At Play Learn Grow early childcare we teach our preschoolers about Te Pū Taka Māori (the Māori alphabet). This gives them the best start when they get to school as well as many years of happy learning. Te Pū Taka Māori consists of 10 consonants and 5 vowels, as opposed to the English alphabet with its 21 consonants and 5 vowels.
In alphabetical order they are
a, e, h, i, k, m, n, ng, o, p, r, t, u, w, wh
five vowels: a, e, i, o, u
ten consonants: h, k, m, n, ng, p, r, t, w, wh
Two of the consonants are digraphs (two letters that combine to form one sound): wh, ng
We acknowledge that there are a number of iwi that have their own different dialects (e.g. Ngai Tahu in the South Island replace ‘ng’ with ‘k’). The focus is on mainstream te reo māori.
Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission) have helpfully funded a number of great resources. This includes Professor Scotty Morrison (Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa iwi), well-known presenter of current affairs programmes Te Karere, Marae, OneNews and numerous other programmes, talking about pronunciation:
Ka rawe (awesome)! Well done on practising your Te Reo Māori pronunciation whānau. We are so proud to share our passion for our beautiful language of Aoteoroa.
Mauri mahi, mauri ora; mauri noho, mauri mate.
Industry begets prosperity (security); idleness begets poverty (insecurity).
This is a great waiata that you can teach your children how the vowels sound in Te Reo Maori