Te reo Maori is a living language

According to Ethnologue…

If a language has at least one speaker for whom it is his or her first language, then it is classified as a living language.

Therefore, based on this classification, Maori is a living language because it is the first language of many born in New Zealand.

  1. #1 by Anonymous on 16/05/2010 - 11:20 am

    Ngā mihi mahana ki a koe e hika,Kai a koe wētahi kōrero/tuhinga e pā ana ki tēneki, 'Ko te reo Māori is a living language'? E rapu ana awau mō ngā kōrero pēnāka, Ki rō pukapuka 'Tikanga Concepts', nā Cleve Barlow i tuhi, wētahi kōrero. E mōhio ana koe wētahi atu pukapuka/kōrero/tuhinga?

  2. #2 by Michael on 17/05/2010 - 2:40 am

    Tēnā koe e hika, tirohia ana nga hononga e rua hei tautoko mai i tāku i kōrero ai mō te reo Māori he mea ora, ā, tirohia anotia te hononga tuarua mō te whakapapa o te reo Māori. He tohunga reo-a-ao te rōpū nei Ethnologue ki tōku mōhiotanga. http://www.ethnologue.com/ethno_docs/distribution.asp?by=areahttp://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=mri Anei ngā rauemi papai ki awau e hoa hei taonga pea mā tōu kete wānganga1. A Māori Reference Grammar: Ray Harlow2) A dictionary of Māori language: H W Williams3) http://tvnz.co.nz/marae/2009-ss-episode-11-video-2506895Ruarua noa iho ēnei mea e hoa, ki te pīrangi, me whai mai koe ki runga i taku blog me Youtube kia whakamōhitia ai koe. Kai ahau he maha ngā rauemi atu i ēnei ara noa atu. Ā tōna wā, māku e whakahora ake ngā kōrerorero kē atu mō te reo me ōna tikanga ki runga i aku whārangi Ipurangi. Mauri ora e hika, whakapa mai i ngā wā katoa.Mikaere

  3. #3 by Michael on 17/05/2010 - 4:12 pm

    Kia ora Alex and Vinnie for your inquiry and comments on my short post on te reo Māori as a living language. I posted this comment based on information that can be found at a site called 'Ethnologue'. The authors of the site are experts and leaders in the field of world languages who go to great lengths to provide up-to-date information as possible on languages, including Māori. To reiterate, their definition of a living language is "defined as one that has at least one speaker for whom it is their first language". This means that if you are brought up speaking Maori and it is the main (first) language spoken in your home then it is your first language, therefore it is a living language. I think, Ethnologue's classification of a 'living language' is not, in the sense, actually referring to the status of a language in terms of its health, decline or if it's endangered or that it's even referring to population in terms of how many people actually speak a language, in this case Maori, but these are different concepts individual of themselves that are closely interrelated. I think the concept of a 'living language' is simply suggesting that if at "least one person" is brought up speaking te reo as their first language then that one person is keeping the language alive hence 'a living language' and may have nothing to do with status or population at all. Notice the words 'at least one person' which supports my conclusion that this concept is not concern with population of how many people are speaking te reo and its status whether te reo is on life support or not, but rather it is being kept alive even if that means if it's just by one person. However, I do agree with Vinnie, we need to speak, teach and learn more Maori in order to increase it status despite the fact that te reo Māori more than qualifies as a living language when you consider that it's the first language of not one, but many brought up not only here in Aotearoa, but also overseas like Australia and England – Te Kohanga Reo o Ranana (London) is a good example of this. As a suggestions, if you want to find out more about the status, demographics and progress of te reo Maori, for example, over the past 10 years, then a good start might be to read the research and statistics from the 2006 NZ census report and make some comparisons with NZ census reports from previous years in order to draw your own conclusions about the health of te reo. The research does exist you just need to know where to look. There are other reports and research study that has been around for a long time, I have read and heard many comments from these studies (in reports and the media) such as Marae about the status of te reo Maori some positive and some negative, but more positive when you track its progress over a 10 year period, which is indicative of a rise, perhaps a small rise, but a 'rise' nonetheless. I will be doing some research of my own about the status of te reo Māori in the future and may post some on my blog.I hope my comments have provided you with a clearer explanation to your inquiry Alex "how living is it tho?" by explaining the concept of a 'living language' in a wider context. Sometimes when I post I don't give long explanations of the things that I raise, but like to keep it short and sweet. However, I do respond to my posts if someone has some questions or have commented on it. So thanks again.kia ora kōrua Mikaere.

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