Kia ora, New Zealand.

In New Zealand, there are two official languages—English and te reo Maori.

Okay, three. Also NZ Sign Language (NZSL).

In most countries, your effort to speak the language is appreciated. Not so in NZ.

When I try to speak te reo, I am constantly corrected.

There seems to be an idea that you need to apologize for your bad pronunciation. Fair enough.

But if you are not a fourth generation European New Zealander, you really have no hopes of saying anything in te reo right.


Sarah said...

My oldest daughter, NZ born, comes home from school singing the most beautiful Maori songs, but no matter how many times my husband and I hear them we cannot get them right and have trouble even remembering them. She finds this hysterical - we just feel old and disappointed in ourselves!

Megan Rose said...

Oh god, I'm so embarrassed of us. You know that most NZers speak only english? And that outside of the cities, people purposefully don't pronounce Maori properly, and that's only if they'll speak it at all! Ugh, I'm cringing.