The biggest part of learning te reo Māori is building your vocabulary.
I always carry one of these word flip books with me. A few minutes waiting for a bus, or waiting for the kettle to boil, and you can go through some of the words you have accumulated.
(I buy my flip books from Daiso on Queen Street – you can get four for $3)
I also like to learn my kupu hōu playing memory games with friends – I make them with the same cards, or similar, from daiso. Making the same or creating my flip books, is part of learning the new words.
Accumulating the words is something else though.
Depending on what’s easiest for you, I recommend creating a storehouse of new words. If you work on a computer a lot, set up a word doc and add them there. If you prefer paper, carry around a little notebook.
As for finding the new words – there are a bunch of tools out there like ‘te kupu o te ra’ that sends you a new word every day, either via email or on facebook. Or you can join one of the great te reo Māori facebook pages that will post stuff up i te reo māori and you can pull out words you don’t know yet.
But the key thing is to always be building that vocab. You can learn all the sentence structures you like, but without those words, you can’t do anything with those structures.
So here are some useful tools
Websites and Links
Te kupu o te rā – https://kupu.maori.nz/
Some facebook pages to follow:
There are some ‘high frequency word’ lists at these sites:
You can use those sites to get started with your own list of kupu hōu. Go through the lists and find the words you don’t already know.
This book can help too “A Māori Word a Day” https://www.penguin.co.nz/books/a-maori-word-a-day-9780143772132 There are 6 copies at Auckland Libraries.
You can also get started with a list of kupu hōu that I have been adding to https://koreropaki.wordpress.com/kupu-hou/
Like individual kupu, you can drop these phrases into your daily speech.
A good translation of kīwaha is idioms, so they’re just common sayings.
RNZ is doing a wonderful series on kīwaha for te wiki o te reo.
You can learn these just like new kupu!
Some of my favourite kīwaha:
Kāore e kore – without a doubt
E rua, e rua – same same
He pai ake te mate ururoa i te mate wheke. – don’t give up (lit. It is better to die like a hammerhead shark than an octopus)
Tū whitia te hopo – face your fears (especially those anxieties about learning and speaking te reo!)