Took a stab at it: We're at 1 percent

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Took a stab at it: We're at 1 percent

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Edited: Jan 28, 2014, 3:20pm

I don't speak Māori, but I made some guesses at words and phrases, based on an online Maori dictionary:

Also skimmed the Wikipedia article on Maori language, and “100 Maori words every New Zealander should know.”

One guess I have the most doubts about is for "Add books." I went with “Āpiti atu pukapuka,” but I think that may mean “Other things along with books” instead of “Add to (your) books.”

There are probably other howlers in there. But hopefully a fluent Maori speaker will be moved to intervene and fix them!

Sometimes a singular noun is made plural by repetition (puka, “book”; pukapuka, “books”), but I don’t think this is always the case.

Edited: Jan 28, 2014, 3:24pm


“Āpiti atu pukapuka” seems to mean "in addition to books" (not "Add books"). My best guess for "Add books" is either Pukapuka āpiti or Pukapuka tāpiri. Can’t tell which is more idiomatic.

I was completely wrong about a singular noun being "made plural by repetition."

Puka refers to a form or booklet. Pukapuka, which seems far more common, refers to any book, document, or other text.

Jan 28, 2014, 5:19pm

Maori’s pretty difficult to cobble together from just a dictionary, as nouns and particles have multiple meanings depending on context. You really need to get a te reo speaker on board, perhaps by posting to the New Zealand Librarything forums. Good luck!

Jan 28, 2014, 5:54pm

Good idea. I also found a Māori language forum online, but it doesn’t appear very active.

Just looking at examples in a very good online dictionary, I can see how long it must take to master all those particles. Ehara i te hanga!

Edited: Feb 8, 2014, 1:27am

I think pukapuka means, literally, many pages or sheets of paper. Repeating a word is most often an intensifier: nui = big. Nuinui = really big, huge, immense.

For my writing, I use the Reed Dictionary of Modern Māori by P. M. Ryan and the Reed Reference Grammar of Modern Māori by Winifred Bauer. But I lack the practical grasp to translate in a way that would be useful to Māori speakers.