'uti Tongia, Ministry of Cultural Development, Rarotonga 1999.
- Te uri Reo Maori (translating in Maori), by Maki'uti Tongia, Punanga o te reo. 1996.
- Atiu, e enua e tona iti tangata, te au tata tuatua Ngatupuna Kautai...(et al.), Suva, University of the South Pacific.1993. (Maori translation of Atiu : an island Community)
- A vocabulary of the Mangaian language by Christian, F. W. 1924. Bernice P. Bishop Bulletin 2. Honolulu, Bernice P. Bishop Museum.
- E au tuatua ta'ito no Manihiki, Kauraka Kauraka, IPS, USP, Suva. 1987.
|Cook Islands Māori test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
- Cook Islands Maori Database
- Te akataka reo Rarotonga; or, Rarotongan and English grammar by the Rev Aaron Buzacott of the London Missionary Society, Rarotonga. 1854. Old grammar in english and Rarotongan
- "Tuatua mai!" Learn Cook Islands Maori
- Te Reo Maori Act 2003
- SBS Cook Islands Maori Radio Program. Updated each week
- http://www.cookislandsmaori.com/ Online version of Jasper Buse and Raututi Taringa Dictionary
- Cook Islands Ministry of Cultural Development
- Te Reo Māori Kūki 'Āirani i roto i te Kurakarāma o Aotearoa (Cook Islands Maori in the New Zealand Curriculum)
- Collected songs and legends from the southern Cook Islands (c. 1883–1912) at the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre