Using this dictionary to help you learn Cook Islands Maori
Do you want to learn Cook Islands Maori? This online dictionary will assist you. A hard copy of the book is also very useful, but they are currently out of print. Check out the Cook Islands Library and Museum Society or the University of the South Pacific in Rarotonga. The dictionary compiled by Steven Savage is also a fantastic work.
The difficulty of the hard copy for a student, is that it is in the format of a dictionary… because it is a dictionary. Meaning that every entry, every block of information is written as if it is one big long sentence. This online dictionary of Cook Islands Maori has laid out each sentence and its translation in a clear fashion with a decent gap between sentences, making them much easier to read.
One way you can assist your learning is to click on one of the letters in the MENU Bar at the top of the webpage. All the Maori words beginning with that letter will appear. Scan through the words and test yourself on your knowledge of the word. Click on it to learn all about that word.
Textbooks for those Learning Rarotongan and Cook Islands Maori
There are a number of other textbooks and learning aids available for those learning Rarotongan Maori and learning Cook Islands Maori. Here is a listing. Please advise us of more.
Kai Korero. Cook Islands Maori Language Course Book by Tai Carpentier and Clive Beaumont. Pasifika Press, 1995. This Cook Islands Maori Language Coursebook is designed for both personal and also for classroom use. It is ideal for all ages and backgrounds. It includes 60 sets of exercises, songs, a comprehensive word list and a bibliography of Cook Islands resources. This book comes with cassette tapes, voiced by native Rarotongan Maori speakers. A valuable resource.
Let’s Learn Maori by Taira Rere. This is a very thorough and clearly written basic text, that is now out of print. Mr Rere explains things succinctly and clearly.
Text by the Mormon Church. This is a comprehensive book that is used to train the Mormon missionaries that come to do their service in the Cook Islands.
Learning Rarotonga Maori – How to Speak in Ordinary Situations by Makiuti Tongia, B.A., M.A. published by the Ministry of Cultural Development, Rarotonga, Cook Islands 1991 and reprinted in 1999.
Say it in Rarotongan – a Beginner’s Reader. Cook Islands Maori-English. Pacific Islands Educational Resource Centre, 1988.
Book by the Auckland University. I am digging around to find the correct name.
Like all languages getting a real live teacher is also a must.
Things that a native English Speaker will encounter in learning Rarotongan and Cook Islands Maori
Linguists tell us that Rarotongan is structurally a simple language to learn. Its grammar and verb structure is simple, linguistically speaking. For example the verbs do not have the myriad of conjugations that one sees with Spanish, Italian or German. The Rarotongan or Maori verb stays the same in all conjugations, simply adding an aspect marker that changes its tense or time.
Sentence Structure: However the native English speaker wanting to learn Cook Islands Maori often encounters difficulty in putting together a sentence because the sentence structures are very different to English, and the verbs, nouns and pronouns etc all get put in different places to English. This is one of the more difficult things for the student to master.
Speed of Speech: Another problem for the learner is the speed of speech. Cook Islanders speak very fast!
Cook Islanders all speak English: Your language learning improves if you can get into a total immersion situation – where everyone speaks the language. This is difficult in the Cook Islands and particularly in Rarotonga because everyone speaks fluent English.