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Te Mutunga o Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (End of Māori Language Week)
SSar's Beast
morbane
I've had two breakthrough moments this year in learning Māori. They weren't marked by fluency, really. Instead, each was marked by a revelation that I could use the structures and vocabulary and knowledge I already had to do something I wanted to do, that I had come up with independently of the exercises in our workbooks. It's such a joyful transition in any skill, when performance becomes use.

The first time, we'd been revising Māori numbers in class, and an online friend (thank you that friend | kia ora e hoa) mentioned improving their skills in long multiplication, and I realised I only needed a couple more verbs in order to do an example alongside my friend, writing out the steps in full in te reo. My friend supplied a 3-digit and a 4-digit number to multiply together. I gulped. I don't do multi-digit multiplication all that often in a normal week. It took me forty minutes and a lot of scrolling in chat to complete that one equation - no symbols or numerals, of course! It felt fantastic.

The second time was a few weeks ago. We learned a simple set of prepositions - above, below, behind, etc - ages ago, and were revising them then. Suddenly I realised I could make a very simple puzzle out of statements of objects' relative positions. And even better, I knew how to phrase the instructions. That might not seem like much, but we have been sticking to very simple structures in class, and I find it much easier to expand my vocabulary independently when learning a new language than I do my grammar.

I created the puzzle, tested it on my classmates/workmates, and then promised to create a more complex puzzle for the monthly office newsletter.

If you're interested, the puzzle is below! I think it's actually possible to solve without knowing te reo - all the main vocabulary is supplied. Though it may be a little tedious! Let me know if you give it a go and I'll send you a link to the answer.

Porowhita Puzzle for Māori Language MonthCollapse )


You may notice that most of the instructional text for this one is in English. The first version of the puzzle was basically step 2: here is a list of statements like 'white is above yellow', put them together. When you know that white is above yellow, you also know that yellow is not on the top line and white is not on the bottom line. And if you know that blue is to the left of white, and that green is above blue, then you almost have the entire placement of all of those four items, with merely some uncertainty as to whether green is in the top leftmost corner or yellow is in the bottom rightmost corner. Etc. But it wasn't supposed to be too hard, because it was about testing one's knowledge of colour and position vocabulary. The second version is designed to lean even more on language practice than on puzzle-solving, since the first part of the puzzle is pure language practice.

Anyway, this was fun, and it's nice to see myself making progress in self-motivation as well as fluency.

Tell me of your own progress with skills and languages, e ngā hoa (friends) (I think) (e hoa is friend but is that how you make it plural in the vocative? a question for next class)!

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